The Reds have changed their position on whether Aroldis Chapman should start or relieve more times than LaRosa's gave away free pizza to fans last season. However, may we finally have our decisive verdict on Chapman's wavering fate?
According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, an inside source told Sherman that the proverbial ship to transition Chapman to the rotation has probably sailed already, as the source cited the fact that the Cuban southpaw is rather resistant to the move at this point. In short, Chapman prefers to close.
Of course, the decision won't be solely left up to Chapman. New skipper Bryan Price will certainly have something to say about it, as well as general manager Walt Jocketty, who both seemed to be in favor of getting more innings from Chapman by way of starting him. Unfortunately, a rash of injuries in the bullpen thwarted those preliminary plans in spring training in years past.
Now, the Reds find themselves in a crossroads once more, with mainstay Bronson Arroyo expected to sign with another team via free agency, leaving Cincinnati with one less arm for the starting rotation. That leaves the combination of Mat Latos, Mike Leake, Johnny Cueto, Homer Bailey, and Tony Cingrani to comprise Cincy's starting five. In fairness, that doesn't seem all that bad on paper, though, if in fact the Reds opt to keep Chapman in the 'pen next season.
Look for a post here on Redlegs Review in the not so distant future detailing more on the matter at hand. It's definitely a hot topic (again) among Reds Nation this winter.
Via MLB Trade Rumors (H/T @WrighteousAdub)