Aroldis Chapman needs to be playoff eligible. And before anyone starts an inner dialogue—yes, the Reds will be in the playoffs.
Secret weapon. Remember those?
Being a former secret weapon myself, as a cannon-armed quarterback for my flag football team in college, I am fully aware of their value. I remember being down late in a game. I was brought in to start a monumental comeback against the TKE fraternity's team.
I was 3-for-3 with two touchdown passes.
Sure, both touchdowns were interception returns for the TKE's, but still they were TD passes and completions.
On August 18th, it was reported by John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that Aroldis Chapman would be called to the majors on September 1st, thus making him playoff eligible.
UPDATE: I thought to be playoff eligible one needs to be either on the 25-man roster, disabled list, or bereavement list before September 1st.
Fay explained, "He can replace anyone who is injured (even if they are already on the DL). He'll replace Jose Arrendondo, who is on the 60-day DL."
In an earlier version of this article, I said Fay erroneously stated that Chapman would be on the playoff roster. I was incorrect. And I apologize to Mr. Fay for doubting a long time beat writer.
As far as the 25-man playoff roster is concerned, Bill Bray will be removed in favor of fellow lefty Chapman.
Back to the secret weapon.
No one, barring a minor league player or two and the guys who saw him in spring training, has faced Chapman at the plate.
Much like my own cannon-arm, Chapman has hit 103 on the radar gun in Louisville. But this isn't football. He can't throw interceptions.
Since Louisville moved him from a starter to a back-end bullpen pitcher, Chapman has pitched 26 innings allowing 15 hits while registering 41 Ks. Yes, he has issued 12 walks. And he has hit five batters in his 91 and two-thirds innings pitched as both a starter and reliever.
However, when a guy is running his gas in triple digits—a little wildness is a good thing. There aren't many major league players fond of stepping to the plate and facing a 103 MPH pitcher who really has no idea where his pitches will end up.
To me, that is the definition of "effectively wild."
Reds General Manager, Walt Jocketty is no dummy. Chapman will be called up before September 1st. Not that Bill Bray is a bad pitcher, he is simply average.
The upside of having Chapman during the playoffs would be enormous.
During September the Reds should use him only enough to keep him fresh. And never against teams that they may see in the playoffs.
With the exception of the Labor Day weekend series versus the Cardinals. Where, if the opportunity arises, he should definitely be called upon if that whiney little girl, Chris Carpenter is at the plate.
I'll let you guys figure out the rest of that story.
The secret weapon will be on the Reds post-season roster. And opponents will be shaking in their cleats when he is called out of the pen.
I guarantee it. And I also would enjoy kissing Suzy Kolber.