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.
Cardinals right-handed pitching prospect Griffin Roberts has been suspended 50 games following his second positive test for a drug of abuse, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Roberts, 22, is currently ranked the Cardinals’ tenth-best prospect by MLB Pipeline. He was selected in the first round of the 2018 draft and signed for a $1.66 million bonus, after which he split his first year in pro ball between the rookie-level GCL Cardinals and High-A Palm Beach Cardinals. He finished his run in 2018 with a combined seven runs, four walks, and 13 strikeouts in 9 2/3 innings across the two levels, and projects as a potential major-league starter (or solid righty reliever) after touching up his fastball-slider combo and proving he can command the ball on a consistent basis.
Whether he’ll emerge from A-level ball with a more concrete idea of his future role with the team will have to wait until he’s reinstated from the restricted list. He should be eligible to rejoin the Cardinals’ minor league affiliate sometime in mid- to late-May 2019.