Despite overcoming all kinds of adversity this year, and despite putting forth a commendable effort to save their season since the start of the second half, the baseball gods insist on doing everything in their power to break the New York Yankees’ spirit.
Just when it seemed like the Yankees were putting everything together after the trade deadline, Gerrit Cole and Jordan Montgomery hit the COVID list, joining Domingo German (shoulder), as members of the starting rotation who currently aren’t available.
Shortly thereafter, Gary Sanchez tested positive for COVID-19. The slugging catcher will quarantine for a minimum of 10 days before he can rejoin the team.
What more could possibly go wrong? Yankees fans won’t be happy they asked that question, because Aroldis Chapman, who recorded his 23rd save of the season on Thursday, has been placed on the 10-day injured list with elbow inflammation. Out of nowhere!
To fill Chapman’s spot on the roster, the Yankees recalled Nick Nelson.
Aroldis Chapman hit the injured list out of nowhere on Saturday.
It hasn’t been smooth sailing for Chapman since MLB cracked down on the usage of foreign substances, but nobody suspected he was dealing with an injury.
Perhaps he felt something on Thursday night, when he gave Yankees fans a heart attack by allowing a pair of baserunners in the ninth inning of a two-run game?
Whatever the case, this puts even more pressure on Zack Britton, Jonathan Loaisiga and the inconsistent Chad Green to close out games while Chapman recovers. It also means that we’ll probably see Nelson in a high-leverage situation at some point in the near future.
We’ve have seen that movie far too many times this season for our liking, but this is merely the reality when so many pitchers are on the shelf. Having said that, if there’s a silver lining to be had with this news, it likely means fans we’ll see more of Stephen Ridings.
In his MLB debut on Tuesday against the Orioles, the 25-year-old Ridings hit 100 MPH on the radar gun and struck out the side on 16 pitches. He even recorded four clutch outs (zero hit and zero walks) during Friday night’s tightly-contested bullpen game.
Still, fans still shouldn’t make light of Chapman’s absence.
For as shaky as the Cuban Missile has been in recent months, however, we’re still talking about one of the most unhittable hurlers in the league…even when he doesn’t have his best stuff.
Let’s hold our breathe and hope his elbow inflammation isn’t anything too serious.