Monday, February 19, 2018
Sports

Reds' star closer Chapman back from spring injury

CINCINNATI — The Reds activated LH closer Aroldis Chapman from the 15-day disabled list before Saturday's game against the Rockies.

Chapman was active for the first time this season one day after RHP Jonathan Broxton blew his first save after five straight. Broxton allowed Colorado to tie Friday's game after Cincinnati had snapped a 2-2 tie in the eighth. The Reds won 4-3 in the ninth on Joey Votto's homer.

Chapman recorded 38 saves each of the past two seasons for the Reds, and manager Bryan Price said he wouldn't waste any time using Chapman in a save situation.

"I'm not hesitant," Price said. "He doesn't need a soft landing."

That was good news for Chapman, who opened the season on the disabled list after having surgery to repair damage after being struck in the left eye and nose by a line drive during a spring training game March 19.

"I hope I pitch" Saturday night, he said through assistant trainer and interpreter Tomas Veras. "I'm really happy to be back with the team."

NEAR NO-NO: Yu Darvish thought he had given up a hit when Red Sox DH David Ortiz made contact.

The Rangers ace was talking about the popup in the seventh inning Friday that was ruled an error without being touched, not Ortiz's clean single through the shifted infield with two outs in the ninth that did break up the no-hitter in Texas' 8-0 victory.

"Obviously I was a little disappointed, but I was already ready to give up a hit, so it didn't really matter," Darvish said through his interpreter about the error that led to Boston's first runner. "But I was getting tired, so I thought it could have been a hit so I don't have to pitch that many more innings."

It was another near-miss for Darvish, who came within one out of a perfect game last season against the Astros before Marwin Gonzalez singled through his legs.

"If I keep pitching like this, someday I'll get it," Darvish said of a no-hitter.

GIANTS MOVES: RHP Matt Cain, who missed two starts because of a cut on the tip of his index finger, was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list, and 1B Brandon Belt went on the DL with a broken left thumb. Belt is expected to be out for at least six weeks. Manager Bruce Bochy said LF Michael Morse will get the bulk of the playing time at first.

BRAVES: RHP Jordan Walden, one of the team's top setup men, went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring. LHP Ian Thomas was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett.

DODGERS: C A.J. Ellis, recovering from April 8 arthroscopic surgery to repair a left-knee meniscus tear, was scheduled to begin a rehabilitation assignment today at Triple-A Albuquerque.

INDIANS: RHP John Axford, who has a 4.91 ERA in 17 games, was pulled as closer. Cody Allen, Scott Atchison, Marc Rzepczynski and Bryan Shaw could get chances to fill the role.

METS: The team is considering sending RHP Jenrry Mejia to its struggling bullpen. Mejia, 24, has had trouble pitching deep into games lately, and three of New York's top prospects are pitching effectively at Triple-A Las Vegas.

WHITE SOX: Ace LHP Chris Sale, on the disabled list with strain in a flexor muscle near his left elbow, said he felt fine after throwing 50 pitches in a simulated game.

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