Goodyear, AZ, USA; Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) prior to the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Goodyear Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE
Since then, Chapman has started 16 games in the minor leagues, and relieved in 32 games. He's started zero games in the major leagues, and relieved in 69.
So the Aroldis-Chapman-as-starting-pitcher thing, not so much.
But he got another look as a starter this spring, and did exceptionally well: 18 strikeouts and (most impressively) only two walks in 17 innings.
Nevertheless, Chapman's heading back to the bullpen ...
It's not clear, exactly what manager Dusty Baker means by "right now" ... Does he mean "at this general point in Bray's career"? Or does he mean "at this moment, because Billy Bray missed much of spring training with a groin injury and got hammered in his outing against the White Sox yesterday"?
The latter, probably. Because Bray pitched exceptionally well last season and has solid career numbers.
So maybe this move is temporary, with Chapman still a prospective starter once Bray's on track. Of course, that would mean sending Chapman back to the minors to build up his durability ... I don't know, but it's always seemed like Baker would just prefer Chapman in the bullpen, like most managers prefer their best pitchers in the bullpen. Because managers, naturally enough, prefer to lose games in the fourth or fifth inning instead of the eighth or ninth.