When Should The Reds Call Up Chapman?

In the past week, we've taken looks at when the Rangers should call up Justin Smoak and when the Indians should call on Carlos Santana to take over behind the dish. In both of these cases, we looked at teams with glaring holes on their major league club and hot prospects in the wings, so let's look at another.

The Reds entered today's contest with a 6.55 ERA from their rotation, second-worst in all of baseball to Pittsburgh. As a group, they're allowing 4.01 walks per nine innings, and opposing hitters are batting .292 against them. It's no secret that they've got a fireballing lefty at Triple-A Louisville in Aroldis Chapman. While control has been an issue through his first three starts (10 BB through 15 innings), he's managed to strike out 18 batters and allowed just nine hits and one earned run.

Unfortunately for Cincinnati, working Chapman into the rotation may be difficult. Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo are making $12.5MM and $11MM, respectively. Homer Bailey is out of options. It's possible to option Johnny Cueto back to Triple-A, but despite his 5.73 ERA on the season, he's actually been their second-best starter. Mike Leake, their fifth starter, is the only one of the bunch who has shown any success this season.

The Reds emerged seemingly from nowhere to sign the 21-year-old Chapman to a six-year, $30.25MM deal this offseason. While some originally thought that he wouldn't be a part of the club's plans early in 2010 (or perhaps even at all), his impressive spring vaulted him into consideration for the rotation. Leake eventually won the battle, but the Reds need an improvement in their starting pitching. They've managed eight wins, but that trend simply can't keep up if the current lack of production from their rotation continues.

It's a slow day, so let's leave it open to discussion. Should the Reds call up Chapman any time soon, and if so, how should they go about it? A trade of Harang or Arroyo could be difficult to facilitate. We've seen both Carlos Zambrano and Jeff Suppan moved to the bullpen this week; could the Reds continue the trend with Harang? Or is Cincinnati better off letting Chapman develop his control more in Louisville, while waiting for their starters to right the ship?


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40 Comments on "When Should The Reds Call Up Chapman?"


5 years 3 months ago

Who cares. Dusty Baker will blow out his arm like he did with Kerry Wood, Mark Prior, Edinson Volquez and will do with Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake.

rapt00r
5 years 3 months ago

I was going to say the same thing but you beat me to it.

Ferrariman
5 years 3 months ago

don’t forget homer bailey, although their might not be much to blow out their.

monroe_says
monroe_says
5 years 3 months ago

And let’s not forget Aaron Harang. Baker destroyed him. (see May 25, 2008 San Diego)

monroe_says
monroe_says
5 years 3 months ago

And let’s not forget Aaron Harang. Baker destroyed him. (see May 25, 2008 San Diego)

Encarnacion's Parrot
5 years 3 months ago

Well, comparing the Reds to the Cards they have little chance to win the division as line-ups stand. True they’re only 3GB, but it’s still only April. If by some miracle the Reds are still hanging around in 4-5 weeks, then you can fully assess the current rotation and whether to call Chapman up. Right now, I can’t expect the Reds to even compete for the NL Wild Card this year.

As Kamran said, Baker blows guys’ arms out so Chapman will probably be called up via injury.

shockey12
5 years 3 months ago

With lyle overbay doing completely terrible for the jays so far this year and Brett Wallace tearing it up in AAA you have to wonder how much longer until he gets called up (another Smoak/Davis scenario?) next article maybe?

Yankees420
5 years 3 months ago

The Jays are probably trying to avoid Super 2 status with Wallace, they know that they aren’t making the playoff this year, so might as well make Wallace a cheaper player to have when they can compete in a couple of years.

Keith Y
5 years 3 months ago

call him up
they didnt give him all that money to light up the minors

5 years 3 months ago

Ya, that makes sense since they signed him to a six year contract, not a 30/1 year contract.

See Texas Rangers pitcher David Clyde.

Suzysman
5 years 3 months ago

“See Texas Rangers pitcher David Clyde”

Million dollar arm, ten cent development crash-course – fantastic reference!

redsandyanksfan
5 years 3 months ago

Move harang to the bullpen or trade him flat out im done with the guy , reds front office and fans have kept saying this is his bounce back year and it doesnt look like it.Call up chapman or Wood. It would be way and i mean way more exciting watching either one of those two then harang get lit up every time he pitches

Ferrariman
5 years 3 months ago

keep him in the minors as long as you can. and what i mean by that is, keep him in the minors until the reds fire dusty baker so he can’t blow chapman’s arm up.

5 years 3 months ago

Well said

bjsguess
5 years 3 months ago

Reds are not likely to compete this year. Delaying his callup another month or two to prevent him from being a Super 2 seems prudent. Will 4-6 starts really make a material difference to the Reds in ’10?

Ferrariman
5 years 3 months ago

his salary is already set. no need to really worry about the super 2 stuff. maybe hold him another week so they get an extra year of service time, but they don’t have to wait till midseason.

Yankees420
5 years 3 months ago

Like what1233456 stated, his salary is not set, and another thing is that the Reds could call him up now and still get the extra year of control, now it’s all about making him more cost controlled.

ctownboy
5 years 3 months ago

The Reds will do with Chapman EXACTLY what they did with Homer Bailey and Jay Bruce; they will wait until mid to late May, when they are 7 to 10 Games under .500 and near the bottom of the NL Central standings and call Chapman up to hype him and to get a boost in attendance.

Just like Bailey and Bruce, Chapman wont be ready. He will give a boost to attendance and the Reds PR Department will go into overdrive but he will get lit up and Toothpick will get to work on tearing his arm up.

After four Starts, Chapman will be sent back down and the Reds will continue in the doldrums until the trade deadline when some high priced veterans will be shipped out so that Ca$htellini can eke out a small profit for 2010.

AB
5 years 3 months ago

You absolutely nailed it, and it makes me sick.

AB
5 years 3 months ago

You absolutely nailed it, and it makes me sick.

5 years 3 months ago

trade him for strasburg!

Suzysman
5 years 3 months ago

I say it shouldn’t be until after Maloney, and probably even Wood. Those two deserve a shot as well, and it isn’t going to hurt Chapman one bit to see a season in the minors.

They already know Chapman will probably be a part of their 2011 and beyond rotation, seems more important to find out who is going to be there with him. Give Maloney and/or Wood their chance now while Chapman develops and adjusts a bit.

Yankees420
5 years 3 months ago

I concur.

bigpat
5 years 3 months ago

I think they should bring him up pretty soon. They gave him a big contract for a young player, and his control looks pretty good in the minors so far. Their rotation is terrible right now, they don’t have much to lose.

I honestly think they should just trade Harang for anything they can get. Reds fans must be so sick of this guy. Every year it’s the same crap. He’s having bad luck, he’ll bounce back soon, but he never does. He was a good pitcher for a while but he just isn’t cutting it anymore and needs a change of scenery, maybe a ballpark that will help him control those massive home run numbers.

Yankees420
5 years 3 months ago

Chapman’s control is what he needs to work on, as posted above he has 10BB in 15IP, he needs to stay in the minors and work on it. As for what the Reds have to lose the answer would be money if he becomes Super 2 and more money if they rush this kid up and he doesn’t develop properly.

rockiesfan_303
5 years 3 months ago

Trade Harang or Arroyo, and call him up.

5 years 3 months ago

Good luck trading one of those guys.

redsandyanksfan
5 years 3 months ago

how about both? :p

5 years 3 months ago

the thing is zambrano has the best stuff to fit in the pen. the other guys dont really have great stuff which is what you usually want in the pen

jb226
5 years 3 months ago

He does have the best stuff, but I’m honestly not sure if Zambrano could throw the ball over the plate if you asked him to. Batters have no idea where his pitches are going to end up, but neither does he.

The last thing the Cubs need out in the bullpen is another reliever who is going to walk or bean 2 batters per appearance. If he can manage to throw strikes, there’s no reason he can’t be effective. If not… hoo boy.

jb226
5 years 3 months ago

He does have the best stuff, but I’m honestly not sure if Zambrano could throw the ball over the plate if you asked him to. Batters have no idea where his pitches are going to end up, but neither does he.

The last thing the Cubs need out in the bullpen is another reliever who is going to walk or bean 2 batters per appearance. If he can manage to throw strikes, there’s no reason he can’t be effective. If not… hoo boy.

ZeroZeroZero
5 years 3 months ago

It has to be close to start calling Homer Bailey a bust. As much promise as he had, I just dont see him being an effective MLB starter.

5 years 3 months ago

Were you asleep for the last two months of the season last year? For that period, he was the best starter in baseball. Oh yeah, and he is 23 years old. Bailey will be fine. This isn’t the same story as it was last year. This time he has probed that he can be a TOR starter at the ML level.

5 years 3 months ago

Were you asleep for the last two months of the season last year? For that period, he was the best starter in baseball. Oh yeah, and he is 23 years old. Bailey will be fine. This isn’t the same story as it was last year. This time he has probed that he can be a TOR starter at the ML level.

bomberj11
5 years 3 months ago

“When Should the Reds Call Up Chapman?” When they feel like it, gosh.

5 years 3 months ago

I was just about to say the same thing.

Trious
5 years 3 months ago

Whenever the number is reached where the Reds can keep him an extra year w/o arbitration

Why bring him up now? Will they make the playoffs b/c of him? No way….so wait…what do you have to lose?

blearg
5 years 3 months ago

I was awake the last two months of the season last year. While I was awake, I saw Homer go 6-1 in his last nine starts. Of course, because I was awake, I know that four of those six wins came against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the team with the second worst offense in the NL. What we learned from those two months is that Homer is pretty good against AAA-caliber talent, but we already knew that from his starts in AAA.

Homer, who turns 24 next week, has accumulated 210 MLB innings with a 5.60 ERA and lousy hit, walk and strikeout rates. He had a good nine game run, primarily dominating the league’s perennially worst team. The rest of his career, including four starts this year, don’t look anything like a successful Major League starter.

blearg
5 years 3 months ago

I was awake the last two months of the season last year. While I was awake, I saw Homer go 6-1 in his last nine starts. Of course, because I was awake, I know that four of those six wins came against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the team with the second worst offense in the NL. What we learned from those two months is that Homer is pretty good against AAA-caliber talent, but we already knew that from his starts in AAA.

Homer, who turns 24 next week, has accumulated 210 MLB innings with a 5.60 ERA and lousy hit, walk and strikeout rates. He had a good nine game run, primarily dominating the league’s perennially worst team. The rest of his career, including four starts this year, don’t look anything like a successful Major League starter.

chrissabometrics
5 years 3 months ago

Wow, certainly are a lot of whiners on this board. Look, as a Reds fan, I’m realistic about their potential this year, and yes, their starting rotation outside of Leake has been terrible, but come on folks, its April, and last I checked the rest of the NL wasn’t exactly looking like the roughest competition out there. Give the season at least thirty games before we start flushing everything down the toilet. Chapman being called up can wait as far as I’m concerned. He’s gotta work on his control and develop as much as possible. Harang and Arroyo won’t be moving from the starting rotation any time soon, and Bailey, Cueto and Leake are obviously going to be mainstays for quite some time (by the way, anyone who is calling Bailey a bust is out of their mind, he’s pitched well enough this season and will do much better as the days wear on). Also, I agree that Baker isn’t the best manager, but he didn’t ruin Volquez’s arm and Harang’s troubles can’t completely be linked back to that game in San Diego. One game does not a shitty last TWO YEARS make, okay? It’s confidence, it’s mechanics and it’s a fly ball pitcher who gets zero run support losing his nerve.