WHAT ARE FAIR EXPECTATIONS?
So what are fair expectations for Chapman? Barring age suddenly catching up to Chapman, there are a lot of reasons to believe that flamethrowing Chapman can be another elite reliever for the Pirates bullpen in 2024.
Combining the upside of Chapman with the always reliable David Bednar gives the Pirates a menancing one-two punch at the back of the bullpen which will make any eighth and ninth innings intimidating for opposing lineups.
While Chapman will likely have a few bumps along the way, the soon-to-be 36-year-old should still be able to be one of the better relievers in all of baseball. What will likely separate him from being just good to very good or even elite will be his walks. Can he find a way to cut down his walks in 2024?
He's not going to cut it down entirely, he's always been wild but if he could cut his walk rate down from 14.5% to closer to 10%, that would be a huge boost for the Pirates but also would be big in Chapman putting together another strong season.
As of now, the Pirates should expect to get a mostly reliable Chapman who more often than not will be able to get the Pirates out of jams and be a consistent reliever, especially earlier on in the season. As the season progresses, it will be interesting to see how his workload affects him, as we saw his age slightly begin to show towards the end of the 2023 season for the Rangers.
If Chapman can cut down his walks as mentioned above, then Chapman could still very easily be an All-Star level reliever for the Pirates while creating a deadly back end of the bullpen alongside David Bednar.