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Reds plan to pen Chapman

Although it might seem like something of a waste on the surface, the Reds plan to keep flame throwing reliever Aroldis Chapman in the bullpen in 2011, according to a report.

And, when you consider who the Reds' manager is, it might not be that bad of an idea.

Dusty Baker is best known for his central role in destroying the future of much ballyhooed Cubs starters Mark Prior and Kerry Wood by pitching them until their arms fell off and then pitching them some more.

Chapman, 22, threw only 13 1/3 innings for Cincinnati in 2010, striking out 19 while walking five and allowing nine hits. He had a 2.03 ERA. While he has good height for a starting pitcher, he's 6-foot-4, he's a big slight of frame at only 185 pounds. So it makes sense to build up his arm strength before you cut Chapman loose.

It will be interesting to see how Chapman fares as major league hitters get a second and third look at him. He's been clocked in the 104 MPH range, which most hitters don't see in a lifetime. But, as the old saying goes, a major league batter could hit a bullet if it was straight and they had enough cracks at it to gauge the speed.

He was 9-6 with a 3.57 ERA in 95 2/3 innings pitched in 2010 for Class AAA Louisville.