Reds “don’t know” whether Aroldis Chapman will start or relieve

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Aroldis Chapman has pitched well as a starter this spring, but manager Dusty Baker said yesterday that the Reds remain unsure whether he’ll be in the rotation or the bullpen to begin the season.

And according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer sending Chapman to Triple-A so he can continue starting there is also a possibility because he has a minor-league option left.

Baker told Fay that the Reds “are close” to making the decision, but “right now, we don’t know.” In the meantime Chapman is scheduled to make his next start Saturday in a split-squad game while his competition for the final rotation spot, Homer Bailey, starts the other game.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.