Aroldis Chapman is preparing as if he’ll move into the starting rotation this season following two-plus years in the bullpen, but the Reds still haven’t made a final decision on his role.
“I’d like to decide soon and get my team together,” manager Dusty Baker said, via John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I don’t like having guys in the middle. That’s a bad situation when you’re in the middle of anything. An unknown. Then everybody else is in an unknown situation.”
Baker noted that Chapman went through something similar last spring before eventually moving into the closer role and saving 38 games with a 1.51 ERA.
As for who, exactly, will be making the final decision on Chapman? Baker says “the decision is not only mine, it’s ours … but I got my opinion.” And if the manager gets his way Chapman will remain the Reds’ closer.
There were a few exhibitions against college teams yesterday but today the Grapefruit League and Cactus League schedules begin in earnest, with big league teams, more or less, facing big league team, more or less.
The baseball will look like baseball, but the teams will be wearing different caps today: black caps with the maroon “SD” of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting on February 14.
All teams and umpire crews will wear the caps pre-game, and they have the option to wear the caps during the games. The only two teams not playing today — the Royals and Rangers — will wear them tomorrow.
After the games players will sign the caps and they will be auctioned off to raise money for the Broward Education Foundation, which benefits the official Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund.
Here’s today’s schedule: