Reds not ready to announce Aroldis' role

Reds not ready to announce Aroldis' role

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Reds planned no announcement on Thursday regarding a decision about pitcher Aroldis Chapman's role for this season. A report indicated the club was prepared to say Chapman would be closing this season.

Reds manager Dusty Baker and general manager Walt Jocketty denied that a decision had been made.

"I don't know where that came from. We didn't say that," Baker said. "There's plenty of speculation every day. We'll let you know soon, then we can put it to rest and no more talking about [it]. I'm sure everybody has an opinion one way or the other no matter which way we go. It's a topic of discussion."

A decision either way on Chapman directly impacts fellow rotation candidate Mike Leake, who was the fifth starter last season. Leake is still scheduled to start on Friday vs. the Dodgers, with Chapman slated to follow from the bullpen.

Baker would not say how many innings Chapman was scheduled to pitch.

Chapman, 25, has a 2.25 ERA in three games this spring, including two starts.

Last season, Chapman was 5-5 with a 1.51 ERA and 38 saves in 43 attempts and was made the closer on May 20. In his 71 2/3 innings, he had 23 walks and 122 strikeouts over 68 appearances.

For at least another day, the speculation will continue on what the Reds do with Chapman and Leake.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.