No rotation for you: Reds send Aroldis Chapman to bullpen
Stretching out fireballer Aroldis Chapman into a starting pitcher seems to be the eventual goal for the Reds, but it's not happening just yet. With a crowded starting rotation and an injured closer, Chapman has been sent back to the 'pen, reports John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
"He's a starter, a very good starter," said manager Dusty Baker (via Fay on Twitter). "But Billy Bray isn't ready to be the late-inning lefty right now."
Sean Marshall is a late-inning left-hander, but with closer Ryan Madson having been lost for the season, Marshall appears to have been thrust into the role of closer. Chapman will now be the left-handed setup man, alongside righty Jose Arredondo (and Nick Masset, whenever he is removed from the disabled list).
Chapman, 24, had a 3.60 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and 71 strikeouts in 50 innings pitched last season. Severe control problems forced a minor-league demotion in May. Things were much better upon his return, though, as he posted a 2.86 ERA and 1.24 WHIP in the second half.
This spring, Chapman was stellar. He posted a 2.12 ERA with 18 strikeouts and just two walks in 17 innings. But with Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Bronson Arroyo, Mike Leake and Homer Bailey in the Reds' rotation -- and Jeff Francis in Triple-A -- the Reds felt they had a greater need at the back-end of the bullpen.
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