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#pounditThursday, September 29, 2022

Articles tagged: Aroldis Chapman

Could Yankees make major Aroldis Chapman roster decision?

Aroldis Chapman in his Yankees cap

Jun 29, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) looks on after the Yankees loss against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. White Sox won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees have an abundance of bullpen arms when they are all healthy, and that could lead the team to make a major decision relating to longtime closer Aroldis Chapman.

On Monday’s episode of MLB Network’s “MLB Now,” reporter Joel Sherman suggested that the Yankees might leave Chapman off their postseason roster due to his inconsistency and the amount of other options they can turn to.

“Even if he hadn’t got hurt, I’m not sure Chapman makes their postseason roster, he’s been so inconsistent,” Sherman said.

It’s hard to argue with this as a possibility. The 34-year-old lefty has been ineffective for much of the season, posting a 4.70 ERA with 22 walks in 30.2 innings. He’s also hurt now with an infection, which probably will not help matters, especially with how he contracted it.

The back end of the New York bullpen has been good for much of the season, and Clay Holmes is back from the injured list Monday to improve the situation further. There’s just no real reason for Chapman to have a significant role right now, even when healthy.

Aroldis Chapman lands on injured list with bizarre infection

Aroldis Chapman in his Yankees cap

Jun 29, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) looks on after the Yankees loss against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. White Sox won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Though not quite Fernando Tatis Jr. getting a haircut, Aroldis Chapman now finds himself out of commission for an extremely unusual reason.

The New York Yankees placed their star reliever Chapman on the 15-day injured list this week (retroactive to Aug. 24). In their release announcing the move, the team revealed Chapman had come down with an infected wound from a recent tattoo session.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone added that the infection was in Chapman’s leg, calling it “pretty bad.” Boone also said the team was treating the veteran left-hander with “antibiotics and things like that,” per ESPN’s Marly Rivera.

In his age-34 season with the Yankees, the seven-time All-Star Chapman has struggled. He lost the closer job to Clay Holmes back in May, went on the injured list with Achilles tendinitis, and had posted a 5.40 ERA in 19 appearances since returning (mostly in a setup role).

Now Chapman, who will be a free agent after the season, is on the shelf once again, this time with a much more absurd ailment. Those tattoo parlors can be surprisingly dangerous though. Just ask this fellow MLB player.

Yankees manager not giving up on Aroldis Chapman yet

Aroldis Chapman in his Yankees cap

Jun 29, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) looks on after the Yankees loss against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. White Sox won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

New York Yankees reliever Aroldis Chapman had another ugly outing on Friday night, allowing two hits and three runs in just 0.1 innings pitched. His ERA ballooned to 5.75 and fan frustration is really beginning to boil over.

Having already lost his job as closer to Clay Holmes, Chapman now finds himself just struggling to hang on. But he has at least one supporter in the clubhouse — manager Aaron Boone.

Following Chapman’s latest disaster of an outing, Boone attempted to put a mildly positive spin on things and suggested the 34-year-old is close to breaking out. The staff just has to help “pull it out” of him.

“It’s obviously tough right now for him. He’s going through a tough time and grinding, but from what we’ve seen the last three weeks, it’s in there. We’ve just got to pull it out,” Boone said, via Bryan Hoch.

“We’ve just got to keep building some successes and get the confidence back to where he’s that guy out there. That’s what we’re working to do,” Boone added, via The Athletic.

The struggling Chapman has to turn things around quickly. Fellow reliever Michael King suffered a fractured elbow on Friday night and will miss the remainder of the season. That’s a devastating blow to the team’s bullpen and puts the onus on others players, Chapman included.

Aroldis Champan shows concerning drop in velocity

Aroldis Chapman in his Yankees cap

Jun 29, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) looks on after the Yankees loss against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. White Sox won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

New York Yankees reliever Aroldis Chapman has struggled in recent outings, having allowed a run in five straight games for the first time in his career. In Game 1 of a Sunday doubleheader with the Chicago White Sox, Chapman’s struggles continued.

Chapman came in to preserve a 1-1 tie in the top of the ninth inning, but did just the opposite. He allowed a go-ahead solo home run by White Sox outfielder A.J. Pollock on the second pitch of the inning. He was pulled from the game after giving up another run on an RBI single from outfielder Adam Engel three batters later. The Yankees went on to lose 3-1.

What was particularly troubling about the outing, however, was Chapman’s lack of velocity.

The 34-year-old isn’t as young as he once was, but still has the ability to dial up fastballs in the upper-90’s. But on Sunday, Chapman threw just two fastballs over 97 mph. Out of the eight fastballs he threw during the inning, three sat at a hittable 95 mph, including the pitch Pollock crushed into the left field seats.

Chapman’s decrease in velocity is part of an alarming downward trend in most of his pitching metrics.

So far in 2022, he has a career-low 96.8 mph average fastball velocity, and a career-worst opponent batting average (.208) and strikeout percentage (24.2%).

After a strong start to his season, Chapman has given up 13 hits and six earned runs in 14 innings, in addition to 10 walks.

Chapman’s struggles predate this season, however. His stuff has been declining since MLB’s crackdown on sticky substance use last June. His average fastball spin rate is down over 1,000 revolutions per minute compared to this time last year, as detailed in the chart below.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters postgame that the southpaw has been dealing with Achilles discomfort, which may have contributed to Chapman’s poor performance on Sunday.

With Chad Green, one of the Yankees’ most reliable bullpen arms, scheduled to have Tommy John surgery, Chapman will need to figure out a way to get opposing hitters out without the overpowering fastball that he used to be known for.

Aroldis Chapman had some issues with PitchCom before losing game

Aroldis Chapman PitchCon

The New York Yankees lost a tough game to the Baltimore Orioles on Friday, and the new PitchCom system may have been partly to blame in their minds.

Closer Aroldis Chapman was trying to preserve a 1-1 tie in the 11th inning of Friday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles, and faced a key 3-2 pitch with the bases loaded and two outs. A walk would end the game, so Chapman had to get this right.

However, Chapman was clearly having issues hearing the PitchCom in his ear. Crowd noise may have interfered with his ability to get the sign.

Chapman wound up missing with a slider and walking in the winning run. He ultimately did not execute his pitch, but he may have been flustered due to the technical difficulties.

PitchCom is a new technology that is meant to prevent sign stealing, which is certainly something the Yankees are sensitive about. All 30 teams have the option to use it, and some have elected to try it early in the season. Clearly, it has some issues to work out, and maybe home crowd noise could become a big factor just like it is in football.

Aroldis Chapman hoping for return to Yankees next season

Aroldis Chapman in his Yankees cap

The Yankees have another pending free agent who would prefer to stay in pinstripes.

Closer Aroldis Chapman, who is in the final year of a three-year, $48 million contract, is interested in remaining with the team beyond the 2022 season.

Speaking to NJ Advance Media prior to Sunday night’s series finale against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium, the 34-year-old made it clear that he would like to get another deal done.

“Of course I would like to have the opportunity to sign another contract,” Chapman told NJ Advance Media’s Brendan Kuty through the team’s Spanish interpreter. “At the same time, it’s one of those things that — it’s kind of out of my hands. I’m here today. I’m going to do my job and focus on that.”

Chapman’s tenure with the Yankees has been a mixed bag.

He’s been almost impossible to hit at times, striking out 97 batters in 56.1 innings in 2021 on his way to 30 saves.

In 2019, Chapman recorded 37 saves, one shy of his career-best 38, and struck out 85 batters over 57 innings.

He’s also blown his fair share of saves, including five in 2019 and four in 2021.

So far this season, the lefty has appeared in two games, recording a save and striking out three hitters in two innings.

Both of Chapman’s appearances have come in the ninth inning, even though he may have to pitch in earlier innings at some point this season.

Photo: Patrick Gorski-USA Today Sports

Yankees making 1 big change with Aroldis Chapman this season

Aroldis Chapman in his Yankees cap

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

Aroldis Chapman may lose closer role after latest blown save

Aroldis Chapman

Aroldis Chapman’s status as New York Yankees closer is in serious danger after another blown save on Sunday.

Chapman has allowed runs in four of his last five appearances following Sunday’s loss to the New York Mets in the first game of a doubleheader. The lefty took the mound in the seventh inning with a 5-4 lead and gave up a leadoff home run to Pete Alonso. He proceeded to hit Michael Conforto with a pitch and walk Jeff McNeil, at which point he was removed from the game. Both runners later scored, meaning Chapman was charged with three earned runs and a loss without recording a single out.

After the game, manager Aaron Boone admitted that with an off day Monday, Chapman’s role will be evaluated.

“We’ll continue to talk through that,” Boone said when asked about Chapman’s status as closer. “Obviously we’ve got another important one right now, so that’ll be something that we’ll talk after these games with the off day tomorrow. We’ll have to talk through that.”

Boone also questioned Chapman’s decision to throw a 1-2 slider to Alonso after the Mets first baseman had just swung and missed at a fastball, stating that he didn’t “think that was the right spot for that.”

Chapman’s troubles started June 10, when he gave up a pair of two-run home runs in the 9th inning of a 7-5 loss to Minnesota. Since then, the 33-year-old has given up 14 earned runs in 5.2 innings, and his ERA has risen from 0.39 to 4.71.

The Yankees sit at .500, and those around the team aren’t hiding their frustration with what has been a poor season thus far. Chapman could be an easy scapegoat as his struggles continue, and Boone’s public admission makes a change seem likely.

Mike Brousseau gets revenge on Aroldis Chapman with huge home run

Mike Brousseau home run

Mike Brousseau got revenge on Aroldis Chapman with a huge home run in Game 5 of the ALDS between his Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees at Petco Park in San Diego, Calif. on Friday night.

Brousseau was batting in the bottom of the eighth inning against Chapman with the game tied at 1 and one out. Brousseau battled Chapman throughout the at-bat with four foul balls. Then on the 10th pitch, he took Chapman deep for a home run to break the tie.

Diego Castillo closed the door on the Yankees in the ninth to give the Rays a 2-1 victory and the series win.

So what’s the story with Brousseau and Chapman?

Earlier this year, benches cleared between the Rays and Yankees after Chapman threw at Brousseau’s head.

Chapman ended up suspended three games for throwing at Rays hitters.

That’s sweet, sweet revenge for Brousseau, although he disagreed.

“No revenge. We play them the best. We came here to win a series, we came here to move on. We do what we do best, and that’s play our game,” Brousseau said in a postgame interview with TBS.

Brousseau went 2-for-2 as a pinch hitter in the game. Austin Meadows homered in the fifth, and four pitchers combined to give Tampa Bay the win.

Did Aroldis Chapman have a bathroom issue on mound?

Aroldis Chapman

Aroldis Chapman appears to have had a bathroom issue while pitching on Saturday.

Chapman pitched a scoreless ninth with two strikeouts in his New York Yankees’ 2-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles in 10 innings.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone made a mound visit during the inning. Boone was asked about the visit after the game and hinted at a bathroom incident.

“He’s fine. He’s fine. Mother nature calls sometimes,” Boone said while laughing.

Chapman seemed to find some situation enjoyable. After getting a strikeout to end the inning, he turned towards center field and gave a huge smile.

Some wondered whether Chapman was cracking up about having soiled himself. If so, he wouldn’t be the first athlete to do that during competition.