Saturday, April 28, 2012

Olney: Chapman off to great start


Aroldis Chapman has been making mince meat of major league hitters this season. Through eight appearances the left-hander has yet to allow a run and has retired 20 of his 34 outs via punchout. He's the proud holder of a 2-0 record, a spotless 0.00 ERA, and a very tidy WHIP of 0.529. His success thus far in 2012 hasn't gone unnoticed.

ESPN.com's Buster Olney recently tabbed Chapman as one of ten MLB relievers off to great starts. Here's what the well-respected and well-informed Olney had to say regarding the 24-year old:

2. Aroldis Chapman, Cincinnati Reds: Later in the year, Cincinnati intends to shift him into a starting role, but for now, he's getting more experience working out of the bullpen, and he is dominating. Twenty strikeouts in 11 1/3 scoreless innings and only four hits allowed. For those who think nine at-bats is too small of a sample size, think about this: Left-handed hitters are 1-for-9 against Chapman -- with seven strikeouts.

As much as I love seeing Chappy coming out of the 'pen and mowing down hitters, I'd much rather see him pitching 6-7 innings every five days. My guess is that the eventual return of Nick Masset from the disabled list will nudge him toward that direction. However, a move to the rotation may be hard to justify if the current starters stay both healthy and productive. Time will tell, but one thing is for certain, Aroldis Chapman is going to help this team win games no matter what his role is.

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