CINCINNATI -- The 30-day rehabilitation assignment for Aroldis Chapman is just about up, which means the Reds will have to make some sort of move involving the lefty reliever. Pitching for Double-A Carolina in the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday, Chapman had his best outing yet with two perfect innings and three strikeouts. He threw 21 pitches (14 strikes). Chapman went on the disabled list May 16 because of left shoulder inflammation, but he has been physically healthy for a while. The last day of his rehab assignment is on Tuesday.
"No decision yet," said Reds manager Dusty Baker. "He's got to end strong. To earn your way back here, you pitch your way back. You don't just have a name to come back." The Reds wanted Chapman to straighten out what became chronic wildness, to mixed results. Over five outings at Carolina, he has a 6.14 ERA with five runs, five hits, six walks and 11 strikeouts over 7 1/3 innings. Before that, he had a 13.50 ERA over three appearances for Triple-A Louisville. He spent 10 days between the rehab stints throwing with pitching coach Bryan Price at Great American Ball Park. Chapman had a 6.92 ERA in 16 games for the Reds this season, but had 20 walks compared to 15 strikeouts in his 13 innings before going on the DL. If the Reds decide Chapman isn't mentally ready to return, they could option him to Triple-A Louisville. Baker said he has yet to discuss the situation with general manager Walt Jocketty. "He'll probably show up, as guys do, on the way to Louisville," Baker said. "We haven't decided if he's going to Louisville or not. He still could pitch again on the 20th or 21st. We'll see. If he's Chapman before that wild streak, we can use him big time."