Aroldis Chapman: Cincinnnati Reds put closer's return on hold

Manager Bryan Price wants to see him throw

CINCINNATI – Aroldis Chapman's return appears to be on hold – at least until Saturday.

Manager Bryan Price wants to watch Chapman throw before the Reds decide to reactivate their closer.

Chapman was expected to join the roster Friday, but that was before AAA hitters lit up the lefty in two brief outings in Louisville this week.

"He obviously wasn't terribly sharp,"  Price said. "We would like him, when we activate him, to be ready to go."

Chapman has been working his way back after being hit in the face by a line drive in a March 19 spring training game. He had to have surgery to insert a plate in his forehead.

Pitching against the Orioles' AAA team this week, Chapman gave up eight earned runs on seven hits in one total inning over two games.

His velocity was good – he hit 100 mph on four pitches in one test - but his location was off,  Bats manager Jim Riggleman said.

Chapman said he wasn't afraid of getting hit again, even after the first two batters hit shots up the middle.

The Reds bullpen has been a wreck without Chapman. With a 2-9 record and a 4.52 ERA, it ranks 14th out of 15 in the National League.

The Reds have blown five of 11 save opportunities.

Jonathan Broxton is a perfect 5-for-5, but the rest of the closers-by-committee are 1-for-6.

J.J. Hoover has three blown saves and a 9.32 ERA.

Manny Parra is 1-for-2 and Logan Ondrusek is 0-for-1.

An effective Chapman would allow Price to move Broxton back to an eighth-inning set-up role.

The Reds are 5-11 in one-run games.

 

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