Apr 13, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman watches from the dugout during a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Great American Ball Park.The Reds won 12-4. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy Baseball: Reds' Aroldis Chapman to begin rehab assignment

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.

Feb 15, 2014; Goodyear, AZ, USA; Cincinnati Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman during team workouts on the practice fields of Goodyear Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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.

The All-Star closer hasn’t seen game action since taking a line drive off the face in spring training on March 19, which resulted in several facial fractures.

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.


Tags: Aroldis Chapman Cincinnati Reds Fantasy Baseball Jonathan Broxton

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