Joey Votto is a pretty good authority on what it takes for a pitcher to be effective. Votto, after all, is the Reds' leading expert on hitting.

Votto thinks Aroldis Chapman can be something the Reds have been longing for since Jose Rijo's elbow blew up: A true No. 1 starter.

The day Votto signed his big deal, he referred to Chapman as just that – "our future ace" – without prompting.

The rub is the Reds have to put Chapman in the rotation to move toward that, and time is ticking away for their decision in one sense.

If they decide to move Chapman to the rotation shortly, it will be a relatively easy transition. Chapman was stretched out in the spring training. He threw 89 pitches in his last outing of spring training on March 29.

He's gone two innings in two of three outing this season. He threw 35 pitches his last time out, so it's not a stretch that he could go 60 pitches or so if they put him in the rotation shortly.