Aroldis Chapman has pitched exclusively in relief this season, but Reds pitching coach Bryan Price told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that he still sees him as a starting pitcher in the long-term.
“I can’t guarantee anything because it will be an organizational decision,” Price said. “However, I do think at some point he’s going to have a chance to start. I think it’s something we will definitely be looking at.”
Chapman has a 3.89 ERA and 62/34 K/BB ratio over 41 2/3 innings this season. This includes a 2.36 ERA and 47/12 K/BB ratio over 27 1/3 innings since returning from shoulder fatigue in late-June.
There’s little doubt that Chapman has a chance to be much more valuable as a starting pitcher in the long-term, but the Reds could have a void at closer depending on what they decide to do with Francisco Cordero. He is in the final guaranteed year of a four-year, $46 million contract, which includes a $12 million option for 2012 or a $1 million buyout. Nick Masset once looked like the heir apparent for the ninth inning, but has a disappointing 4.04 ERA and 56/28 K/BB ratio over 62 1/3 innings this season.