Originally written on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 11/10/14
Cincinnati-reds-louis
Pitchers like Aroldis Chapman don’t pop up very often. The guy has a fastball that averages 98 mph, something that only one other pitcher did last year (Andrew Cashner, anyone?). He made significant strides in his second season in Cincy, dropping his walk rate under 3.00 BB/9 and turning what was a serious weakness in 2011 into a major strength. In fact, Chapman’s 5.30 K:BB ratio was good for 11th among the 325 pitchers who tossed at least 50 innings last year, and among that group his 2.89 BB/9 could actually be considered high. As for 2013, the question becomes, “How will Chapman’s stuff translate to the rotation?” Admittedly, I have my concerns. Last year we saw two big-name relievers begin the transition to the rotation (Chris Sale, Daniel Bard) and they went in vastly different directions. Sale was built to become a starter, mixing four pitches even when he worked out of the bullpen. Bard was just a two-pitch reliever, and when he tried to get through lineups a second or third ...
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