With Cincinnati’s suits finally making a decision, Reds flamethrower Aroldis Chapman will remain the team’s closer this season.
The 25-year-old Chapman (5-5, 1.51 ERA), who defected from Cuba in 2009 and signed a six-year contract worth $30.25 million with the Reds in January 2010, saved 38 games in 2012.
General manager Walt Jocketty further explained the organization’s wise choice to keep the 6-foot-4, 200 pound Chapman in the bullpen.
“It was like last year,” Jocketty said. “It was what gave us the best opportunity to win as an organization this year. The rotation as it was, we had four guys who pitched 200 innings. We have another guy who is capable of pitching 200 innings. “That’s a very strong rotation.”
Chapman, a southpaw who has gone 11-8 with a 2.33 ERA while amassing 212 strikeouts in 135 frames since debuting as a professional, was an All-Star and twice earned the Delivery Man of the Month Award last summer.
“The Cuban Missile,” who gunned the fastest recorded pitch in MLB history at 105.1 mph, whiffed 122 batters in 71.2 innings and was dominant enough to be mentioned as a candidate in the Cy Young race.
Already blessed with “a very strong rotation,” Aroldis Chapman will continue thriving as a stopper and potentially help the Reds capture their sixth World Series title in franchise history this autumn.by