CLEVELAND – Aroldis Chapman was dropped from the injured list ahead of Friday’s game but was not returning to his familiar role close to the All-Star. The 34-year-old has lost his job as a Yankees chief close to Clay Holmes.
This is something Yankees manager Aaron Boone discussed with Chapman ahead of his return
“We’ve talked and we’ll continue to talk. He deserves it,” Boone said before the first match of Friday night’s series against the Guardians at Progressive Field. “He deserves that kind of respect. So, as we go on, we’ll try and be as clear as we can, move to a game where we see him but for now it’s taking him back in. And he is ready for anything. ,
Chapman, through Yankees interpreter Marlon Abreu, said he understands that Holmes has just earned that role. In his absence, Holmes saved 14 of the 15. He has scored only two earned runs in this season’s 36.2 innings.
Now, the Bombers will have to try to get Chapman back in high-leveraged positions where he can be successful.
“The biggest thing right now for me and Chappy is that I want to get him in a really good place where he is pitching somewhat regularly. Especially to start here, whatever the position is, whether it is low leverage, medium leverage or it can be high leverage as the game dictates it. It can take off because the game dictates it,” Boone said. “I just want to get him into situations where he’s going out with the best chance of succeeding. Hopefully he will get into that good rhythm where he is accelerating to the strike zone. And if we can do that, we’ll be in a good place.”
Chapman was in great shape at the start of 2021, but has struggled since then. In 17 appearances this season, the Cuban native had the highest ERA of his career (3.86) and the lowest strike rate (22.7%) before suffering an Achilles/ankle injury. His fastball velocity, which has been declining since 2017, averages 97.1 mph. The velocity is low on all their other pitches as well.
With the luxury of Holmes, the Yankees took a little extra time to get Chapman back from IL so he could work on his delivery. Chapman said no major mechanical changes were needed. Pitching coach Matt Blake said he was trying to focus Chapman on staying in line and Boone described the work as making Chapman “more compact”.
“He can spread a little bit wider. And then there can be a little dissonance.” Boone said. “So just trying to keep him almost short, and just tight. Almost like playing catch. I go back to the beginning of last year, those first two months, which was so efficient, and it was probably the best version of Chappie we’ve ever seen. And he is saying something. ,
Chapman, who consistently threw 100 mph, said he was “polishing” his mechanics and that he was not concerned about the drop in his velocity.
“The mechanics have been like this for a long time. So polishing my mechanics…. I’m not paying as much attention to velocity as you guys are,” Chapman said. “You guys want to focus on velocity and make it a thing, but the reality is (these) mechanics have been my mechanic’s mechanics for a long time. So polishing won’t give me any boost of X speed, that it”
To get Chapman back on the active 26-man roster, the Yankees moved Miguel Castro to the paternity list.
“I think at the end of this week, we expect him to meet us in Pittsburgh,” Boon said.
pitchers are making progress
Yankees right-arm reliever Jonathan Loisiga will face live hitters for the first time since moving to the IL on May 25 with a swollen right shoulder. Loisiga departed New York for Tampa when the Yankees left the city on Wednesday night to work out at the Player Development Complex, where he would hold live batting practice on Saturday.
Boone said Domingo German, who started the season at IL with right shoulder impingement syndrome, will begin another minor league rehab on Sunday. He is expected to increase his pitch count with Somerset, which last stood at 43. Blake said they were preparing him to be used in a bullpen or rotation role.
The Yankees and Guardians were postponed due to bad weather. They will play a split doubleheader on Saturday with Gerrit Cole pitching the first game, starting at 12:10 p.m. Nestor Cortes will pitch the nightcap scheduled for 6.:10 p.m., the fifth game the Yankees have played this season has been postponed.