Relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman of the Cincinnati Reds pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during a Major League Baseball game at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Cincinnati's Aroldis Chapman Back Up, Travis Wood Loses Rotation Spot

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5 Total Updates since May 16, 2011
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Reds' Aroldis Chapman Returning To Bullpen

It looks like lefty reliever Aroldis Chapman, who hasn't pitched for the Cincinnati Reds in nearly six weeks, is going to rejoin the club this weekend. From John Fay (via Cincinnati.com):

Left-hander Aroldis Chapman was on the team plane to Baltimore. He could be activated for tonight's game. The Reds also have to make a move to get Homer Bailey back on the active roster. He is likely to start Sunday's game against Baltimore.

Chapman's numbers with Louisville are still pretty ugly -- particularly the 11.77 ERA -- but he's walked only two batters in 5-2/3 innings, which is a welcome switch from the wildness that got him sent down and placed on the DL. Chapman hasn't pitched for the Reds since the 15th of May; that outing was the last in a startling four-appearance stretch in which he walked 12 of the 19 batters he faced.

Meanwhile, Bailey is taking Travis Wood's place in the rotation. This must be rough news for Wood, who hasn't pitched as well he did last season but has pitched better than his 5.11 ERA might suggest.

For much more about the Reds, please visit Red Reporter.

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Aroldis Chapman Injury: Lefthander To Be Optioned To Triple-A

Via tweet from John Fayman, Reds beat reporter for the Cincinnati Enquirer, we learn that lefthander Aroldis Chapman won’t be activated today from his rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville.

Since Chapman has reached the maximum number of days (30) that he can be on a rehab assignment, this means he’ll likely be optioned to Triple-A so he can continue to work on coming back. Chapman threw a scoreless inning Tuesday night and has now run a scoreless streak to six innings, but the Reds apparently feel he’s not quite ready to return to the major leagues.

The Reds are struggling, having lost three of their last four, and stand just two games over .500 at 38-36, third in the NL Central, just 2.5 games behind the division-leading Milwaukee Brewers, but also only 1.5 games ahead of the fourth-place Pittsburgh Pirates. They clearly need Chapman to be 100% ready before his return to Cincinnati.

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Reds Recall Jordan Smith To Replace Aroldis Chapman On 25-Man Roster

Via cincinnati.com, the Reds have recalled righthanded reliever Jordan Smith from Triple-A Louisville to take the place of lefthander Aroldis Chapman, who was placed on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation.

Smith began the year with the Reds and made 14 relief appearances covering 17 innings, posting a 5.79 ERA. He was optioned to Louisville on May 5 when tonight’s starter, Homer Bailey, was activated from the disabled list. Smith made four appearances at Louisville, throwing 3.2 innings without allowing a run. He also pitched briefly for the Reds last year.

A poster at SB Nation’s Reds blog Red Reporter appears to think this injury might not be “real”:

The word is that Chapman has a touch of shoulder inflammation. If I wasn’t so sure this was a phantom injury to help him get sorted out, I might be worried about it.

The move leaves the Reds with only one lefthander, Bill Bray, in their bullpen.

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Reds' Aroldis Chapman Placed On 15-Day DL

Over his last four outings, the Reds' Cuban fireballer Aroldis Chapman has faced 19 batters and walked 12 of them. As Baseball Nation's Rob Neyer wrote earlier today, the Reds didn't seem concerned; in that feature he quoted Reds pitching coach Bryan Price:

"His arm slot gets too low," Price said. "He gets across the ball. He's pulling a lot of balls inside to right-handed hitters."

Confidence can also play into it when you struggle. Chapman has walked eight batters in his last three outings and has only gotten three outs.

--snip--

"I think the first part is a slight mechanical adjustment. The second part is that when he's out there, he's pitching with his confidence. When you struggle a while, you start to question yourself a little bit. I don't know that he's there, but I know it's a typical response."

Physically, Price said, Chapman is fine.

Over the course of less than 24 hours, Chapman went from "fine" to "placed on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation", according to this tweet from the Chicago Tribune's Paul Sullivan:

Reds' reliever Chapman put on DL with shoulder inflammation before tonight's game with Cubs.less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

There's no word yet on who will replace Chapman on the Reds' 25-man roster. The Reds host the Cubs at Great American Ball Park Monday night at 7:10 p.m. EDT.

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