Found November 29, 2012 on
When the Washington National placed Stephen Strasburg on an innings limit prior to the 2012 MLB season, not too many people paid that close attention to what effect the decision could have toward the end of the season. After all, the Nationals had never made the playoffs, so although they made a few nice offseason moves, few expected them to compete in the stacked National League East.
You all know how the story ended. Strasburg had a great season, hit his innings limit and was shut down for the rest of the year. The Nationals reached the playoffs and earned the No. 1 seed, only to be eliminated in five excruciatingly close games. Had Strasburg pitched even one game, we could have had quite the different outcome in this past MLB postseason.
Now comes word that with the Cincinnati Reds signing Jonathan Broxton to serve as their closer in 2013, Aroldis Chapman is finally going to move into the starting rotation. Granted, that was the intent last season with the acquisition of Ryan Madson, but he couldn’t stay healthy and Sean Marshall couldn’t get the job done late in games. Chapman was the closer, and he was dominant.
But now, he will go from the back end of the bullpen toward the front end of the rotation in Cincinnati. We all know what that means for a young fireballer such as Chapman.
Chapman will be on an innings limit for the 2013 MLB season. What that number may be has yet to be determined, but considering he only threw just over 71 innings in 2012, you can expect that he will not go much more than double that amount in 2013. Somewhere in the 150 innings range sounds about right for Chapman in 2013.
What this will mean in terms of how the Reds will proceed with Chapman throughout the season remains to be seen. Will they start him Opening Week and simply let him pitch his certain amount of innings and then shut him down before the playoffs, provided the Reds do indeed get back into the postseason? Or will they start him in the minors to stretch out his arm, letting him only pitch two to three innings to start out, both lengthening his endurance while also limiting his innings?
Those plans are all being formulated as we speak. Unfortunately, this has all the makings to be a controversial decision throughout 2013 in Cincinnati.
Just ask the folks in Washington what they went through in 2012.
The post MLB Rumors: Will Reds Face Same Dilemma With Aroldis Chapman In 2013 As Nationals Did With Stephen Strasburg In 2012? appeared first on Hardball Chat Baseball Blog.
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