Dusty Baker has one answer:
“I see him personally probably being somewhere in the back end of the bullpen. Because it’s hard to find a guy that can get righties and lefties out equally and that gas he has and you haven’t even seen his breaking ball and his changeup yet so his potential is unbelievable. So probably somewhere in the back end of the bullpen.”
But the man who got that quote — John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer — says that Reds’ GM Walt Jocketty was clear in saying that Chapman would be a starter the last time they spoke.
I can’t help but think that if Dusty would go back and read the printed version of what he said — specifically, that Chapman is more than heat, has several pitches and can gets guys on both sides of the plate out — he’d realize that he has a potentially amazing starter on his hand, not just an effective reliever. Sure, maybe he’s still a work in progress as a starter, but Chapman has a long term deal with Cincinnati for a reason, and it ain’t to stop developing as a pitcher 11 months after he signed.
Or maybe Dusty doesn’t need to examine this matter any further. Maybe Walt Jocketty is just going to tell him what’s what.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Mariners are among the teams that have contacted the Reds about outfielder Jay Bruce. The Mariners enter play Wednesday 51-48, six games out of first place in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot. Adding an impact bat like Bruce could help in their effort to reach the postseason.
Norichika Aoki and Seth Smith have handled the bulk of the playing time in left field. While Smith has hit well, Aoki has not. Bruce came into Wednesday’s game against the Giants batting .271/.324/.567 with 24 home runs and a league-best 78 RBI.
Bruce can become a free agent after the season if his controlling team declines his $13 million club option for the 2017 season by paying him a $1 million buyout. If he’s traded mid-season, his new team won’t be able to make him a qualifying offer, so the club option may be more enticing than it looks at first glance.
A third-inning two-run home run by Adam Rosales off of R.A. Dickey put the Padres up 2-0, but it also helped the Padres tie a National League record. The Padres have homered in 25 consecutive games, matching the 1998 Braves, the 1994 Tigers, and the 1941 Yankees. The major league record is 27, set by the 2002 Rangers.
The Padres hit three in total on Wednesday in an 8-4 victory against the Blue Jays. One of those dingers was an eighth-inning solo shot by rookie Alex Dickerson, who has now homered in four consecutive games himself. The one he hit on Monday is worth watching, as it got into the upper deck at the Rogers Centre.
As the Padres recently traded Melvin Upton, Jr. to the Jays, Dickerson is likely going to see regular playing time. That’s especially true if he keeps hitting like this.