Originally written on The Platoon Advantage  |  Last updated 11/19/14
Aroldis Chapman is a starter. A starting pitcher. A pitcher who will pitch in the first inning of baseball games. Rejoice and celebrate, right? Hoorah! Hooray! Hoorak! Five cheers! Well. The problem is that we're all a little gunshy. Daniel Bard blew up for the Red Sox and then didn't even pitch well out of the bullpen in Triple-A. Neftali Feliz went under the knife. Chris Sale and Jeff Samardzija ... well, actually, those went fine. Sale was a Cy Young candidate and Samardzija posted a 4.07 RA/9 (the NL scored 4.22 runs per game). But it's Bard and Feliz who I think remain foremost in the minds of many, myself included. And given the stellar numbers put up by Chapman as a reliever in 2012 (122 whiffs, 23 walks, four homers allowed in 71 2/3 innings -- that's an FIP of 1.59, which is so low that you'd think maybe it breaks the system, except Chapman's ERA was 1.51, so ...), you'd be forgiven for wondering why the Reds can't just leave well enough alone and let Chapman keep dominating out the 'pen. After all, Baseball Prospectus's WARP is as unfriendly to relief pitchers as any system (it doesn't include a leverage component, for instance), but Chapman racked up 2.4 WARP in his innings this year, tied for first on his team with Homer Bailey. "But if you double or triple his innings, you could double or triple his value!" Maybe. Probably not, though. Pitchers pitch worse out of the rotation than they do from the bullpen, and for what should be obvious reasons -- they have to save something for their 90th pitch, their seventh inning, their third time facing a batter. They get tired. They get up and sit down a lot. In the National League, they bat. Also, while BP's WARP does not include leverage, a team can pick a reliever's spots and assign him tougher, more important innings. A starter just starts and pitches as long as he can and that's it, even if it's 10-0. I've covered this ground before, and I don't just want to rehash things I've written elsewhere, so I'll just note that, given these general concerns about any pitcher moving to the rotation, and with the fact that there will be an innings limit, I'm in cautious optimism mode about Chapman starting rather than full-on put-your-damn-hands-up happiness. There's irrationality to this, of course. Bard and Feliz don't change Chapman's odds of success. They don't really even add information that we didn't already know -- pitchers get hurt and pitchers fail, especially pitchers who don't have enough depth in their arsenal to be rotation men. (If I remember right, Keith Law was concerned all along about Bard in that regard.) All they do is highlight the issue. They're like the car accident you saw last week on your way to work. You just have to note it, learn what you can, and move on. It doesn't change a thing. Hoorooh! Hoor! Yay!

Panthers coach replaces break-in victims’ Christmas presents

Cardinals Bruce Arians benches Logan Thomas on Christmas Day

Richard Sherman: Marshawn Lynch having MVP season

Curt Schilling tweeted advice to Johnny Manziel

Aaron Rodgers buys TVs for Packers teammates

Harbaugh smiled when asked about Michigan's bday tweet


Jackie Robinson West Little League accused of cheating

Police: Fire that burned down McClain's home 'suspicious'

Furniture store will refund purchases if OSU wins title

What each NFC team in the hunt should ask for from Santa

Is SI ashamed to mention Jameis Winston on its cover?

Kobe Bryant disappointed Lakers didn't get Rajon Rondo

Q&A with Rich Eisen; TNF, DirecTV and living in LA

Is the NFL playoff system heading south?

WATCH: Quincy Acy ejected for throwing punch at John Wall

Billy Beane did not want to trade Josh Donaldson

Peyton Manning plans to be back with Broncos next year

WATCH: Blazers announcer botches Damian Lillard call

WATCH: P.K. Subban disguises himself, surprises kids for Xmas

Baseball cards: a fan's love for the ultimate stocking stuffer

Packers game is a career defining moment for Stafford

A look inside Jason Grilli's contract with the Braves

10 Week 17 NFL matchups that will impact the playoffs

WATCH: Bahamas Bowl ends on insane Hail Mary play

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Q&A with Rich Eisen; TNF, DirecTV and living in LA

Dan Le Batard sums up Miami's relationship with LeBron

Is the NFL playoff system heading south?

WATCH: Announcer botches call

Police: McClain fire 'suspicious'

10 Week 17 NFL matchups that will impact the playoffs

Bahamas Bowl ends on crazy Hail Mary

49ers OT Davis takes shot at coordinator

Will FIFA ever care to change?

Top storyline for each Week 17 game

40 great Christmas-related sports names

Nick Mangold and dealing with feelings as a sports fan

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.