Aroldis Chapman Injury
The Citi Field Curse seems to be swinging from Queens over to the Bronx. The New York Yankees send fire-balling left-handed closer Aroldis Chapman to the Disabled List retroactive to 5/13. Team doctors diagnosed Chapman with rotator cuff inflammation in his throwing arm. The Chapman injury comes as no surprise, as the 29 year old lefty tends to throw 100 mph fastballs. He relies on that velocity to get the majority of his outs. Unfortunately, that type of high heat puts strain on the human body and injuries are bound to happen.
.@Yankees place LHP Aroldis Chapman (left shoulder rotator cuff inflammation) on 10-day DL.
— MLBRosterMoves (@MLBRosterMoves) May 14, 2017
Chapman returned to the Yankees during the off-season as a free-agent. He received a record-breaking contract for a closer of five years for $86M dollars. He has appeared in 14 games this year, and recorded seven saves in eight save opportunities. In 12.2 innings of service, he has faced a total of 57 batters, struck out 21, walked six, and hit one. His lone blown save led to the 18 inning marathon against the Chicago Cubs. He surrendered three runs in the bottom of the ninth in that game.
The Cuban Missile broke onto the scene in 2010, with the Cincinnati Reds showcasing 100+ MPH velocity. While location has always been suspect for Chapman, the pure heat makes him hard to hit. His save record shows it as well. In his first six years in the majors, Chapman has 182 saves in 203 opportunities. For comparison, all-time save leader Mariano Rivera had 215 saves in his first six years as a closer. If Chapman can stay healthy there is a chance that he could very well surpass Rivera in those numbers.
Short-term solutions for the Yankees
With the Chapman injury, the Yankees will move Dellin Betances into the closer roll. Betances is no stranger to the closer role, having fulfilled it when Chapman was with the Cubs for the post-season last year. This year, Betances owns a minuscule 0.77 ERA, allowing only one run over 11.2 innings pitched. The Yankees further recalled Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders reliever Chad Green to fulfill Betances’ duties in middle relief.