The Cuban Missile Crisis

Aroldis Chapman - Cincinnati Reds v Colorado Rockies

The Reds currently sit in 2nd place in the N.L. Central behind the St. Louis Cardinals with an 18-17 record. The team has shown streaks of promise but remains stuck around the .500 mark. Each day it seems like something different, the pitching will be there but the hitting won’t and then flipped the other way the next day. One thing that has been consistently inconsistent is the pitching of Mike Leake. The Reds #4 starter is currently 0-5 on the season with a 7.10 ERA. Leake has been fooling no one this season but Dusty Baker seems set on run him out there. With Leake set to start today against Johan Santana and the New York Mets I thought I would take a moment to state a case for Leake to be replaced in the rotation by the Cuban missile Aroldis Chapman. I’m not alone by any means on this idea either as other blogs and social media outlets have been clamoring for this move for weeks. With that said lets take a look into the Cuban Missile Crisis…

Chapman has currently appeared in 14 games this season with a record of 3-0 and he has yet to give up a run. He has 32 strikeouts over 18 innings pitched. That is an average of 1.77 strikeouts per inning or put another way he is averaging 16 strikeouts/9 innings! 16!!! That number is enormous; compare that with Mike Leake who has 16 strikeouts in 31 innings pitched for an average of .516 strikeouts per inning or 4.6 strikeouts/9 innings. With the current pace that Chapman is striking out batters he would rank #1 in all of baseball if he were a starter bettering Gio Gonzalez’s 10.8 strikeouts/9 innings by over 5 strikeouts per game! Need more proof? How about this, Chapman has only walked a total of 5 batters in 18 innings pitched that is an average of 2.5 walks/9 innings. What do all these numbers mean? They mean that Aroldis Chapman has the potential to be a #1 starter for years to come as well as a chance to become the 6th member of the 20K club. The game of baseball hasn’t seen a dominant lefty like this since Randy Johnson. The only thing standing between us getting to see the show begin is Dusty Baker and his infatuation with Mike Leake. I’ll leave you with this potential stat line for Chapman if he were to get 150 innings in a season at this pace…266 strikeouts 50 hits 42 walks….SCARY!

Aroldis Chapman, Cincinnati Reds, New York Mets, Cuban Missile Crisis, Mike Leake, Dusty Baker, Randy Johnson, St. Louis Cardinals

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