Chapman came out and said that he wanted to be the closer after his latest spring start, according to John Fay via USA Today. Here is what he had to say:
Truthfully, I would like to be a closer, but that’s not in my hands.
If that is what he truly wants, it may be difficult to come out every five days and be ready to pitch. That's not to say that he can't pitch well as a starter, but he would be more focused as a closer.
Having the right mindset also deals with being able to focus when things aren't going your way on the mound.
His current mindset is to blow hitters away. He will need to find some other mindset as a starter or he won't be able to go five innings in a game.
There have been times when he has not gotten calls and he just laughed in disbelief on the mound. That's something that can't happen as a starter. When he comes in for only one inning at the end of the game, he doesn't have to worry about getting along with the umpire. The ump won't like it if he's laughing at a call in the first inning, and it will hurt him the rest of the game.
If Chapman doesn't have his best stuff or can't control his pitches, he will need to be able to concentrate on letting his defense help him out. There have been outings where the lefty just can't throw strikes. Those outings end with the bases loaded and him being taken out of the game.
He won't be able to have those kind of games as a starter. If he does, he leaves the bullpen having to pitch the rest of the game and puts pressure on the next game's starter.
When he comes into the game in the ninth inning, he is on a mission. There's no messing around. He gets the ball, stares down the catcher and zings the ball in there. There may not be a more intense pitcher on the mound in baseball, especially in the ninth inning.
Chapman has to work on a few things to be a great starter, but his mindset may be the toughest thing to work on.