Cincinnati is about to get its fireballing closer back.
FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi was told Tuesday that left-hander Aroldis Chapman, who has been on the shelf since taking a comebacker off his face in a mid-March Cactus League game, could “return to the Reds’ active roster as early as this weekend.”
Chapman hit 101 mph with his fastball in his rehab debut last Thursday at Low-A Dayton and displayed no obvious shyness on the mound. His minor league rehab assignment is moving to Triple-A Louisville on Tuesday, where he’s slate for two or three outings.
Chapman, 26, owns a 2.40 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, and 324 strikeouts in his first 198 2/3 major league innings.
The Reds enter play Tuesday with a 15-16 record and six-game deficit in the NL Central standings.
Major League Baseball has announced the umpiring crew for the World Series. John Hirschbeck is the crew chief. It’s his fifth World Series assignment, third as a crew chief.
A surprising name on the crew is Joe West. It’ll be his sixth World Series overall, but first since 2012. There had been chatter for several years that Major League Baseball was making a more concerted effort to get its best umpires into the World Series more often while minimizing the appearances of its weakest umpires. Most assumed West’s absence from the Fall Classic in recent years, despite his seniority, was a function of that. Maybe they’re still making merit a priority and maybe West has just improved? I’ll leave that for you to judge.
Anyway, here is the lineup of umps for Game 1. They will rotate after that, of course. If the series goes six games, Cowboy Joe will be calling the balls and strikes:
Home plate: Larry Vanover
1B: Chris Guccione
2B: John Hirschbeck
3B: Marvin Hudson
LF: Tony Randazzo
RF: Joe West
Replay Official for Games 1-2: Sam Holbrook (with assistance from Todd Tichenor)
Replay Official for Games 3-7: Larry Vanover (with assistance from Todd Tichenor)