CINCINNATI — Aroldis Chapman is back, and he’s unquestionably the Reds’ closer again.
The Reds activated Chapman before Saturday’s game with the Rockies and optioned right-hander Curtis Partch to Class AAA Louisville. Chapman had surgery to repair damage after being struck on the left eye and nose by a line drive during a spring training game on March 19.
Reds manager Bryan Price didn’t hesitate when asked if Chapman would immediately be returned to the closer’s role when the situation arrives.
When asked that question, Price quickly quipped — “Or starter — I haven’t decided yet.”
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That was most definitely a joke — Chapman won’t be starting and as soon as the Reds enter the ninth with a lead, it’s more likely than not, Chapman will be coming out from the bullpen.
For his part, Chapman hopes that happens sooner, rather than later.
“Always you want to be with the team, but there are always things that are out of your control,” Chapman said according to Tomas Vera, the team’s assistant athletic trainer, who served as an interpreter. “I’ve always wanted to be here, be with my team and help my team.”
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