Dusty Baker Continues to Misuse Aroldis Chapman

Dusty Baker isn’t known for being a smart manager when it comes to managing his pitching staff. If anyone recalls 2003, Dusty Baker was solely responsible for the Chicago Cubs collapse by misusing his bullpen. Regardless, Baker hasn’t learned. Aroldis Chapman has one of the best arms in the history of the game. A case will and will continue to be made for Chapman going into the rotation, something I can’t really disagree on. Do I think he’s a longterm starter? Probably not without a 3rd pitch, but that’s neither here nor there. When you have the slider/fastball combo that Chapman has, he deserves the shot. The next issue I have is Chapman isn’t even closing! I mean really? Who would want to face this guy in the 9th inning? Throwing 103 mph with a 93 mph slider? Yeah- I’ll pass, and so will many.

So what exactly is Dusty Baker’s problem? He keeps saying stupid things like “I need another left handed reliever in my bullpen.” Yeah great Dusty- that’s why the Reds won’t win, you continue to be a bad manager.

I don’t get it, and I don’t think I’ll ever get it. You pay a guy major money to be a middle reliever? Do the Reds not know that they’ve wasted a full year with Chapman, and are planning on making it two? I don’t think he’s going to be resigning in Cincy if that continues to happen, because his contract is up in 2 short years.

The good news is, there is a ton of time to fix the problem. The question I have is simply: will Dusty fix it? Speaking as a Cubs fan that saw Dusty do some ridiculous things, I wouldn’t hold my breath as a Reds fan. Who knows- people can change I suppose.

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  • James

    I read a lot of analysis like this one, where it’s clear the writer isn’t very well informed about the team-specific issues surrounding a particular choice. For example, the yearlong loss of Ryan Madson, as well as an injury to setup man Nick Masset, decimated the bullpen. This is one reason why Chapman is in the bullpen. They needed a late-inning hammer, and he’s been one: he has half the Reds’ wins so far.

    Also, there are issues with the rotation that this writer did not take into account. For example, Bronson Arroyo’s big contract assures him a place in the rotation despite a sub par 2011. Also, Homer bailey is out of options and takes too long to warm up to be an effective reliever. Despite his sub par spring, Bailey was going to either make the rotation or be exposed to waivers, where another team would have snatched him away. So even though Chapman should be a reliever, there are exigent circumstances that have nothing to do with Dusty Baker’s competence or incompetence that drove Chapman into the bullpen–for now. It’s not to say that criticism of Baker isn’t sometimes warranted, but this is not one of those cases.

  • http://aol judy

    im happy someone agree with me.baker will bring down the reds like he did the cubs

  • gilgerard

    James,

    “For example, the yearlong loss of Ryan Madson, as well as an injury to setup man Nick Masset, decimated the bullpen. This is one reason why Chapman is in the bullpen. They needed a late-inning hammer, and he’s been one: he has half the Reds’ wins so far.”

    Then why isn’t he at least closing? Sean Marshall is more effective in the role he was in with the Cubs, than he is as a 9th inning stopper. I would concede the loss of Madson/Masset hurts, but it doesn’t change the argument.

    “Also, there are issues with the rotation that this writer did not take into account. For example, Bronson Arroyo’s big contract assures him a place in the rotation despite a sub par 2011.”

    This speaks for itself, and a main reason why the Reds won’t win. Playing politics in sports is laughable, and it’s not jsut the reds- but the majority of sports team do so. Chapmen is better than half your rotation, but not there because 2 spots are taken by guys that shouldn’t be there. Yeah- I did take that into account. The analysis behind that is “Dusty Baker sucks.”

    Regardless, you don’t pay middle relievers the money Chapman is making- and it’s up to Baker to utilize that correctly- which he’s not.