Aroldis Chapman went to the Arizona Fall League in order to build up some arm strength in preparation for pitching as a starter in the Puerto Rican winter league, but the Reds have canceled those plans.
Chapman is healthy after briefly being sidelined by shoulder soreness in Arizona, but general manager Walt Jocketty told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that they’ve decided to have the 23-year-old left-hander stay in the team-controlled environments in Arizona and Florida:
We’ve decided against sending him to Puerto Rico. He’s on a strength-and-conditioning program in Arizona. He’ll go to Florida after that and continue to work out. There’s no injury. We just want to make sure he’s 100 percent. He had the shoulder issue during the season.
Despite the change of plans the Reds are still hoping that Chapman can make the transition from reliever to starter for 2012, which means he might spend spring training building arm strength instead of showing up to camp ready to work as a starter.
Veteran right-hander Bartolo Colon was released from his minor league deal with the Rangers on Saturday, MLB.com’s TR Sullivan reports. Despite his strong showing in spring training, Colon wasn’t considered a lock to make the Opening Day rotation. This may not be the end of his time with the team, however — according to multiple reports, the Rangers have expressed their desire to restructure a minor league deal with the right-hander and could work out an arrangement to keep him on as bullpen and Triple-A depth this season.
Colon, 44, is preparing for his 21st year in the majors. He split his 2017 campaign with the Braves and Twins, posting a cumulative 7-14 record in 28 starts and finishing the season with a 6.48 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 5.6 SO/9 in 143 innings. While those numbers were some of the worst he’d seen since 2009, the veteran righty made a compelling case in camp this spring, holding batters to six earned runs, four home runs, two walks and 10 strikeouts in 18 innings.
The Rangers are expected to open the season with a rotation comprised of Cole Hamels, Doug Fister, Matt Moore, Mike Minor and Martin Perez. Perez is working his way back from an elbow injury in his non-throwing arm and is slated to miss his first start of the season, which would provide a brief window of opportunity for Colon when the Rangers hit the road in April.