Aroldis Chapman might NOT CLOSE in Kansas City – Full Swing

By Juan Paez

According to different reports, Chapman preferred to sign with the monarchs instead of with the San Diego Padres because he wants to continue his role as a fire extinguisher. But can the lefty immediately become manager Matt Quatraro’s new closer? That seems to remain to be seen.

The reason is that right-hander Scott Barlow has shone in two straight tournaments as the closer for the Royals. In fact, the 30-year-old reliever has been one of the best aspects of that team the past two seasons.

The past two seasons, the right-hander has dominated at will, thanks to a highly efficient combination of his four-seamer fastball along with a terrific curveball and solid slider. In fact, with those last two pitches he got 71 of his 77 strikeouts last year.

Between 2021 and 2022, Barlow pitched in 140 games and saved 40 of them, as well as winning 12 times and posting a 2.30 ERA and a 1.096 WHIP. In 148.2 innings, he allowed just 113 hits and 13 home runs, with 50 walks and 168 batters retired via third strike. In 2022, with a Royals that finished last in the Central Division with a 65-97 record, he recorded 24 blocks and had a WHIP of less than 1.00 (0.996).

Chapman, who will earn a guaranteed $3.75 million, will have work to do starting in Spring Training. Above the Cuban there is a black cloud full of doubts, a product of what was his last season with the New Yorkers, with whom he left a 4.46 ERA and gave 28 tickets in just 36.1 innings pitched, in addition to losing his role as closer.

The best thing for the Missile will be to do his job and show that he is up for great things at this point in his career in the Major Leagues. That alone will allow him to be considered for the Royals firefighter job over Barlow.

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