Don’t mistake the title of my article as though I don’t think Chapman should be a closer. It’s not that at all. However, there were concerns about how the young hurler would fair with his 100+ MPH fastball with only one inning to get it working. Last night against the Tigers, everything fell apart for Arnoldis Chapman.
Chapman was forced to entered the game with runners on first and second and no outs in the 8th inning. Not the time to bring in your closer if you are Dusty Baker. Right off the bat, you could tell his control was there. He was aiming the ball all night and not throwing it naturally as he usually does. After giving up a single to load the bases, he than hit .111 batter Matt Young to score a run. Then Austin Jackson teed-off on him for a ground rule double to score two more runs and the route was on. It got worse for Chapman as he walked Quinton Berry and then gave up the go ahead run on a wild pitch.
After that, Chapman calmed down and got the next three batters out to retire the side. When it was over 27 pitches later the line read like this; 2 ER (4 scored), 2 Hits, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 1 WP, and 1K. It was his second blown save of the season and his second loss in as many starts.
You have to be concerned if Chapman’s confidence is shaken with his recent outings. I certainly wouldn’t worry about it. Baker is not about to replace him as closer and he will let him work through his recent struggles. This is the kind of thing that fantasy owners must contend with when having a young unproven closer on their roster like Arnoldis Chapman. He will give you wonderful stats, but there will be growing pains along the way.
Keep your confidence in Chapman. Is is slowly developing into a career closer with infinite possiblities for fantasy owners. As with all yougn closers, be patient.