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Aroldis Chapman 2013 Outlook

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Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said Wednesday that the team has told Aroldis Chapman to prepare to be a starting pitcher.

Seems like Chapman and his electric arm are heading to the rotation. If his arm can hold up for 30 starts, he could put up insane K numbers. Definitely someone to target in drafts because of his massive potential.

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he is exactly the type of gamble I like to take. problem is, EVERYONE is going to like him, and that means EVERYONE is going to want to reach for him, which means he's going to wind up getting drafted higher than some established aces. I have a feeling he's going to be taken in the first 4 rounds of most drafts.

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The good news and the bad news

Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said Wednesday that the team has told Aroldis Chapman to prepare to be a starting pitcher

Reds pitching coach Bryan Price said Wednesday that Aroldis Chapman will be on an innings limit in 2013.

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The good news and the bad news

Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said Wednesday that the team has told Aroldis Chapman to prepare to be a starting pitcher

Reds pitching coach Bryan Price said Wednesday that Aroldis Chapman will be on an innings limit in 2013.

Hurray!

Ugh...

Though I donts see him being a dominant starter and his K rate is sure to fall off some.

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So who gets booted out of the Red rotation? Gotta be Leake, right? Bailey's ludicrously hot September keeps him in, and Arroyo regained his pre-2011 form this last season, so...

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Loved him as a closer, hate him moving into the rotation for at least the first year, especially if the dreaded innings limit is there. It's the perfect scenario where someone else can overpay for him this year, then I'll hope to steal him for value in 2014.

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I was in rebuild mode last year so took him at my P7 which I always consider my "swing" or risk/reward slot for $1. Paid off big and I love him as a closer, the closer K's I think are always one of those hidden stats that are important to pay attention to. So losing him to the rotation, Im sure the K's will still be there, just would rather have him as a closer myself.

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We have seen in recent years, other pitchers come from the bullpen(closer) and have had succes as a pitcher(starting) in year one. He was flat out dominant last year and I am expecting his succes to carry over to his new role.. Do I think we see some type of regression on the strikeouts? Sure. I just also believe that his overall ability will make fantasy owners very happy that they drafted him in 2013.

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Though I donts see him being a dominant starter and his K rate is sure to fall off some.

I think you're in a small minority with this. maybe it depends on your definition of dominant. he likely won't go past 7ip hardly ever but I do see a lot of 5ip, 10k, 2h, 3bb, 0er type games. in cap IP leagues that's arguably more valuable than a guy who routinely goes deeper with less dominant stats.

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from tangotiger:

Basically, use the “rule of 17”: difference in BABIP is 17 points higher as starter. K/PA is 17% higher as reliever. And HR per contacted PA is 17% higher as starter. Walk rate is FLAT.

...

The golden rule basically comes down to this: when you compare a reliever’s stats, you MUST MUST MUST use a different baseline than a starter. And that baseline is roughly a 1 run difference per 9IP. And it has nothing at all to do with leverage. The basic way to think about it is that a starter is pitching with one hand tied behind his back. So, you can’t compare him straight up to a reliever.

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Joba Chamberlain, Neftali Feliz... Lesson learned. Don't toy with golden arms.

Chris Sale?

there are always going to be successes and failures no matter what we're talking about.

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Joba Chamberlain, Neftali Feliz... Lesson learned. Don't toy with golden arms.

Chris Sale?

there are always going to be successes and failures no matter what we're talking about.

I wouldn't be so confident in Sale. He had a great year, but I noticed something very interesting with regards to his arm strength.

Avg fastball velocity...

2010: 96.3 mph

2012: 95.3 mph

2012: 91.6 mph

Yes, I realize that as a starter, you don't go full throttle as you do when coming in for only an inning as a reliever. BUT, you can see a HUGE velo drop (4 mph). I remember reading that due to his lanky frame and cross body delivery, injury and durability might be a concern in his future as a major leaguer.

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Probably staying away. I feel like he could let a lot of people down that will expect 250+ Ks and draft him super early. Don't blame the Reds for trying it but I would rather have a proven guy that early in drafts that won't have an innings limit or starting pitcher learning curve.

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Joba Chamberlain, Neftali Feliz... Lesson learned. Don't toy with golden arms.

Chris Sale?

there are always going to be successes and failures no matter what we're talking about.

I wouldn't be so confident in Sale. He had a great year, but I noticed something very interesting with regards to his arm strength.

Avg fastball velocity...

2010: 96.3 mph

2012: 95.3 mph

2012: 91.6 mph

Yes, I realize that as a starter, you don't go full throttle as you do when coming in for only an inning as a reliever. BUT, you can see a HUGE velo drop (4 mph). I remember reading that due to his lanky frame and cross body delivery, injury and durability might be a concern in his future as a major leaguer.

little bit OT, but http://www.fangraphs...tion=P&pitch=FT

looks like a conscious decision he made. it'd be more concerning if there were a downward trend throughout the year. instead, it looks he made an adjustment after his first 3 starts.

all I'm saying is that pitchers break. that's inherently part of being a pitcher. we can't look at a couple of isolated cases and say "look! RP-to-SP converts break down!" there have been numerous success stories of RP-to-SP converts in recent years.

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Joba Chamberlain, Neftali Feliz... Lesson learned. Don't toy with golden arms.

Chris Sale?

there are always going to be successes and failures no matter what we're talking about.

I wouldn't be so confident in Sale. He had a great year, but I noticed something very interesting with regards to his arm strength.

Avg fastball velocity...

2010: 96.3 mph

2012: 95.3 mph

2012: 91.6 mph

Yes, I realize that as a starter, you don't go full throttle as you do when coming in for only an inning as a reliever. BUT, you can see a HUGE velo drop (4 mph). I remember reading that due to his lanky frame and cross body delivery, injury and durability might be a concern in his future as a major leaguer.

little bit OT, but http://www.fangraphs...tion=P&pitch=FT

looks like a conscious decision he made. it'd be more concerning if there were a downward trend throughout the year. instead, it looks he made an adjustment after his first 3 starts.

all I'm saying is that pitchers break. that's inherently part of being a pitcher. we can't look at a couple of isolated cases and say "look! RP-to-SP converts break down!" there have been numerous success stories of RP-to-SP converts in recent years.

Joba Chamberlain, Neftali Feliz... Lesson learned. Don't toy with golden arms.

Chris Sale?

there are always going to be successes and failures no matter what we're talking about.

I wouldn't be so confident in Sale. He had a great year, but I noticed something very interesting with regards to his arm strength.

Avg fastball velocity...

2010: 96.3 mph

2012: 95.3 mph

2012: 91.6 mph

Yes, I realize that as a starter, you don't go full throttle as you do when coming in for only an inning as a reliever. BUT, you can see a HUGE velo drop (4 mph). I remember reading that due to his lanky frame and cross body delivery, injury and durability might be a concern in his future as a major leaguer.

little bit OT, but http://www.fangraphs...tion=P&pitch=FT

looks like a conscious decision he made. it'd be more concerning if there were a downward trend throughout the year. instead, it looks he made an adjustment after his first 3 starts.

all I'm saying is that pitchers break. that's inherently part of being a pitcher. we can't look at a couple of isolated cases and say "look! RP-to-SP converts break down!" there have been numerous success stories of RP-to-SP converts in recent years.

Seems like I'm not the only one worried about Chris Sale.

http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20120729/sports/707299903/

This article is from July.

1st half: 2.19 era, 0.95 whip, only 5 homers allowed in 105 IP

2nd half: 4.03 era, 1.34 whip, 14 homers allowed in 89 IP

As you can see, the drop in velocity is concerning considering his performance dipped and he became more hittable. You're right though, pitchers do break. I just feel that when there's smoke, there's fire. I believe that's the case here with Chris Sale.

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Joba Chamberlain, Neftali Feliz... Lesson learned. Don't toy with golden arms.

Chris Sale?

there are always going to be successes and failures no matter what we're talking about.

I wouldn't be so confident in Sale. He had a great year, but I noticed something very interesting with regards to his arm strength.

Avg fastball velocity...

2010: 96.3 mph

2012: 95.3 mph

2012: 91.6 mph

Yes, I realize that as a starter, you don't go full throttle as you do when coming in for only an inning as a reliever. BUT, you can see a HUGE velo drop (4 mph). I remember reading that due to his lanky frame and cross body delivery, injury and durability might be a concern in his future as a major leaguer.

What does that matter? That should make people like him more if you ask me. He had a consistent velocity throughout the year and with less velocity, he has a less injury chance. I don't see how this can be a negative for him.

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Joba Chamberlain, Neftali Feliz... Lesson learned. Don't toy with golden arms.

Chris Sale?

there are always going to be successes and failures no matter what we're talking about.

I wouldn't be so confident in Sale. He had a great year, but I noticed something very interesting with regards to his arm strength.

Avg fastball velocity...

2010: 96.3 mph

2012: 95.3 mph

2012: 91.6 mph

Yes, I realize that as a starter, you don't go full throttle as you do when coming in for only an inning as a reliever. BUT, you can see a HUGE velo drop (4 mph). I remember reading that due to his lanky frame and cross body delivery, injury and durability might be a concern in his future as a major leaguer.

What does that matter? That should make people like him more if you ask me. He had a consistent velocity throughout the year and with less velocity, he has a less injury chance. I don't see how this can be a negative for him.

Joba Chamberlain, Neftali Feliz... Lesson learned. Don't toy with golden arms.

Chris Sale?

there are always going to be successes and failures no matter what we're talking about.

I wouldn't be so confident in Sale. He had a great year, but I noticed something very interesting with regards to his arm strength.

Avg fastball velocity...

2010: 96.3 mph

2012: 95.3 mph

2012: 91.6 mph

Yes, I realize that as a starter, you don't go full throttle as you do when coming in for only an inning as a reliever. BUT, you can see a HUGE velo drop (4 mph). I remember reading that due to his lanky frame and cross body delivery, injury and durability might be a concern in his future as a major leaguer.

What does that matter? That should make people like him more if you ask me. He had a consistent velocity throughout the year and with less velocity, he has a less injury chance. I don't see how this can be a negative for him.

You're missing the point. Its the drop off in velocity that is a concern as it can be highlighting an underlying arm issue. Especially early in the year when there were claims of 'dead arm' and 'elbow tightness'. As you can see by his 2nd half numbers, he was far less effective than the 1st. All I am say is that, don't be surprised if arm troubles pop up next year. Drop in velo + drop in perfomance + issues of dead arm/tightness not a red flag to you???

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Joba Chamberlain, Neftali Feliz... Lesson learned. Don't toy with golden arms.

Chris Sale?

there are always going to be successes and failures no matter what we're talking about.

I wouldn't be so confident in Sale. He had a great year, but I noticed something very interesting with regards to his arm strength.

Avg fastball velocity...

2010: 96.3 mph

2012: 95.3 mph

2012: 91.6 mph

Yes, I realize that as a starter, you don't go full throttle as you do when coming in for only an inning as a reliever. BUT, you can see a HUGE velo drop (4 mph). I remember reading that due to his lanky frame and cross body delivery, injury and durability might be a concern in his future as a major leaguer.

What does that matter? That should make people like him more if you ask me. He had a consistent velocity throughout the year and with less velocity, he has a less injury chance. I don't see how this can be a negative for him.

Joba Chamberlain, Neftali Feliz... Lesson learned. Don't toy with golden arms.

Chris Sale?

there are always going to be successes and failures no matter what we're talking about.

I wouldn't be so confident in Sale. He had a great year, but I noticed something very interesting with regards to his arm strength.

Avg fastball velocity...

2010: 96.3 mph

2012: 95.3 mph

2012: 91.6 mph

Yes, I realize that as a starter, you don't go full throttle as you do when coming in for only an inning as a reliever. BUT, you can see a HUGE velo drop (4 mph). I remember reading that due to his lanky frame and cross body delivery, injury and durability might be a concern in his future as a major leaguer.

What does that matter? That should make people like him more if you ask me. He had a consistent velocity throughout the year and with less velocity, he has a less injury chance. I don't see how this can be a negative for him.

You're missing the point. Its the drop off in velocity that is a concern as it can be highlighting an underlying arm issue. Especially early in the year when there were claims of 'dead arm' and 'elbow tightness'. As you can see by his 2nd half numbers, he was far less effective than the 1st. All I am say is that, don't be surprised if arm troubles pop up next year. Drop in velo + drop in perfomance + issues of dead arm/tightness not a red flag to you???

Everyone has considered Sale a ticking time bomb due to his delivery, but he could very well have a similar season next year if he can hold up. The 2nd half is part correction and part fatigue as he nearly tripped his innings from the prior season. The velocity drop concerns me the least, every pitcher in baseball would have a velocity drop when moving from the pen to a starting role and vice versa.

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People are using Joba and Feliz as examples of the process of trying to convert a good reliever to starting having ruined the pitcher....I don't think that applies in either case. Particularly in Joba's case - people forget he WAS a successful starter in 2008, and it's not so much that trying to covert him to a starter ruined him, he simply suffered an injury in 2008 and hasn't been the same since, starter or reliever. But Joba was a very successful starter in '08 before his injury - 2.19 FIP in 12 starts.

Meanwhile in Feliz's case..he was never a good reliever to begin with, except for the small sample size when he came up as a rookie in '09. He posted a 4.27 xFIP as a reliever in 2011, before Texas ever tried to convert him, so you can't claim he was doing great until Texas tried to mess with him. He just wasn't that good to begin with, and happened to get injured this year.

So I don't think you can point to those examples and say that the Reds are going to do permanent damage to Chapman by trying to convert him to a starter. That's not to say he will be successful, personally I don't think he will do that well in the role. But there's no precedence for expecting that trying to convert him will ruin his career.

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I think it's all circumstantial. his velo was consistent last year. there was a drop off after the first 2-3 starts and it was consistent after that. maybe it was a conscious decision to focus on command over velocity? how else would you explain his velocity staying mostly stable for the last 5 months of the year?

he had a clean MRI. as far as we know, there was never determined to be anything wrong with Sale, other than some people with the White Sox not thinking he was durable enough to handle a full season. and he proved them wrong.

xFIP by month:

3.37

2.90

3.58

3.61

2.76

3.23

his HR/FB bounced around. summer heats up, maybe a little bad luck (HRs are fluky), and boom, maybe some hitters make adjustmets, some inflated ERAs. doesn't mean he's worse. it means ERA and WHIP are stats that bounce around a lot from month to month.

not saying he is safe from injury. he is definitely not. but you're looking at some surface stats when a little bit of digging shows that they're maybe due to factors outside injury or fatigue.

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the starting aroldis experiment makes no sense. this guy is not durable. he wears down with usage. twice over the last 2 years he's had to sit with shoulder fatigue (last sept and in may 2011) after the reds took notice of drops in velocity.

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If he fails as a starter they can always make him a closer again. I think his upside as a SP is worth the risk for the Reds.

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