There is one week until opening day and who is going to be the Reds’ fifth starter? Travis Wood, Mike Leake, or Aroldis Chapman. All three have pitched very well this spring training and have caught the eyes of the Reds staff.
All three were considered longshots to make the big league squad at the start of spring training but have eliminated the rest of the contenders.
I would like to see Travis Wood start the season with Leake and Chapman in Louisville. Chapman for contract reasons and Leake to get some seasoning. Wood is also a lefty and would bring that dimension to the Reds.
If Chapman stays in the minors until May 15th, the Reds get him for 3 extra years at a cut rate salary. If he pitches in the majors before then, he is arbitration eligible and would cost the Reds money.
With all of the off days in the early season, the fifth starter isn’t that important anyway. Let Wood start and if he falters bring up the phenom Chapman.