Reds Notes: Chapman, Harang, Arroyo, Owings

Mark Sheldon of answered some Reds-related questions from fans in a mailbag today.  Here are a few of the more intriguing items….

  • With Aroldis Chapman looking like he might make the Cincinnati staff, a reader wondered how this quick entry into the majors might affect the six-year, $30.25MM deal Chapman signed in January.  Sheldon says that if the young hurler is eligible for arbitration after 2012, then the final three years of his contract would be voided and part of his remaining salary is converted into a bonus.  Sheldon notes that the Reds would still control Chapman for at least the full six years of the initial contract.
  • Chapman is one of several young pitchers whose 2010 performance may dictate what the Reds do with the options of Bronson Arroyo and Aaron Harang, Sheldon writes.  Cincinnati has $2MM buyouts on both Arroyo and Harang, but if the club chooses to bring one or both pitchers back, Arroyo will be owed at least $11MM and Harang will be owed at least $12.75MM.  (Both options could be worth as much as $13MM based based on innings pitched.)  If the youngsters step up, the Reds might be comfortable in letting both veterans go.
  • Sheldon says Micah Owings' primary value is still as a pitcher, and his strong pinch-hitting is just a bonus.  But Sheldon notes that since Mike Lincoln is out of options and on a guaranteed contract, he may squeeze Owings out of a bullpen spot.

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5 Comments on "Reds Notes: Chapman, Harang, Arroyo, Owings"

5 years 4 months ago

I think it would be good for Chapman to head down to the minors for a month or so, just to get settled a bit. I know he is having a very nice ST but that being said it’s still ST. As for Harang and Arroyo, unless they have huge years I think it would be wise to decline both options and maybe try to sign them at a lower price, if that doesn’t work then the Reds should look to options on the open market.

5 years 4 months ago

As far as Chapman goes, I think he should be sent to the Minors for the following reasons;

1) to keep him away from Toothpick Baker as LONG as possible.

2) to delay the Arb clock from starting and to save the Reds millions of dollars.

3) to give him some experience against Minor Leaguers to see if he can handle those guys.

4) to give the Reds a boost in attendance in May when the team is under .500 and fans are starting to look towards football season (just like they did with Homer Bailey and Jay Bruce).

And something which has NOT been discussed yet

5) To give him some experience pitching in COLD and WET weather.

In Cuba, Chapman pitched in warm weather all the time and still had problems with his control. When he was introduced to the media early this year, there was snow on the ground and he said THAT was the first time he had EVER seen snow in person.

Now, he is pitching in Arizona where it is warm and dry (and he is having some back stiffness). So, with his history of control problems and now a stiff back, what do you think is going to happen when he is pitching in Cincinnati, Chicago, Pittsburgh or New York and it is 40 degrees, drizzling, the wind is blowing, his fingers are numb and tingling and the mound is slippery? Do you think he MIGHT have a problem getting a grip on the ball? Do you think his pitches MIGHT not be very accurate?

I do.

Some might say that Volquez and Cueto are also young and from countries with warm weather BUT the problem with that statement is that after they were signed, they spent some years pitching in the Minors in the US so they HAD to experience some cold, wet weather during those years. Because of that, they have some experience with those types of conditions and kind of know what to do.

Chapman does NOT.

So, I can just see Chapman making the team out of Spring Training and pitching on a cold, wet day (where he doesn’t really know how to handle the weather) and he either slips and blows out a knee or hamstring or he doesn’t warm up enough and pops an elbow ligament.

Then, just like Volquez, it is bye-bye for a year or so on the DL.

5 years 4 months ago

As far as Harang and Arroyo go, I think the Reds should keep at least one of them after this year. Why? Because as talented as Volquez, Cueto, Bailey, Chapman, Leake, Wood and Maloney MIGHT be, none of them have EVER thrown 200+ Innings in a season at the Major League level.

It might very well be that ALL of these young guys are only, at most, six or seven Inning pitchers. If that is the case, then having all of them in the starting rotation (where, at times, they throw 110 pitches just to get through four Innings) is going to wear the Bull Pen out by August.

So, if the Reds think they are gearing up for a Post Season run in 2011, they are going to NEED a PROVEN Innings eater to go along with the young guys.

5 years 4 months ago

I would like to see Aroldis sent down for a short amount of time, at least long enough to cover the first month or so of the season where the Reds will sparingly use the 5th starter, anyway. Let’s get him as many games in the minors in that span as possible.

Judging by his appearance on FSN Ohio the other day against the Rockies, it looks like he definitely has major league stuff (struck out Tulowitzki on 3 pitches, finished his 1-2-3 inning in 8 pitches) but still needs to work on his control and his confidence (he was obviously rattled the next inning when he gave up a leadoff hit.. couldn’t seem to find the plate afterwards, especially after the Sutton error on a potential inning-ending double play.. 39 pitches in that inning, left in the middle of pitching to the last batter with a precautionary injury)

5 years 4 months ago

Also, I would keep Lincoln on a short leash. He has never been particularly impressive since his good start with the Reds a couple of years ago, and if their best excuse for leaving him on the roster instead of a better young pitcher is “he’s out of options and his contract is guaranteed”, then it’s time to let him go.