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MLB notebook: Chapman staying as Reds' closer

| Friday, March 22, 2013, 7:42 p.m.

Left-hander Aroldis Chapman will be bringing his 100-mph fastball out of the bullpen again this season.

The Reds decided to keep Chapman as their closer Friday instead of moving him into the starting rotation, a move that pleased the Cuban pitcher. He was a vital part of the Reds' drive to the NL Central title last year, saving 38 games.

General manager Walt Jocketty signed Jonathan Broxton to a three-year, $21 million deal after last season, giving the Reds a proven closer so they could move Chapman into the rotation. Chapman was a starter during spring training but said last week he had become comfortable as a closer and would rather stay in that role.

• Mets lefty Johan Santana will start the season on the disabled list while he works to strengthen his pitching shoulder. The 33-year-old hasn't pitched in a spring training game this year. Santana hasn't thrown a bullpen session since March 3. That outing was not part of the Mets' schedule and came after general manager Sandy Alderson expressed disappointment that Santana didn't report to camp ready to pitch.

• Diamondbacks outfielder Adam Eaton will be out for up to two months with a left elbow sprain. An MRI revealed a small tear in the fibers around the ulnar collateral ligament. General manager Kevin Towers said Eaton, expected to be Arizona's starting center fielder and leadoff hitter, will be shut down for four weeks, and the best-case scenario for his return would be in six weeks.

• The Nationals signed left-handed reliever J.C. Romero to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. The 36-year-old veteran is expected to begin the season with Triple-A Syracuse, but manager Davey Johnson said Romero provides “insurance” for the Nationals in case they need another left-handed reliever.

• Padres right-hander Casey Kelly will have Tommy John surgery on his pitching arm in the first week of April. Kelly is expected to miss 12 to 18 months while rehabbing. Kelly was shut down because of elbow pain twice during the 2012 season. He was a candidate for the starting rotation.

• Right-hander Jhoulys Chacin, who is slated to start for Colorado on Opening Day, was scratched from a split-squad start against the Rangers with back spasms.

— AP

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