Baker: No closer controversy

The topic of Aroldis Chapman and his role for this season came up this morning in Reds manager Dusty Baker’s office. But before a certain particular question could be asked, Baker jumped in with his own proclamation.

“One thing I want to squash right now: there is no closer situation controversy,” Baker said. “I know everybody wants to be in a hurry to rush [Chapman] in there but we’ve got to get him acclimated to what he’s doing first. Cordero, even though it’s been exciting a couple of times, still was second in in our league in saves the last two years. That’s something most people overlook. There are only a couple of non-exciting closers in baseball and one of them is getting older in Mariano.”

Francisco Cordero was actually third in the NL last season with 40 saves. He had eight blown saves. Near the end of last season, Baker staunchly defended Cordero when there was clamoring for Chapman to close games with his 100-plus mph velocity.

Right now, Chapman will continue to be used in the set-up role he gradually assumed over the final month of last season.

“I plan on using him like I used him last year and we’ll see how he progresses and things,” Baker said. “We need him now more as a reliever than as a starter. The fact he’s left-handed, the fact he seems to throw more strikes and it might be easier on his arm relieving right now.”

Chapman will be speaking to reporters after the workout today and I will have more on MLB.com.

In other news –

*Edinson Volquez was in camp today. A emergency light flashing on his plane in the Dominican delayed him two hours and he missed his connection to Phoenix.

*Dontrelle Willis was also back after he missed yesterday because his wife was having a baby.

*Drew Stubbs arrived to the complex today.

*There were no injuries from the first day’s workout.

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