Over the last ten games, the Reds’ record is 5-5.

Aroldis Chapman has appeared three times and faced a total of twelve batters. He has not pitched in a tied game. He has not faced a batter in a game where the Reds were down by one run. Chapman has not even competed in a game where the Reds were ahead by one run. The Reds lost three of four games to the second place Pittsburgh Pirates and Chapman did not appear one time.

This shows why even the best closers have relatively little impact on the season. It shows how the Reds are wasting possibly the best pitcher in major league baseball.

It’s a difficult situation, without an obvious short-term solution. Who would the Reds demote?  Mike Leake, Homer Bailey, Bronson Arroyo, even Mat Latos? Is it a lock that Chapman will dominate as a starter? Can he develop a third pitch? Keep in mind the best starter for the Reds this spring training was Aroldis Chapman. Chapman may be needed for the time being in the bullpen. Masset, Bray, blah, blah, blah.

What has transpired the past few weeks backs up the point of my previous post, that moving Aroldis Chapman to the closer role was a mistake. Sean Marshall continues to be an elite pitcher, more than able to close games. The devastating problem remains that Chapman’s installment in the closer’s role, and his unsurprising brilliance there, cements him in the bullpen. Certainly in manager Dusty Baker’s mind. Marinating.

As the Reds drift farther and farther away from seeing Chapman starting games, and as they play .500 baseball, it sure is frustrating.