Aroldis Chapman is once again making news for all of the wrong reasons with the New York Yankees, and one has to wonder if this latest drama signals the end of his time on the mound in the Bronx.
Could the latest fiasco involving Aroldis Chapman signal his end with the New York Yankees?
On Saturday, the New York Yankees placed the 34-year-old left-hander on the 15-day injured list after Chapman developed a wound infection following the addition of a recent tattoo. With the Yankees holding an 8.5-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East standings and Chapman having put together a roller coaster season on the mound, the move will likely have little impact on the Yankees as they prepare for the postseason. But it does beg the question of Chapman’s involvement in the team once the postseason rosters are announced.
Chapman has thrown just 30.2 innings for the Yankees this season after missing late May and all of June with tendinitis in his left Achilles tendon. Just before going on the IL for that stint, Chapman had allowed runs in his last five outings and Clay Holmes emerged as a viable closing option in New York.
Those struggles are part of the reason why Chapman has a 4.70 ERA overall and logged a 9.53 ERA in May. The number dipped slightly in July to 6.75 and has leveled out at 3.68 in eight August appearances, despite giving up three earned runs in his last two games (a combined one inning of work).
In spite of all of that, Chapman, who is a free agent at the end of the season, is needed in a New York bullpen that has seen its share of recent injuries, so he will likely be worked back into the mix when he returns from this latest incident. But will he be a part of New York’s plans once truly meaningful baseball begins in October? If so, how?
If this is the last season for Chapman with the New York Yankees, it will be a campaign marked with injuries, ineffectiveness, and questions about how manager Aaron Boone can employ him and give his team the best chance for success.