LOS ANGELES -- It doesn't take a trained eye to see that Reds lefty reliever Aroldis Chapman's rehab assignment statistics aren't very good. But Sunday's third outing for Double-A Carolina was an improvement with two scoreless and hitless innings with two walks and three strikeouts. He threw 20 pitches, including 11 strikes.
In his three games at Carolina, Chapman has a 19.29 ERA with five runs, five hits and five walks over 4 1/3 innings.
"We still feel like we're going in the right direction but there still have been some bouts with command," Reds pitching coach Bryan Price said. "This kid doesn't need to be a guy that walks three batters or less per nine innings or that type of ratio. He'll probably settle into his command the more he pitches. It's been mixed reviews. He's thrown the ball very well at times. He's put together some good sequences. He's done very well in stretches but there are periods of time he hasn't done well."
Chapman, who has been on the disabled list since May 16 with left shoulder inflammation, also had a 13.50 ERA in three rehab games with Triple-A Louisville. He has nine days left in the maximum 30-day rehab assignment.
If the Reds don't feel Chapman is ready, they could always option him to the Minors to give him more time. Whether that choice is on the table is unknown.
"We haven't talked about that. I'm not going to volunteer my thoughts on that," Price said. "We'll discuss it once we get back off this road trip and see where he is. I've been in touch with [Carolina pitching coach] Tom Brown, who is doing a nice job working with him there. The goal is to get him back to throwing the ball crisply with some consistency. We'll certainly be looking at his performance in Double-A as an indicator of how sharp he is and add it to the equation when we decide."