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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Reds' Aroldis Chapman will begin rehab assignment today with Single-A Dayton

By on 5/01/2014 10:15:00 AM

Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman will take another step today in his journey back to the big league bullpen. It's been a long process since getting hit with a line drive in spring training, but his bullpen session yesterday went very well.

            C. Trent Rosecrans of reports the hard-throwing southpaw also fielded ground balls and received throws from other infielders for the first time since getting injured. Manager Bryan Price detailed the plan for Chapman as he begins his rehab assignment:
We anticipate a minimum of four outings with the necessary spacing between those outings, so we're looking at another seven-to-10 days, I'd guess.
He will be starting the game tonight, but will be coming out of the bullpen at least once.

In his absence, Jonathan Broxton has been filling in as the Reds' closer. The right-hander has done a great job in six appearances, not allowing a run in six innings, while converting all five of his save opportunities.

The eventual return of Chapman will further strengthen the back-end of the bullpen, as he posted a 2.54 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 112 strikeouts and 38 saves in 63.2 innings pitched.

Cincinnati currently owns a 12-15 record, 7.5 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers for first place in the National League Central. For them to compete in a division that also includes the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates, a strong bullpen will be key.

You can follow Matt on Twitter: @mmusico8.

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