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But what happens next is part of the harsh reality of baseball as a business (and the reason why we have depth charts), since someone has to close for the Reds for the next two months. Manager Bryan Price and GM Walt Jocketty still have a week and a half to make that decision, in which they will evaluate their options, both internal and external (I'm looking at you, Kevin Gregg). But another group of people, somewhat further removed from the game itself and with considerably less at stake in the matter, will be doing their own evaluations of Cincinnati's bullpen prospects. This group of course are the people who compile fantasy baseball rankings.
J.J. Hoover - acquired from the Braves for Juan Francisco in 2012 - who jumped in the rankings as much as Chapman fell: 55 spots, from 516 to 461. Two of the Reds' other three ranked relievers don't figure to play into the closer competition - Sean Marshall will remain the lefty specialist when he's ready to play regularly, while Sam LeCure will be relegated to middle relief work. But an interesting name to keep in mind is Jonathan Broxton, who recently rose more than 100 spots in the rankings. True it was from 731 to 628, but the big right hander has closed as recently as 2012, and if his surgically repaired right forearm is fully healed, he could be a prime candidate to return to that role.
While the process of transforming projected games missed into lost spots in the rankings may seem dehumanizing, remember that every crisis is also an opportunity. While I'm sure no one in the Reds bullpen has any positive feelings about this unfortunate injury befalling their leader, I'm also sure that one (or more) of them will jump at the chance to excel in his place. So here's hoping that Aroldis Champan's fractures heal quickly, the metal plate they're putting in his head holds steady, and that he doesn't have any residual effects from the minor concussion he sustained. And until that happens, here's hoping that another future star emerges from Cincinnati's relief corps.