Cliff Eastham at Blog Red Machine implores Walt to "do the right thing"
and keep Aroldis Chapman in the bullpen. I've been feeling pretty sour anyway this morning, so apologies in advance to Mr. Eastham for making him the target of this rant. But these people are fucking crazy.
I am getting increasingly less tolerant of the "Chapman for closer" camp. Baseball isn't hard, but these idiots seem hell-bent on making it so. This just isn't that difficult a situation to understand. If Chapman can become a good starter, he'll be worth much more than he would be as a closer. If he doesn't become a good starter, he can easily be sent back to the bullpen.
The argument that Eastham tries to make here is that having Leake start and hand the ball to Chapman is better than having Chapman start and hand the ball to Broxton. Setting aside the soft-headed logic of this false dichotomy, he completely overlooks how much better a starter Chapman could potentially be than Leake. I'm continually awestruck that so many people - and especially those that follow the Reds - seem to underestimate Chapman's potential. He could be Justin Verlander or Randy Johnson or whatever Cy Young-caliber comp you want to make. He's really that talented. Leake will never be that. If that's the comparison you want to make, it's ridiculous on its face.
I just don't get it. What is the risk in trying?
Buster Olney talks to both John Fay and Joey Votto in his podcast
This is well-worth the listen. Fay talks the Chapman drama and Joey talks hitting.
Mat Latos is looking more ready for the beginning of the season
He threw five innings yesterday and gave up only two earned runs. "It’s just being comfortable in the first inning," Latos said. "It’s Spring Training all over again, you get anxious nervous and excited all at once. Today I just tried to settle down and throw the baseball, hit my spots and locations. Everything worked really good today. My curveball felt really good coming out of my hand and my changeup was something I’ve been working on."
Also of note in this piece, Sheldon says Latos made it a priority to talk about his change up with Mario Soto this spring. I like having Mario Soto around.
Dusty says he'd like to manage Team USA once his pro career is over
He probably wouldn't do any worse than Torre.
I suppose this is good news, or something
Jonathan Broxton says he really doesn't care if he is the closer or not. With all the dramatics surrounding Aroldis Chapman's role, I guess it's good to know this is one fewer thing to worry about.
The biggest problem is all of the money the Reds are going to be paying for this Broxed Lunch. He's gonna make $21 mil over the next three seasons, and that's a pretty big meatball sub for a set-up guy. Add that to the $16.5 mil that Sean Marshall is going to earn over that same time period, and this becomes an incredibly bloated bullpen. I mean, it's already pretty expensive with just Brox, Marshall, and Masset (who makes $3 mil this season even if he doesn't pitch).
That said, I'm not particularly worried about the money. I mean, this is a very talented bullpen and with that in mind, it doesn't really matter how much they are being paid. But they signed Brox expressly because Chapman was moving to the rotation. If they change their mind on that so soon it just looks stupid.
Shin-Soo Choo sat out both games over the weekend
He is dealing with a sore back and Dusty had him scheduled for an off-day on Sunday, anyway. These spring training aches and pains always seem to get far more ink than they deserve, huh? I mean, I totally get why, but it seems like a bad idea for a tumblr. We could aggregate every spring training story in which it is said or implied that the player would definitely play if it were regular season game but he's going to sit out because it's just spring training.
Mark Prior will pitch for the Reds on Thursday
He is scheduled to come over from minor league camp and throw an inning against the Giants. I'm really rooting for this guy. I've always been a sucker for stories like this. He hasn't pitched in the majors since 2006, and it would be really incredible if he were able to claw his way back after so many tribulations. It's just a nice story is all.
Xavier Paul, Todd Frazier, Chris Heisey, and Denis Phipps all summitted the agrocrag last night
in one of those quaint phenomena of spring baseball, the tie. I want to make a joke here about St. Patrick's Day and the luck of the Irish and and getting lucky kissing your sister and how the Irish have a jillion kids so pretty much every chick in town is your sister or something like that. But I'm not sure how to do it. The pieces are there, though.
Tim Schmitt at the DDN talks about Dusty talking to Chapman
There's really nothing new here, though. The reason I wanted to drop this link is the bit buried at the bottom about Xavier Paul. XP cranked another wongdingler yesterday, his second of the spring. He is now 8-22 in limited action thus far. I've never been much of a believer in Paul, but recently I've cottoned to the idea of him rounding out the bench. Hopefully he can replicate his solid performance from last year.