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Last spring, I wrote this article on the confounding matter of what to do with Aroldis Chapman.
The gist was simple: No matter how it’s done, the 2012 Chapman Plan must at least begin with him as a starter. Thankfully, it looks like that’s the track Jocketty and Co. have him on at the moment, so that debate (where he belongs) can be put on hold, for now.
Still, Chapman’s spring training performances will be closely-scrutinized. The way the guy throws the ball makes you salivate, plain and simple, so he’ll always be prominent in the public eye.
However, due to his inconsistencies in 2011 and his uninspiring winter results (it only took two-and-two-thirds innings to inflame his shoulder), I think we’ll all approach his early-March appearances with a bit of trepidation.
As it stands, the Reds company line on Chapman is that they’re in no hurry. If he needs time in spring training (or beyond) to get healthy and harness his nastiness, time is what he’ll get.
But things could get very interesting if the Cuban Pain Train starts rolling over people quicker than expected. Say, for instance, Chapman’s shoulder feels great in the coming weeks. Say he’s punching people out with regularity and logging the same innings as everyone else. How hard will it be to send him on a bus to Louisville, knowing he’s a potential 18-game winner ?
Things could get juicy.
Chapman shows signs of shoulder fatigue in spring training, putting him on the slow train to Triple-A.
For more Ohio sports coverage from Reed Domer-Shank, or for his daily picks against the spread (free!), visit his blog: J O U R N E Y M E N . You can also follow Reed on Twitter: @ReedDS20, or contact him directly at Reed.Domershank@gmail.com.