A Revelation in Relief, Aroldis Chapman Will Join Reds Bullpen in September
Reds general manager Walt Jocketty, who reiterated Tuesday that Chapman will be called up to join the Reds bullpen around Sept. 1, said the Cuban left-hander has been a revelation as a reliever at Triple-A.
"He really excelled once we put him in the bullpen and really shortened his game up," Jocketty told FanHouse. "He's coming in right now and really blowing people away. He's embraced the role. He really likes it."
Chapman had a 4.11 ERA as a starter at Louisville, and he had walked 40, compared with 76 strikeouts. Since going to the bullpen, Chapman has a 2.48 ERA. He has 46 strikeouts and 12 walks in 29 innings.
"He'll be another weapon out of our bullpen," Jocketty said. "This time of year guys get a little tired, and this would be another fresh arm out of the bullpen."
Jocketty didn't say exactly what day Chapman would be promoted, but he said he'd "probably" be up by the time the Reds get to St. Louis for a showdown series on Sept. 3. On Sept. 1, the first day of expanded rosters, the Reds play the final game of a homestand. They are off Sept. 2.
Although the Reds see Chapman as a bullpen weapon in the short-term, Jocketty said he'll be a starter again next spring. He said he doesn't believe Chapman's repertoire plays better as a reliever, just that the role worked better for him in his first time through pro baseball.
"I think it's just him getting acclimated," Jocketty said. "Next year we'll put him back in the rotation. With this year being such a big change, it simplified things, using him out of the bullpen, making the baseball side of it real simple."