Why Aroldis Chapman Should Be a Closer in Cincinnati: Fan’s Reaction

The Cincinnati Reds know they have a special player in Aroldis Chapman. They seem to be taking a very cautious approach in his development and that certainly makes sense. One only needs to look at Mark Prior and Kerry Wood to understand why young power pitchers need to exercise caution before just jumping out there and piling up the innings. As a long time Cincinnati Reds fan, I have paid special attention to Aroldis Chapman and his development. One needs only to look at his numbers thus far in 2012 to see what needs to be done with him.

I think Aroldis Chapman should be a closer.

A phenomenal start to the year

So far in 2012, Aroldis Chapman has been virtually unhittable. Through six innings he has struck out eleven batters. He has given up no walks and only two hits in that timeframe. This means he has faced twenty batters and struck out eleven of them. That is insane and it screams that he should be closing ball games.

The Reds need his talent late in the game

When Ryan Madson went down before ever taking the mound during the regular season, I had to hold my breath. I knew that we would scramble in some way to figure out a solution. What we ended up doing was anointing Sean Marshall the closer and crossing our fingers. I had little confidence in that plan then, and I have even less now. In very limited action I have been less than impressed with Marshall. Hopefully he will come around. In looking at his history, however, he seems to be more of a middle relief and set-up guy. Chapman has the skills and mindset to be a closer.

What about that violent delivery?

Perhaps it is simply the insane amount of velocity that Aroldis throws with, but it looks like he is going to throw his arm out of socket every single time he delivers the ball. It is hard to imagine how that could be done for seven innings or more at a time. Maybe he could do that for a month or two, but not over the course of a whole season. It could just be my eyes, but I do not see the effortless delivery like you want to see in a starter. I see a closer that should be in for short bursts of time.

Though Aroldis will be a star either way, I do believe that he has a much brighter future as a closer with the Reds. It is what they need him for, as well as what he seems most suited to do. No matter what, it will be great fun as a Reds fan watching him develop.

*Southern is a long time Reds fan that believes the Reds will win a World Series again during his lifetime and that Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame.

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Updated Saturday, Apr 14, 2012