Originally written on The Platoon Advantage  |  Last updated 11/29/12
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!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

David Ortiz brushes aside talk of being 'washed up'

USA Women’s World Cup roster verdict: No excuse not to win

UCF had no idea UConn was creating a rivalry trophy

Cam Newton signs five-year, $103M extension with Panthers

Devils introduce new head coach John Hynes


Report: Heat could make a run at Kevin Durant

Goodell denies request to recuse himself from Brady appeal

Dan Marino: Brady one of best QBs ever despite Deflategate

Sepp Blatter stepping down as FIFA president

Cameron Jordan, New Orleans Saints agree to five-year deal

Steve Williams: 'There's no chance' Tiger Woods did PEDs

McCoy not happy Perryman played dodgeball while injured

College football playoff schedule for 2015: New Year's Eve?

Texas Rangers promote top prospect Joey Gallo

How the Chicago Blackhawks are thriving in salary cap era

Report: Klay Thompson cleared for Game 1 of NBA Finals

Pettine views latest Manziel incident as a ‘non-story’

Nationals need Taylor to produce in Werth’s absence

UAB football's return great, but bad publicity will last forever

What Adrian Peterson's return means for the Vikings

2015 Stanley Cup Final preview: Blackhawks vs. Lightning

Umenyiora, wife Leila Lopes respond to cheating allegations

Would Cavs winning title impact Love's impending free agency?

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.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

USA Women’s World Cup: No excuse not to win

Projecting rosters for the 2015 MLB All-Star Game

What Peterson's return means

The Bulls and the culture of fitting in

X-factors for Cavs and Warriors

Pujols: Angels not 'Mike Trout show'

Adrian Peterson returns to Vikings

Chicago Bulls agree to deal with Fred Hoiberg

NBA should have 'legacy contracts' for long-time players

Atlanta Hawks unveil new logo

UAB fans celebrate football reinstatement

Sanchez backs off dismissal of Tebow

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.