Cincinnati Reds Decide Aroldis Chapman Is Closer After All

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Reds NewsThe Cincinnati Reds have decided against moving Aroldis Chapman into the rotation and the 25-year-old flamethrower will remain the closer for the team.  Mike Leake who pitched to a 4.58 ERA in 2012 will be the Reds fifth starter.  Leake was 8-9  in 2012, starting 30 games and completing 179 innings of work.

The Reds signed Jonathan Broxton to a three-year $21 million deal earlier this off-season,  and the plans to move Chapman to the rotation seemed to be in place. However, the organization seemed divided on what would be the best place for Chapman,  the bullpen or the rotation.  Manager Dusty Baker publicly  stated his choice would be for Chapman to remain the closer. General manager Walt Jocketty and pitching coach Bryan Price  favored making Chapman a starter.

Chapman himself stated his desire to remain the closer and seemed resistant to move.  ”When you start, you use your pitches in a different way,” he said. “You need to save energy, and you use speed as the game demands it.”

Johnny Cueto was named the opening day starter.  Cueto won 19 games last season.  He will be followed in the rotation by Mat Latos, Bronson Arroyo, Homer Bailey, and Leake


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