Aroldis Chapman: Closer or Starter?


Ray Guilfoyle asks Fake Teams readers if Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman should be a starter or closer in 2013?

One of the biggest questions fantasy owners have this offseason is whether or not Cliff Pennington is going to be the Diamondbacks starting shortstop this season. Ok. Not really. The one big question that we will soon have the answer on is whether Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman will be in the Reds rotation or will return to the closer role.

Earlier this offseason, Reds GM Walt Jocketty hinted, then confirmed, that he would like to move his prize flamethrower to the rotation. As a result, most fantasy sites have ranked Chapman as a starter this offseason, and he has been drafted assuming he is starting thus far.

But, recent comments by Red manager Dusty Baker hint to the fact that the team has not made a final decision as to what to do with the strikeout machine in 2013. It is not a secret that Baker wants him closing again, but Jocketty invested some $30 million in him, and wants to see if he has a dominant future ace.

And just this morning, we hear from Chapman himself, via the Cincinnati Enquirer:

Aroldis Chapman came out Saturday and said what he’s hinted at this spring:

"Truthfully, I would like to be a closer, but that’s not in my hands."

The fact that Chaoman has finally spoken up on the matter indicates to me he is not confident in the starting role. I think it is just a matter of time before we hear that the team will return him to the closer role.

To help us in this decision, we have this from Buster Olney this morning:

Chapman started Saturday and had mixed results, with some command issues -- in keeping with some scouts' perception of him. "For me, he's got one major-league quality pitch," said a longtime evaluator. "His fastball. His other pitches aren't major-league caliber."

Olney goes on to say if the Reds share the same opinion of Chapman, they should him to the closer role.

He has value in ether role, but has more value as a closer, as we already know that he is a dominant closer. For me, he would rank as the # 2 closer behind Kimbrel should he start the season in the bullpen.

What do Fake Teams readers think? Should Chapman be in the Reds rotation or close this season?

For more on the Chapman decision, check out Red Reporter, the SB Nation Reds fan blog.

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