The Cincinnati Reds signed Jonathan Broxton to be their closer earlier today, which is news enough in itself. Not only does the move keep one of the team's potent arms in their elite bullpen, but it gives them a potential ace for their rotation. The move gives the team the opportunity to move former closer Aroldis Chapman into the starting rotation.
Reds pitching coach Bryan Price addressed the Chapman situation today in a conversation with John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. He says the team does not have a hard-and-fast limit on his innings in mind for next season, but they will be sure to monitor him.
"I don't think there's an absolute. You have to have a plan and hope it works. Any time you have a young pitcher and he's going to surpass his inning total, there's going to be questions if he gets hurt. We can't be scared of that."
When asked if he had a number of innings in mind, he was not specific.
"A hard number, I can't say," he said. "I'd like to see where he is in terms of innings and pitchers after 25 or 30 starts."
Twenty-five to 30 starts is very nearly a full season's worth for a starting pitcher, so it doesn't sound like the team will be extremely cautious with him. Teams have seen mixed results when converting relievers to starters in recent years, so the jury is still out with regard to how to handle the transition.