Originally written on Three-Way Chili  |  Last updated 5/21/12

Something had to give eventually.

No one as good as Aroldis Chapman -- or as high-paid -- remains as a set-up man out of the bullpen for long. Chapman was either destined for a spot in the starting rotation (which was my guess) or the closer's role.

Well, 28 months after the Cuban defector signed with the Reds, we have our answer, at least for now: Chapman will be Cincinnati's closer.

The 6-foot-4, 196-pound flamethrower picked up his first career save in the Reds' 5-2 win over the host New York Yankees on Sunday. That victory pushed the Reds' record to 21-19 at roughly the one-quarter mark of the season, and they now trail the St. Louis Cardinals (22-19) by just 0.5 games for first-place in the NL Central. The fact that the Reds went on a tough road trip that included two games against the Braves, two against the Mets and three against the Yankees -- and emerged with a 5-4 record, including a series win over the Bronx Bombers -- was impressive.

Anyway, let's not get away from the news of the week here. Chapman as a closer is going to be fun to watch. There will be nervous moments as he's sure to have a few off nights where he struggles with control. However, thus far this season, Chapman has showcased surprisingly-great command. He's walked just seven in 22.1 innings. That would be solid for any pitcher. But when it's someone who also has 39 strikeouts and has only given up seven hits and zero earned runs (one unearned run), it becomes amazing.

Chapman is already the third pitcher to be slotted as the Reds' closer this season. Ryan Madson was signed as a free agent to lock down the role. However, Tommy John surgery during spring training ended that idea quickly. Then left-handed set-up specialist Sean Marshall was forced into the role. I firmly believe Marshall is an outstanding reliever (not good, but outstanding), however, he's not a closer. He wasn't horrible in that role with seven saves in eight attempts, but two other times he had to be bailed out in the ninth inning (by Logan Ondrusek and Jose Arredondo, respectively). So, in all actuality, Marshall was 7-of-10 in save situations.

Therefore, the decision was made while in New York to make the change to Chapman and I think it was the right move. There's no question it's going to be interesting to see how he performs in the role. If he's able to solidify it, the Reds will have one of the best bullpens in baseball all season with Marshall and Ondrusek as top-shelf set-up men, Arredondo looking good as a mid/late-inning guy, landing JJ Hoover from the Braves in exchange for Juan Francisco appears to have been a shrewd move and Sam LeCure is a nice guy to have in the long-reliever role.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Former USC linebacker suing school over insurance policy

Report: Fred Jackson expected to sign with Seahawks

Adrian Peterson accused of fathering another child out of wedlock

Robert Griffin III liked fan’s Instagram post trashing Redskins

Report: Tom Brady may have been ‘open’ to one-game suspension

Fenway Park staff reportedly confiscating Don Orsillo signs


Clippers’ owner Steve Ballmer betting on himself

Titans' Marcus Mariota: ‘Statistics don’t matter to me’

Raiders cut Trent Richardson

FSU names Everett Golson starting QB for 2015

UCLA's Adams arrested for suspicion of felony robbery

AJ Green heading for contract stalemate with Bengals?

Do the Washington Nationals need to fire Matt Williams?

Most surprising developments from 2015 NFL preseason

Herschel Walker supports Trump’s candidacy for president

WATCH: Kevin Kiermaier robs Manny Machado home run shot

Four most surprising roster cuts from NFL teams

Caroline Wozniacki smoking on cover of ‘Rhapsody’ magazine

Could Robert Griffin III be the NFL’s next Steve Young?

Spurrier: SEC fans right to be upset with Ohio State's schedule

Report: 'Deranged' fan shot outside WWE building

Report: Brady convinced Harbaugh to return to Michigan

Ronda Rousey gets Venice mural from artist Jonas Never

Redskins TE wants to know who's leaking stories to ESPN

WWE superstar's girlfriend fired over Nazi Instagram posts

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

Four most surprising roster cuts from NFL teams

Raiders cut Trent Richardson

Caroline Wozniacki smoking cover of ‘Rhapsody’

Everett Golson named FSU's starting QB

Urban Meyer won't announce QB before season

Teammates relieved RG3 was benched?

Five NFL teams that should trade for Robert Griffin III

10 takeaways from Week 3 of the NFL preseason

Cubs' Jake Arrieta no-hits the Dodgers

Chicago Bears release Tim Jennings

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker