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Reds won’t activate Aroldis Chapman until Friday or later

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The Reds don’t have an exact plan mapped out yet for the return of hard-throwing setup man Aroldis Chapman, who was eligible to be activated from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday.

According to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Chapman won’t be called back to the bigs Thursday. And might not be activated Friday either.

The 23-year-old left-hander has surrendered a whopping nine hits and seven earned runs in 4 2/3 innings since beginning a minor league rehab assignment last week at Triple-A Louisville. He’s displayed better command, though, and the Reds’ higher-ups believe he has made progress from a mental standpoint.

“He’s better, a lot better,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said Wednesday. “He’s got to get things together mentally and emotionally.”

It might make sense to give Chapman a few more rehab appearances, but so far none have been scheduled. The Cuban defector was placed on the 15-day disabled list May 16 with inflammation in his left shoulder.

Walt Weiss returning as Rockies manager in 2016

Walt Weiss
AP Photo/David Zalubowski
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As first reported by FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Rockies have decided to bring back manager Walt Weiss for the 2016 season — the final year of a three-year deal he signed after his debut season in 2013.

Weiss carries a rough 208-278 managerial record through his first three years at the helm for Colorado, but it’s not like the rosters he’s been managing have been built to win.

The biggest need for the Rockies this winter is pitching — both starters and relievers — and general manager Jeff Bridich is also being retained for the 2016 season to try to find some.

Colorado’s starters and relievers combined for a 5.04 ERA in 2015, worst in MLB.

Colorado’s offense produced 737 runs, ranking fifth in the major leagues.

Astros flashing power early in AL Wild Card Game

Colby Rasmus
AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Houston got on the board first in Tuesday night’s American League Wild Card Game at Yankee Stadium when Colby Rasmus led off the top of the second inning with a solo home run to deep right field against Masahiro Tanaka.

It was the first career postseason homer for Rasmus, whose only other postseason experience came in 2009 with St. Louis. He slugged 25 home runs during the 2015 regular season and will be looking to cash in as a free agent whenever the Astros’ postseason runs come to an end. A big October (and perhaps early November) would obviously help that.

Tanaka retired the next two batters after the Rasmus bomb, but he gave up a single and two walks to load the bases before eventually inducing an inning-ending fielder’s choice groundout from Jose Altuve. Tanaka’s shakiness extended into the third and fourth innings, with Carlos Gomez adding a solo shot to left field in the top of the fourth.

Houston leads 2-0 heading into the bottom of the fifth. Astros starter Dallas Keuchel has looked sharp on three days of rest, tallying five strikeouts through four scoreless frames.