Wednesday, November 28, 2012

In which Broxton pulls the wool from Cincinnati's eyes


The man you see above is the hardest throwing pitcher in baseball. On a good day, he'll leave you with 105 miles per hour. He baffles batters in the ninth every time, and he's efficient. 

The question I've asked is how come Chapman can't pitch as a starter? And the answer I usually get is "because his arm is great with one or two innings, but for 6 or 7, it'll be hard to keep the fastball consistent enough." And that's sad, really. Chapman could be one of the game's great pitchers, but because he isn't a trusted starter, he can't really be a star.

Today, the Reds signed someone to do Aroldis Chapman's old job. So either he's getting a promotion or he's getting cut. 

Jonathan Broxton was one of 2012's two terrible Jonathans. His season was plagued with blown saves, injuries, and a team that couldn't back him up. Could he regain his mojo in Cincinnati? Maybe.  But the safe thing is that the Reds now have a reliable closer.

The only problem is how to deal with the other reliable closers.

Naturally, they led Ryan Madson out the door, but the rumors are saying the Reds want Chapman to start games. And that would definitely be a good idea, though maybe not the best for his longevity as a pitcher. If Chapman becomes a starter, more people will pay attention to him, and he'll rack up some big numbers for the usually-fickle NL Cy Young race. 

But this might not happen. The Reds could just make him a middle-reliever, taking the easy (and cruel) way out. But Cincy fans might not let that happen, because they love him down there. And if they see him pitching for just one inning, and not even a crucial one like the ninth, they'll get mad. 

I don't wanna sway the decision, wherever it goes, but I'd like it if Aroldis Chapman started next year. If not, then I hope he's traded to a team that WILL start him, or use him at all. 

You know what this has become? An amazing closer who was huge for a season, suddenly replaced by a huge name, and then not getting any playing time?

Hey, Aroldis. Ask Sparky Lyle if he can help you with your impending novel.

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