Reds' Chapman could be headed to the 'pen

The Cincinnati Reds entered spring training hoping to give left-hander Aroldis Chapman a shot to win a starting rotation job. But southpaw reliever Bill Bray's recent groin injury could move Chapman back to the bullpen.

Left-hander Bill Bray's injury could push Aroldis Chapman back to the bullpen.

Chapman, the left-hander with a 100 mph fastball, has been preparing this spring as a starter. In fact, he started March 3 against the Giants and worked two perfect innings, striking out two.

But Bray is dealing with a groin injury. Bray missed two weeks of throwing immediately after the injury. He had to shut it down March 7 after feeling pain in a live bullpen session.

"We thought we gave him enough time last time," Baker said. "There becomes a point when we've got to decide if there's enough time or not to get ready. We've got the luxury of three lefties in the bullpen -- or potentially three lefties."

He's including Chapman there.

"That's a pretty good backup plan," Baker said. "As it is, we've got six starters anyway."

Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Bronson Arroyo, Mike Leake and Homer Bailey are locks for the rotation.

"You never have enough pitching," Baker said.

Reds Notes & Quotes

  • 3B Juan Francisco (strained calf) is back to playing after missing most of early camp. He reported 10 to 15 pounds overweight. "He's moving better," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "He's working hard to get in shape, which he should have been already. He's progressing."

  • RHP Ryan Madson (elbow) long-tossed March 9 for the first time since he came down with a sore elbow. Madson wasn't overly concerned. "This is something I've had before," he said.

  • RHP Nick Masset won't throw for at least a couple of days after experiencing shoulder soreness March 6. "It's something a lot of guys go through in camp," Masset said. "It's surprising because I came in strong."

  • LHP Bill Bray (strained groin muscle) will be kept out of drills and throwing after having a setback March 6. "He's still feeling it," trainer Paul Lessard said. "We'll make sure he has a good pain-free range of motion before he starts back."

  • 3B Scott Rolen, who had shoulder surgery in July, has looked good at the plate. He was batting .556 through Saturday.

  • By the Numbers: 1 – The number of home runs Sean Marshall's allowed this spring, the same number he allowed all of last year in the regular season.

  • Quote to Note: "I don't know why he didn't win a Gold Glove. The guy could have been the best center fielder in baseball. I don't know another center fielder who can out-throw him." -- Reds manager Dusty Baker on center fielder Drew Stubbs.
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