ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How About It Corky? Can The Cuban Missile Be A Big League Starter?

Updated on January 19, 2014
Veteran catcher Corky "Fu Manchu" Miller sat next to Cincinnati Reds right-fielder Jay Bruce at the Reds Winter Caravan stop in Vevay, Indiana on January 24.
Veteran catcher Corky "Fu Manchu" Miller sat next to Cincinnati Reds right-fielder Jay Bruce at the Reds Winter Caravan stop in Vevay, Indiana on January 24.
Reds and Fox Sports TV announcer Thom Brennaman addresses the crowd at Vevay flanked by Reds COO Phil Catsellini and GM Walt Jocketty.
Reds and Fox Sports TV announcer Thom Brennaman addresses the crowd at Vevay flanked by Reds COO Phil Catsellini and GM Walt Jocketty.
Reds outfielder Jay Bruce made the day for many youths in Vevay during the Reds Winter Caravan by signing autographs like these here for a Reds game giveaway Jay Bruce school binder and Topps baseball cards.
Reds outfielder Jay Bruce made the day for many youths in Vevay during the Reds Winter Caravan by signing autographs like these here for a Reds game giveaway Jay Bruce school binder and Topps baseball cards.
Debbie Hoff was all smiles after meeting and greeting with Reds players and officials, including one of her favorites -- Corky Miller.
Debbie Hoff was all smiles after meeting and greeting with Reds players and officials, including one of her favorites -- Corky Miller.

Reds Winter Caravan Provides Unique Fan Interface

by Robb Hoff

January 25, 2013

Catcher Corky Miller may be better known for his perfected fu manchu than his slugging percentage and is likely more recognized by the fanbase of the Cincinnati Reds Triple A minor league team in Louisville than he is in Cincinnati for his stints with the big league team.

But Miller -- as a veteran in his 16th year of professional baseball -- has been around a couple different big league blocks a couple different times. And he was there in Louisville in 2010 when one of the more heralded if potentially volatile pitchers -- Aroldis Chapman -- started on his trek from Cuba to professional baseball in America.

Yesterday, I was able to ask Miller a couple questions about Chapman that Miller is uniquely qualified to answer. One was what was going through his mind when he first caught Chapman, to which Miller said he wasn't afraid of the fireballer but was hoping that Chapman had some control so that he wouldn't have to keep running back to the backstop.

And the answer to the second question seemed like an earnest and most confident "yes" about whether or not Chapman would successfully make the transition to big league starter.

Miller should be in a better position than most to gauge the answer to the question that does seem to be swirling around in the pre-Spring Training consciousness of many fans in Reds Country: How will Chapman do as a starter?

Chapman seemed to be settled for the role last Spring Training and was starting at that time until Reds hired-help closer Ryan Madsen turned out to be damaged goods and an absolute waste of the small market team's precious reserve of cash.

But fortunately for Reds Country. Chapman was able to kind of do what he did in 2010 in Louisville and transition swiftly to closer after starting out the season as a starting pitcher in the rotation. Chapman started 13 games in 2010 for Louisville before becoming the team's closer at the end of the minor league season before he made his first jump to the Reds.

Chapman definitely had a couple rough starts for the Louisville Bats in 2010, but showed that it was more likely just a matter of time before he will become the dominant pitcher that Reds general manager Walt Jocketty fortunately envisioned to the extent that he was able to pounce with the unexpected signing of the Cuban Missile at the expense of every big-market, front-office imbecile out there.

Of course, Chapman staked his first claim last year as a dominating closer for the 2012 Reds. Now, he's poised for the next step.

During the Vevay stop of the Reds caravan, Jocketty also addressed the next obvious question about Chapman and that is inning limits like that imposed upon Washington Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg last year to the detriment of the team's post-season success but to the obvious advantage of Strasburg's agent.

We'll see about the innings limit as the season progresses but don't be surprised if there isn't any limit despite the public proclamations that there will be.

Why? First and foremost, the Strasburg delivery spelled out "Tommy John" and that's not the case with the relative ease of motion with which Chapman delivers his heat and slider. The biggest issue that Chapman faces in regard to inning limits is his control and effectiveness.

The more walks Chapman gives up, the fewer innings he'll pitch. The more hitters hone in on his 100+ m.p.h. heater and his wicked 93 m.p.h slider, the sooner he'll be hitting the showers.

Pure and simple.

But even if Chapman does find himself shut down for his own health, the future that Chapman has with the Reds is still rosy...until it becomes cost prohibitive.

The Chapman contract that the Reds worked out is friendly to the Reds if Chapman blooms later rather than sooner. After recording 38 saves and blowing away hitters as a closer in 2012, the arbitration horizon for Chapman will be sooner rather than later and that spells money troubles for the Reds.

The Reds dodged a bullet this year that would've converted Chapman's $3-million 2013 salary to bonus if he were arbitration eligible. That short-term break for the Reds won't be there next year, and in 2015, when Chapman has a $5-million player option, the actual cost to the Reds to sign Chapman to a one-year contract to avoid arbitration could be upwards of $15-million.

But like the rest of Reds Country, we'll wait and see what happens in 2015 in 2015. For now, everyone in Reds Country is grateful to the Reds organization -- from the Castellini ownership to the guidance of Jocketty and the managing of Dusty Baker -- to keep this team poised for at least more playoff runs if not for a sheer dominance that might not be seen again from a small-market team in the impending era of big-market, TV mega-money for another quarter century.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Robb Hoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Robb Hoff 

      5 years ago from Cincinnati, Ohio

      It'll be even more fun when the Reds win the World Series.

    • profile image

      HolmesUkraine 

      5 years ago

      Looks like fun and nice pic of Debbie.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)