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.
The Angels signed Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani for a $2.3 million signing bonus last weekend. They may have damaged goods on their hands. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Ohtani underwent a physical that revealed a first-degree sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament. As a result, he got a platelet-rich plasma injection on October 20. This was made known to teams after Ohtani entered MLB’s posting system, so it wasn’t like the Angels went into this blind.
Ohtani’s report said, “Although partial damage of UCL in deep layer of his right UCL exists, he is able to continue full baseball participation with sufficient elbow care program.” It also said Ohtani “will most likely be available to start his throwing program approximately a month from the PRP.”
Passan notes that the report also mentioned that a “small free body” floats in Ohtani’s elbow near his UCL.
Ohtani isn’t without other injuries. He battled hamstring and ankle issues throughout 2017 and underwent right ankle surgery back in October. Thankfully for the Angels, this diagnosis is about as good as it could be considering the circumstances. However, if Ohtani does exacerbate his UCL issue, he may ultimately need Tommy John surgery at some point, which would take him out of action for at least a year.