Chapman's fate has yet to be decided

Chapman's fate has yet to be decided

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- One of the few mysteries of Reds camp has been what the club will do with left-handed pitcher Aroldis Chapman to open the season.

There appear to be three choices: Chapman can be the fifth starter in the big league rotation, he can be a reliever in the Reds' bullpen or he can be a starter at Triple-A Louisville. No decision has been made, yet.

"We're close," Reds manager Dusty Baker said on Thursday afternoon. "You'll be notified when we make our decision on what's happening. Right now, we don't know. The last time, it was decided kind of for us [in 2010], you know what I mean?"

The last time the Reds were on the fence like this with Chapman was two springs ago. But he suffered a back injury late in camp and wound up starting the season as a starter at Louisville.

The Reds have split-squad games on Saturday and have both Chapman and the other fifth starter candidate, Homer Bailey, making starts. Chapman will face the Padres in Peoria, while Bailey will get the Giants in Goodyear.

In three big league exhibition games, including two starts, Chapman has a 2.57 ERA with one walk and seven strikeouts in seven innings. While pitching in a Minor League game on Monday, he gave up two runs and four hits over 2 1/3 innings, with two walks and four strikeouts.