Pitching coach Bryan Price spoke at length yesterday about Aroldis Chapman
Count me among those concerned about his future. I think the bullpen is as good a place as any for him to spend this season, but after the comments earlier this winter from Bill Bavasi and Dusty Baker, I was worried Chapman would be too good in the bullpen and make it difficult for the Reds to want to move him to the rotation in the future. Price has said a great deal the past few days to quash those concerns of mine:
"With the role that he’s currently holding, he’s not going to use his change-up a great deal," Price said. "However, we’re going to stay familiar with it and continue to use in the spring and when he’s warming up because in the future we see him in the rotation. Things have to unfold. A lot of it is need. Because he’s so young, there isn’t a strong impulse that we have to act now. Right now, I think No. 1 this fills a huge need and void since we don’t have Arthur (Rhodes) back. No. 2, it minimizes innings early in his career, which I don’t think is a bad thing. No. 3, it’s putting him in an environment where he’s getting his taste of the big leagues in a situation where he’s going to have lot of other support down there. If we need to give him a day off, we’ve still got Billy Bray, Dontrelle Willis potentially or Matt Maloney. Plus, we have strong right-handers who get left-handers out. We’re not going to have to overtax him."
Chapman says he's comfortable with his role in the bullpen
For now, anyway. "I didn’t think about it too much: My job is a reliever. I’m a reliever now," he said. "I want to be a starter but I don’t think about that. My job now is to be a reliever. That’s job I’m going to do. The day they want me to be a starter, I’ll start thinking about it."
Edinson Volquez says the 4-year offer the Reds made this winter was for less than what Johnny Cueto got
which makes sense, because Cueto has been healthy the past two years. If I had to guess, I would think the offer was likely around 4 years and $15-16 mil. That's certainly nothing to sneeze at, and Volquez says he thought it over very carefully. "I talked to my family about it," he said. "I talked to my mom. She said, 'Do what you want to do, it's your career. If you feel good with that, go forward.'" Volquez ultimately decided to turn down the offer and take his chances this season. "If I pitch good this year, I think I can get more than that for four years." I think chances are pretty good that, as long as he stays healthy, he can out-perform that offer. Still, it's hard to pass up that kind of cash, especially when you are still somewhat unproven coming off a major injury.
Phil Rogers at the Chicago Tribune thinks the Cardinals are the team to beat this year
I'm not saying he's an idiot, but that's idiotic. The Cardinals are still a decent-to-good team, but outside of their headliners their team is very weak. His main reason for trepidation regarding the Reds is "the rotation behind Arroyo is staffed by a 25-and-under cast that has boom-or-bust potential." Call me meshugana, but I'll take our last four starters over any group of last four starters in the division. Sure, the Cardinals have a pair of aces and the Brewers have Greinke, but if Rogers argument is that the rotation-minus-our-ace is the team's weak point, he's an idiot. Well, not an idiot, just idiotic.
Dem boys over at Redleg Nation are camped out at the ESPN SweetSpot blog all day today
Go check 'em out, but be polite.
As we discussed yesterday, Junya has been hired by the Mariners as a special consultant
Steve Kelley at the Seattle Times thinks this is all well and good, as long as Griffey apologizes for the way he left the team last year. I hadn't heard this story until now, but apparently his sudden retirement last year was acrimonious at best. Kelley says he left the clubhouse without explanation, feeling disrespected by then-manager Don Wakamatsu. Instead of discussing it, he just left. And now Kelley thinks Mariners' fans deserve an explanation and an apology if Griffey is to accepted back into the fold. I'm not sure what to think of this. If Kelley is to be believed (I'm not saying he shouldn't be, but I kinda don't want to), then Griffey does have some 'splainin' to do. It's just not the way to cement The Kid's legacy. H/T
Here's some video from yesterday
I like baseball.
Congratulations to Dontrelle Willis on the birth of his new baby girl
Willis signed in at camp a day late because he was attending to her birth. He's always seemed like such a likable guy, and I'd love to see him succeed as a Red.