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Chapman says he's ready for rehab assignment

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CINCINNATI -- Following his final pitching tune-up in the controlled setting of live batting practice on Tuesday, Reds closer Aroldis Chapman felt ready to begin a Minor League rehab assignment later this week.

Chapman threw 25 pitches while facing teammates Roger Bernadina, Neftali Soto and Ramon Santiago.

"It went very good," Chapman said via translator Tomas Vera. "I think all of my pitches were how I want. I believe the location was the way I wanted. I think everything went well."

The tentative plan is to have Chapman begin a rehab assignment on Thursday at Class A Dayton.

"Yes, I think I am ready," Chapman said. "I believe about four to five games would be good for me before I join the team once again."

"Right now what makes the most sense is Dayton," manager Bryan Price said. "They have their final game [of a series] against Lansing up there. We'll have to manage it moving forward. It's not written in stone. It's a possibility."

Chapman, who is trying to return from being hit in the head by a line drive on March 19, threw 27 pitches in the first live BP last week in Pittsburgh and 43 pitches over two simulated innings in the second one on Saturday in Atlanta. In the second and third sessions, he worked without a screen.

This time, Chapman was dialed back to one inning of work again.

"He's stretched out. His arm is in great shape," Price said. "It's just a matter of real game situations. We feel he is ready. It shouldn't be a terribly long rehab stint, I believe."

Chapman also did not use his fastball as much in Tuesday's effort.

"I was throwing more changeups and sliders," Chapman said. "I was working more with them because I know I have my fastball. I've got the feeling of my fastball. I need to keep working with my breaking pitch."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

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