"One part of me is happy for it. The other part is not," Chapman said via interpreter Tomas Vera during his appearance at Redsfest on Saturday. "The part I don't like is I enjoyed being a closer and now I'm going to miss it. I still like it as a starter. I would love to do both, because I've had fun doing both."
Last week, the Reds re-signed free agent reliever Jonathan Broxton to a three-year, $21 million contract with the intent of making him the closer. The club would like to see if Chapman can succeed as a starter, which was what he was doing when signed out of Cuba in 2010 to a six-year, $30.25 million contract.
Chapman, who will turn 25 in February, was 5-5 with a 1.51 ERA, 23 walks and 122 strikeouts in 68 relief appearances last season. Although he did not become the closer until May 20, Chapman was tied for third in the National League with 38 saves in 43 attempts. He had a single-season record 27 consecutive saves from June 26-Sept. 4.
Of course, Chapman also brought ninth inning electricity that came with his 100-plus mph fastball and shutdown ability. However, he was the Reds' best starter in Spring Training last year before injuries to Ryan Madson, Nick Masset and Bill Bray forced the club's hand to use him in the bullpen.
"They talked to me and told me I'm going to be back as a starter," Chapman said. "All I'm doing is getting ready and preparing to work as a starter."