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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.”


Jenrry Mejia’s spot in the New York Mets’ rotation is in jeopardy, but the young right-hander is reluctant to pitch out of the bullpen. Manager Terry Collins said Saturday the team hadn’t decided if Mejia, who is 3-0 with a 5.06 earned-run average, will start Wednesday against the New York Yankees. “I’m OK with him being in the bullpen, but he’s got to accept it if that’s going to be the decision,” Collins said.

• Former NBA star Tracy McGrady allowed two hits and two runs in 12
3 innings in his debut for the Sugar Land Skeeters.

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