This is it: Game 7. Two of them. For all the marbles. Win or lose and then go home.
With three late innings relievers (Madson, Masset and Bray) - and two of the Ma-sty Boys - sidelined, there's the inevitable talk about Chapman relieving again. I would still rather see him starting, with someone like Clay Zavada filling in, but that would involve bumping another player off the 40-man. It seems shortsighted to keep postponing an earnest trial of Chaapman as a starter whenever you need a lefty in the bullpen.
In any case, they're moving ahead with Chapman as a starter for now. He'll lead off the game in Scottsdale. This could actually be a pretty critical start for The Buena Wrist-a Crucial Sub, even though it really shouldn't be. If he has a rocky spring, that could cement him as a member of the bullpen if Bray (or even Madson or Masset) isn't recovered before Opening Day. Three lefties might be overkill, but they've done it before.
It's too early to tell what the injury toll will be on Opening Day, so put it out of your mind. The best thing to hope for is that the injuries are biting early this spring, rather than late like 2011, which will fill the quotas and allow for more recovery time. Also, plenty of time to reconsider putting Chapman in the bullpen.
|REDS @ GIANTS|
|Brandon Phillis 2B||Drew Stubbs CF|
|Zack Cozart SS||Willie Harris 2B|
|Ryan Ludwick LF|
|Juan Francisco 3B||Jay Bruce RF|
|Chris Heisey RF||Scott Rolen 3B|
|Donald Lutz LF|
|Todd Frazier 1B||Dioner Navarro DH|
|Ryan Hanigan C|
|Paul Janish SS|