The Silly Season for Chapman


And when I say silly, I could say stupid. Or sick. Or whatever “new” adjective that actually has a reference to “astounding”. It has been that kind of year for the lefty from Cuba. A season that makes it difficult to produce certain verbiage.

This is a piggyback off the post from John Fay when he asks those of us that want to see Aroldis Chapman as a starter should still be moved to the starting rotation. I am a member of that group. Quickly. That’s why he was signed. That’s what you brought him to Cincy to do.

Although it’s hard to argue that Chapman is without question the best closer in all of baseball. The closest to his plane right now is Craig Kimbrel of Atlanta. They are the only two legit shutdown closers in the game. Look at all the other potential playoff teams and who closes for them.

Now look at some numbers Chapman has produced this season.

The Cuban Missile was selected by the players as a member of the National League All-Star team. Upon the All-Star break, he was 4-4 with an ERA of 1.83 and WHIP of 0.74. He was 11 for 15 in save opportunities, and opponents were batting a buck and a quarter (.125) off of him. The record and save percentage (73%) weren’t impressive, but other numbers were staggering.

Since the All-Star Game, where Chapman’s talent was on display for others to enjoy, the numbers in some respects are even better, even more staggering. How does 1-0, 0.40 ERA, 20 for 20 in save opportunities sound? That’s where he is right now.

But it’s not that alone. Look at situational hitting. It makes no difference when you bat against him, odds are still in his favor as he still posts a BAA under .200. For no outs, batters have posted a BAA of .130. One out, that “improves” to .164. And if there are two outs, you might as well head back to the dugout as the BAA is .122.

Do righties have an advantage since Chapman is a lefty hurler? They do if you think a .154 BAA for righties and a BAA of .104 versus lefties is a real advantage. Fifty points is fifty points, but you “raise” it fifty points to .154? That’s an advantage? As they say, there’s a chance. I guess…

And you hear about the strikeouts. So far this season, Chapman has 112 strikeouts in 62 innings. Not bad at all, but look at this. At the All-Star break, Chappy had 71 whiffs and 12 walks, a 5.92 SO/BB ratio. Since the ASG, Chapman has 41 strikeouts…with 3 walks. You read that correctly. His SO/BB since the ASG is 13.67. Wrap your head around that if at all possible.

The most mind-boggling stat is courtesy of a Twitter conversation between our own John Heitz and former BRM scribe Kerry Moss. After last night’s outing, Chapman has 31 saves. He has allowed 30 hits. Even being hit with the barrel of a broken bat can’t deter him.

Dominant? No question. Should Chapman be moved back into a starters role for 2012? Didn’t want him there to begin the season, but it’s extremely hard to argue he should be starting with the numbers he owns.