Yankees making 1 big change with Aroldis Chapman this season
At 34 years old, flamethrower Aroldis Chapman cannot just be unleashed like he was before without his arm turning into spaghetti. Thus, the New York Yankees are planning accordingly this season.
Joel Sherman reported this week that the Yankees are making a big change with Chapman’s usage — they now plan to pitch him in the eighth inning on occasion. Sherman adds that Yankees manager Aaron Boone views it as a way to prevent long layoffs for Chapman and keep him sharp in case save situations do not arise for several games.
“It will serve him well at times and protect other guys at times,” Boone was quoted as saying. “It will help us as a staff and keep Aroldis more regular rather than let him get to five, six days without pitching.”
The seven-time All-Star Chapman has essentially been a full-time closer for the last decade. He finished the game in 46 of his 61 appearances for the Yankees last season and did not pitch in the eighth inning even once.
Chapman is about to enter Year 13 in the majors though, and his struggles were pretty blatant at times last year. The Yankees are not used to trotting Chapman out there in the eighth, but it could be what best preserves the left-hander’s effectiveness as he gets older.
Photo: Patrick Gorski-USA Today Sports