Reds 'easing' Chapman back into closer role

Reds 'easing' Chapman back into closer role

CINCINNATI -- Although Aroldis Chapman finished Saturday's 6-0 division-clinching Reds win over the Dodgers, he was not expected to draw a save situation for the time being.

"I think we're definitely easing him back into that situation," Reds acting manager Chris Speier said on Sunday. "It may be another time or two out of the bullpen, and then see what happens."

The Reds rested Chapman after he struggled in a Sept. 10 appearance vs. the Pirates because of a fatigued left shoulder. He resumed throwing off of a mound in Chicago on Wednesday.

Chapman pitched a scoreless ninth inning on Saturday vs. Los Angeles with one walk. He ended the game by inducing a double play on the ground toward second base with his 12th pitch of the appearance.

"I thought he looked good," Speier said. "I was happy that when he was off the strike zone, it was down. That's a good sign. He's getting out front and staying on top of the ball. I know he was anxious to get back out there and it was a good position for him to kind of have a soft landing, just to go out there and get that inning in. We're going to need him down the stretch here or into the playoffs."

In 65 games entering Sunday, Chapman is 5-5 with a 1.57 ERA and 35 saves.