Andy Lyons/Getty Images
As of right now, Aroldis Chapman is basically a two pitch hurler. He guns a 100+mph fastball and makes you look silly on an 89-91mph slider. About 5% of the time he’ll drop a change up in there. A reliever or a closer can get by on two pitches throughout the season because of less wear and tear on the arm but the thing to worry about is stamina when throwing a 97-100mph fastball about 80% of the time.
Courtesy of fangraphs.com
According to brooksbaseball.net, Chapman has thrown 2,151 fastballs, 366 sliders, three changeups and one splitter in his entire big-league career. Chapman experienced arm fatigue as a closer in the 2012 season and there won’t be a way for him to last deep into a game without developing alternate pitches. Justin Verlander is a good example. He starts most games in the 90-95mph range with his fastball. When he reaches the seventh or eighth, he’s throwing in the high-90s and into triple digits at times. It would make sense for Chapman to pace himself for going deep into a game.
The move can benefit the Reds greatly if he improves his pitching style and expands his arsenal of pitches. The bullpen is still strong in the 8th with Sean Marshall as the setup guy and with Jonathan Broxton as the new closer. However, It was a relief having a guy in there in tight games where you were confident he could nail down the win with dominating stuff.