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Chapman to start vs. Rockies today


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Reds lefty Aroldis Chapman will make his Spring Training debut Thursday, starting against the Rockies at Salt River Fields. The 25-year-old made four starts last spring for Cincinnati, but this year is different, because the Reds plan on keeping Chapman in the rotation heading into Opening Day.

Last year during camp, Cincinnati shifted him to the bullpen because of injuries to the expected relievers, and his ensuing season was dominant. Chapman finished 2012 with a 1.51 ERA over 71 2/3 innings in 68 games, while striking out 122 batters.

"I have no worries about my arm," Chapman said recently via an interpreter. "Since I've known about this, I've been working and getting prepared to do what I did before. Nothing has changed."

Like the rest of the Reds' arms in their first outing of spring, Chapman will likely only pitch one or two innings on Thursday.

If his move into the rotation is successful, Reds reliever Jonathan Broxton would take over the closer role.

Of Chapman, Reds manager Dusty Baker said: "He could very well be my best starter and my best reliever."

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