5th starter battle down to two

It seems to be a two-man race for the rotation’s fifth spot — Mike Leake and Travis Wood. Aroldis Chapman seems all but eliminated based on comments from Reds general manager Walt Jocketty.

Chapman had back spasms during his March 22 start and hasn’t been stretched out enough. He will most likely begin somewhere in the Minor Leagues, which hasn’t been determined.

“The injury set him back to the point where it’s going to be tough for him to be ready to start the season as one of our five starters,” Jocketty said.

Had it not been for the setback, Chapman could very well have made the team. He was pitching the best among the seven contenders.

“He was still in competition,” Jocketty said. “I think we needed the spring to figure out what is the best route for him. even without the injury, we may have decided to send him some place to get established first.”

Chapman, who pitched a scoreless inning Sunday in a Minor League game, is slated to work three innings behind Leake vs. Oakland on Wednesday.

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