With the lineup all but set, and intent to start Chapman clear, how do the Reds go about doing so?
As FB pointed out the other day, each SP can get up to 32 starts. Assuming good health and ability, 200 IP is a decent goal/bench mark for a SP making those starts.
I can't see Chapman as anything except our 5th starter, if only for inning reasons.
Cueto, Latos, Arroyo, Bailey, Chapman (with Leake as a needed 6th starter)
We all know Dusty will put his stamp somewhere. If the lineup is "dusty-proofed" as I have heard it called, I bet he goes with his belief of "breaking up the power rh arms" by throwing Arroyo ahead of Bailey.
As for Chappy, the 5th starter wouldn't get his 1st opportunity (b/c of schedule) until Weds April 10 at StL. Add in the schedule-missing days of a 5th starter, and we wuld be down to approx 28 starts. Pitch Leake in 6 of those starts, and Chapman is looking at 22 starts for approx 135 to 140 innings. I am sure mgmt can use other ways to limit innings, but this is the best way, imo, to get Chapman into the SP role while also saving something for a (hopfully anyway) playoff run.
Putting Chapman anywhere else in the rotation during the reg season (note -- I'd hope he can perform well enough to be top 3 SP for a playoff rotation) just doesn't seem to make any sense given the track record of other starters and the club's primary need to protect Chappy from an innings and health standpoint.