Sheldon: Leake Preparing for 2013 as a Starter

Walt made his big offseason move last week, acquiring Shin-Soo Choo from the Indians, without having to dip into the well of starting pitching depth. If the Reds are serious about moving Chapman to the rotation, which it seems they are, they have 6 MLB caliber arms for 5 spots in the rotation. As it is not yet Christmas, nothing is set in stone, but it looks like Leake is the odd man out right now.

Leake had his worst year of his young career last season by ERA (4.58), but his peripherals were right in line with his career averages. The only rate stat that looks out of whack is his HR/FB, which spiked 3% higher than his previous 2-year average. Leake himself says in the article that 2012 seemed like a year in which every mistake pitch he threw got crushed, leading to more homers.

The Reds brass are still formulating a plan to limit Chapman's innings while avoiding a Strasburg-esque shutdown in October. Bryan Price had mentioned the possibility of doing something similar to what the Braves did with Kris Melden last year, but again, nothing is set in stone as of yet. Whatever path they decide to take, Chapman will not be throwing 200 innings next season, and Leake will probably end up logging some time in the big league rotation. Just when that is remains to be seen.