His first 20 innings of the year in April and May featured a ridiculous 0.45 ERA and 0.75 WHIP. He had a negative FIP at one point!
But then came June. Chapman completely unraveled to the tune of a disgusting 11.42 ERA and 2.77 WHIP. Talk about regression to the mean…
July still wasn’t “pretty,” but it was certainly better. A 4.00 ERA and 1.33 WHIP was at least progress. August slightly improved as well, with Chapman logging a 3.38 ERA, but an unsightly 1.88 WHIP.
If we want to pick and choose the stats to fit a more positive narrative, however, take out his horrific outing against the Mets on July 4 and we actually have a very favorable stretch of pitching from the flamethrowing lefty.
So, we must ask, is Chapman returning to form just in time for the stretch run?
Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman might be turning a corner.
Chappy’s lowered his ERA by more than a full run since July 4, but his WHIP is still a concern, and that’s a more accurate statistic to judge relievers by. Across his last 16 outings, his mark stands at 1.37. Not terrible, but also far from ideal.
There are still remnants of his unforgivable stretch in June. It’s not completely gone, but it’s slowly dissipating. Six of his last 15.1 frames (40%) have been completely clean, so we’re certainly trending in the right direction.
And his splitter? It might be back. Might be. We have to see more.
He’s made adjustments and, more times than not, he hasn’t been searching for his velocity the moment he steps on the mound in the ninth. We’ve seen triple digits fairly frequently from the jump. And he’s been a lot better at locating his fastball, which was the paramount issue causing his previous spiral.
Are we ready to pronounce Chapman “back”? Not by any means. He’s in the bottom 1% of the league in walk rate. His expected ERA, chase rate, max exit velocity, hard-hit percentage and expected weighted on-base percentage aren’t good, either.
But this current run of form is worth monitoring because it could provide a springboard for a return to dominance for the most important games of the 2021 Yankees’ season.
Now that would be quite the story, wouldn’t it?