There’s some good news on the horizon for fantasy owners of Cincinnati Reds’ closer Aroldis Chapman.
Chapman threw 25 batting-practice pitches Tuesday in Cincinnati and told reporters that he’s ready to begin his minor-league rehab assignment.
He is slated to begin his rehab stint this week and he Reds hope he will be able to return to the team after four or five appearance. This is bad news for Johnathan Broxton owners because although he has pitched very well, the closers job is Chapman’s whenever he is healthy.
Reds’ general manager Walt Jocketty wouldn’t tell reporters the specific plan right now, Cincinnati.com’s C. Trent Rosecrans reports that “all indications” point to Chapman pitching for the Class-A Dayton Dragons this coming Thursday.
Give the state of the Cincinnati bullpen, Chapman’s return can’t come soon enough.
While Broxton has been pretty good, Reds relievers this season have posted a 4.86 ERA (27th in MLB) with four blown saves and five bullpen losses.
Chapman was 38-for-43 in save chances last season with a 2.54 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 112 strikeouts in 63 2/3 innings.
Upon Chapman’s initial return, the team may ease him into the role so Broxton could still sneak in a few saves for the first week or so. After that Broxton won’t provide much besides strikeouts unless your league rewards holds, so I would recommend holding onto him for a little bit longer after Chapman’s return, just in case.