Found March 26, 2012 on

Aroldis Chapman may be headed back to the Cincinnati Reds’ bullpen following the loss of closer Ryan Madson, who underwent season ending Tommy John surgery last week. Madson signed a one year deal with the Reds this offseason to serve as the team’s closer, but he will not get the opportunity to make an appearance in even one regular season game for Cincinnati in 2012.

That means that the Reds will likely remain within the organization to select a new closer for the upcoming 2012 MLB season.

Chapman was slated to serve as a starting pitcher in the Reds’ rotation this season, but that may not happen. The plan has always been to stretch him out as a starter, according to general manager Walt Jocketty. But manager Dusty Baker has always wanted to keep Chapman in his bullpen. Either way, Chapman would still be the unlikely choice to close out games for the Reds this season, meaning the team could hand over the reins to another player they acquired this past offseason.

The Reds made a trade with fellow National League Central rivals, the Chicago Cubs, for Sean Marshall, who has been one of the best relievers in all of baseball over the past couple of seasons. Granted, he has served as a set-up relief pitcher, and becoming a closer does not always transition as well. Although it did work out well for Madson last season with the Philadelphia Phillies, who was promoted as set-up man to closer in the absence of injured incumbent closer, Brad Lidge.

Marshall was signed to a lucrative three year contract extension worth $16.5 million to serve as the set-up man for Madson, but he may be counted on as the closer now. In all likelihood, that would leave Chapman to serve as Marshall’s set-up man in the late innings.

If that scenario does not play out well for the Reds, who fully expect to contend for a division crown in 2012, the team could consider going with a closer-by-committee approach also involving Nick Masset, or go out and make a trade with another team as the season progresses.




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