The Cincinnati Reds are contemplating moving left-hander Aroldis Chapman from the bullpen to the starting rotation for the 2013 season, reports Mark Sheldon of MLB.com:
The specific makeup of the Reds' 2013 rotation and back end of the bullpen will have one rather large question mark next to it -- at least for the time being.
Much of the uncertainty will exist until the Reds figure out what to do with Aroldis Chapman.
"We haven't made a decision on Chapman as a starter or as a reliever," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. "We're talking about it."
The decision on whether to make Chapman a starter will largely hinge on whether the Reds can re-sign either Jonathan Broxton or Ryan Madson to take over as closer, or find a replacement on the open market. Chapman was primed to begin the 2012 season in the starting rotation but was bumped back into the bullpen in March after Ryan Madson blew out his elbow.
Chapman, 24, put together a stellar inaugural season as the Reds' closer, posting a 1.51 ERA and 15.3 K/9 in seventy-one and two-thirds innings and locking down thirty-eight saves. Much of Chapman's success this season was derived from lowering his walk rate tremendously, from 7.4 free passes per nine in 2011 to just 2.9 per nine this year.