Joe Girardi declines to commit to Aroldis Chapman as Yankee closer
Struggling New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman did not get much of a vote of confidence after another horrendous outing Friday night against the Boston Red Sox.
Chapman was asked to pitch the eighth inning Friday with the Yankees down a run to the Red Sox, but the flamethrowing closer once again struggled, allowing two runs in his inning of work and failing to keep the deficit in place. It was the fourth consecutive outing in which he has allowed a run, having now given up seven in his last 4.1 innings of work. Moreover, he failed to back up home plate after giving up a hit in the outing, which got him an immediate admonishment from manager Joe Girardi.
After the game, Girardi did not exactly back Chapman to remain in the closer’s role.
Girardi, on if Chapman is still his closer: "I'll sleep on everything and talk about it like we always do, and go from there."
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) August 19, 2017
It’s worth noting that Girardi had a very different message prior to this outing.
Girardi on Chapman: "He's available and he's my closer." #Yankees
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) August 18, 2017
Chapman has dealt with a hamstring issue, which may be a factor in determining the way forward. Still, the Yankee closer hasn’t really been his dominant self all season and has been a huge disappointment, and with the team in a tight playoff race and other options with closing experience such as Dellin Betances and David Robertson available if necessary, the question has to be asked whether Chapman is still the right man for the job for the immediate future.