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Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Chapman shouldn't be Cy Young candidate

By David Schoenfield

Not that I have a vote, but if I did, Aroldis Chapman wouldn't be on my Cy Young ballot.

Look, his numbers look like a fast-pitch softball pitcher's, only the last time I checked he's not pitching from 43 feet. In 65 innings, he's struck out 115 often helpless batters, a strikeout rate of 15.9 per nine innings. That is currently the third-highest all time for a minimum of 50 innings, behind only Kenley Jansen in 2011 and Carlos Marmol in 2010.

Aroldis Chapman
Reds closer Aroldis Chapman is striking out a whopping 15.9 batters per nine innings this season.
Of course, it's not just the strikeouts. He owns a 1.25 ERA, opponents are batting .133 against him and he's tied with Joel Hanrahan for the National League lead with 34 saves even though he didn't pick up his first save until May 20. He's also converted 26 consecutive save chances.

But, as dominant as the strikeout numbers have been, he's hardly the only closer having a dominating season.
Look, Chapman is awesome. He clearly plays an important role on the Reds and is one of the main reasons Cincinnati owns a big lead in the NL Central. You don't think the Milwaukee Brewers wonder how their season would have gone if John Axford and Francisco Rodriguez hadn't blown up at the back of the bullpen?

My argument is that Chapman hasn't made the Reds better than any number of other closers, and it's easy to argue that Kimbrel has actually been more "dominant." The strikeouts are impressive, but Chapman is still a guy with blown saves and losses on his ledger. Factor in that there are several NL starters having excellent campaigns -- all of whom have thrown 100 more innings than Chapman -- and I wouldn't put Chapman in my top five Cy Young candidates.