Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman activation from DL ‘looks like Saturday’
The hardest thrower in baseball may return on Saturday, giving the Cincinnati Reds a needed boost on the competitive National League Central. Reds skipper Bryan Price indicated that closer Aroldis Chapman would be activated Saturday (via C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer on Twitter):
Price said Chapman’s activation ‘looks like Saturday’ #Reds
— ctrent (@ctrent) May 9, 2014
The move would defy Chapman’s performance in AAA, which ended with 1 IP and 8 runs allowed. The Reds found themselves in the cellar of the N.L. Central after winning only 3 of their first 11 games. The Redlegs have now pulled themselves up to third place, playing 2-over-.500 ball since. Getting their closer back would be a big boost. Jonathan Broxton has filled in capably in that role (5/5 for saves, 0.00 ERA), but having him as the set up guy would shorten games to seven innings for opposing offenses.
Chapman has been sidelined since March 19 after a horrifying batted ball to his face. Friday May 9 represents seven weeks since the incident. No report on whether the Reds would throw him right back into the closer’s role, or ease him back on the mound with a couple of lower pressure situations. I would probably opt for the latter, given the mental approaches needed to be a closer and Broxton’s performance. But then again, why waste the blazing speed.