Because the let’s-take-a-young-starter-and-turn-him-into-a-reliever trend is one of the latest windmills at which I like to tilt, I got all upset last month when the Reds said that they were converting Aroldis Chapman into a relief pitcher.
Maybe I won’t need to worry about it, though, because John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting that — early progress notwithstanding — the experiment is not going so well. Chapman is 0-1 with a 5.79 ERA since the move to bullpen. According to Fay, three of his seven
outings have been “ugly.” At the same time, the Reds’ bullpen has become less of a concern than it was a month ago. Yes, they could use an arm, but not one that has to learn on the job like Chapman.
So, the most important thing to watch as far as Chapman goes these days is not when he’ll be called up to the big club, but when the big club will let him go back to being a starter so he can develop like a proper young studly prospect should.
The Miami Marlins have been stockpiling international bonus money of late and now that has paid off, as they just formally announced the signing of top international prospect Victor Victor Mesa.
They have also signed his brother, the less-regarded prospect Victor Mesa, Jr. It was, presumably, a package deal. Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reports that Victor Victor, 22, will receive about $5.25 million while his 17-year-old brother gets a $1 million bonus.
Victor Victor was ranked as the No. 1 player in this year’s international signing class. He’s a plus outfield defender with a strong arm and he has serious wheels as well. He played for Matanzas in Cuba’s Serie Nacional when he was only 16 and was 3-for-7 with two doubles for Cuba during last year’s World Baseball Classic.
Victor Mesa Jr. is a switch-hitting outfielder with potential, but unlike his brother, he’s like to spend considerable time in the minors. Most scouts believe Victor Victor will debut with the Marlins as early as next season.
The Mesa brothers are the son of Victor Mesa, who played in Serie Nacional from the 1970’s into the 1990s and starred on the Cuban national team. He has also managed in Cuba, in Mexico and for Cuba’s 2017 World Baseball Classic team.