It’s slightly ironic to think that the season in which we lost the game’s greatest closer, we may gain the heir apparent. While it’s far to early to compare Cincinnati Red Aroldis Chapman to Yankee legend Mariano Rivera, it is quite fun to take a look at this phenom.
Chapman has pitched 28 innings this season in varying capacities for the Reds, only recently being named the official Closer. In those 28 innings, he has given up 0 earned runs. That’s not a typo, it’s June and Aroldis Chapman has not given up a single earned run yet. Oh and guess what? He’s compiled 50 strikeouts over that same period.
This is why it boggles my mind when they consistently talk about moving Chapman into the starting rotation. Yes the man has a freakishly strong arm, but isn’t that a continuing issue with relievers moving into the rotation? Look at Boston’s Daniel Bard, a reliever used to overpowering pitchers. Boston moved him to the rotation at the start of the year, and now you can find him pitching in Triple-A.
Before Cincinnati fans go up in arms, hear me out. I’ve always considered Chapman more of a thrower than a pitcher. He knows what he can do, and he does it. I don’t know if that would translate over six plus innings as a starter. Hitters adjust and I don’t think it would be long before Chapman’s ERA started flying high. I feel the same way about Mariano Rivera. As good as his cutter is, two times through the line-up and teams will start catching up. So why move these guys to the rotation? The Yankees didn’t and they ended up with the greatest closer in the history of the game. Chapman is a ways away from that, but why take that possibility away when you see a guy like this dominate like he has?