Despite speculation throughout MLB that Cincinnati Reds’ pitcher Aroldis Chapman will spend another season as the team’s closer, Reds manager Dusty Baker denied again yesterday that the decision to leave Chapman out of the starting rotation has been made.
The Cincinnati Reds have attempted to move Aroldis Chapman into a starting role since he joined the team two years ago, but so far the timing has not worked out. Perhaps a blessing in disguise as Chapman has been electric as a closer for the Reds, but this was to be the year he took on the fifth spot in the rotation, with the expectation of replacing Mike Leake, who struggled last season.
Aroldis Chapman has pitched well in his spring training starts, yet indicated just last week that, truthfully, he would prefer to remain a closer.
The Cincinnati Reds take on the Los Angeles Dodgers today and have Mike Leake as the starter with Chapman expected to come in and pitch from the bullpen.
It seems the writing is on the wall that Aroldis Chapman will remain the Reds closer. He had an ERA or 1.51 last year, 38 saves, and Chapman himself has made it clear that is the role he prefers. Yet Baker continues to deny the choice has been made, “There’s plenty of speculation every day. We’ll let you know soon, then we can put it to rest.”
Time will tell, and the clock is ticking.