LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - Cincinnati Reds reliever Aroldis Chapman could be heading back to the big club even though his two rehab appearances with the Louisville Bats failed to go as expected.

Wednesday, Chapman entered the game against Norfolk at Slugger Field in the top of the ninth. He had the speed, hitting 100 miles per hour on four of his 21 pitches, but the Tides connected on three hits and handed Chapman three earned runs. Chapman struck out one and walked one batter in one-third of an inning’s work. The Bats held on to win 8-6.

On Tuesday, Chapman threw 33 pitches over two-thirds of an inning, surrendering five earned runs on four hits while walking one and striking out one. He also hit a batter.

Despite a rough two days in Louisville (8 runs, 1 inning and a 72 ERA), Bats catcher Corky Miller says we’re reading too much into the numbers.

“His mentality…he hits that extra gear when the game’s on the line, when the lights are on and the stadium’s full,” says Miller. “Coming out here in a game in Louisville…it’s a little different.”

Bats manager Jim Riggleman says Chapman is physically ready to go. He says Wednesday’s outing was more about Norfolk’s batting than about Chapman’s pitching.

“He’s free and easy. Really, my assessment is more about Norfolk.  They had great at-bats. I give them a lot of credit. When anybody’s throwing 97 to 101 (miles per hour), you get that good of an at-bat, give ‘em credit,” says Riggleman.

Whether the Reds will agree with that assessment remains to be seen, but we could know soon.

FOX Sports is reporting the call back to Cincinnati could happen as soon as this weekend.  The Reds begin at home series with the Colorado Rockies Friday night.

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