Sadly, it couldn’t be further from the truth. Nearly all of Chapman’s advanced metrics (among other surface-level numbers) tell a different story, and we can go down the list quickly for you:
- 3.36 FIP
- 1.37 WHIP
- 1.33 K/BB ratio
- Expected ERA (36th percentile)
- Walk percentage (2nd percentile)
- Chase rate (30th percentile)
- Hard hit percentage (51st percentile)
Also … 12 strikeouts in 11.2 innings? TWELVE! Compared to nine walks? You simply can’t tell Yankees fans this is the long-term solution for the 2022 season.
Chapman’s now had back-to-back blemished outings, giving up his first earned runs of the season in a squeaker against the Blue Jays (thankfully a victory) and a loss to the White Sox after coming on in a tie game in the ninth.
On Sunday, despite Chapman pitching just four times this month and never throwing more than 20 pitches, manager Aaron Boone went to Clay Holmes to shut the door. Does that indicate the team might be moving toward a more open-minded approach with the closer’s role?
Might the Yankees use Aroldis Chapman in fewer save situations?
Chapman’s back-to-back first earned runs of the 2022 season were a long time coming. His inaccuracy and declining velocity have obviously contributed to this. In the game against Toronto, he put the 8-9 hitters on base and walked the No. 9 man, which is unacceptable. On Saturday vs Chicago, it only took four batters for the winning run to score, and his fluctuating velocity (95-100?) certainly wasn’t intimidating the opposition.
And that might’ve been why Boone went with right-hander Clay Holmes on Sunday. Holmes has by far been the Yankees’ best reliever and it’s time the team starts looking for solutions beyond 2022 when Chapman is finally a free agent and no longer in the Bronx.
Holmes also pitched on Saturday and has appeared in a league-high 18 games for a reliever (seven this month alone). It’s not like Chapman couldn’t have used the work, especially with a four-run cushion! It just seems like Boone didn’t want to deal with a potential headache.
After Chicago’s walk-off win on Saturday, Sox star Tim Anderson said nobody’s “afraid” of Chapman’s fastball anymore. Bet you’re scared of Holmes’ sinker and slider, though! And unlike Chapman, Holmes’ advanced stats align with his surface-level ones (0.49 ERA and 0.76 WHIP vs 1.63 FIP, 1.35 expected ERA, 2.9 walk percentage and .185 batting average against).
Then there’s Michael King, who saved Chapman’s bacon back in mid-April (and has been brilliant himself) as well as the struggling Jonathan Loaisiga, who could rediscover his footing after a career season in 2022.
Boone has options, and it’s not irresponsible to assume he’s looking at other ninth inning options after his bullpen decision on Sunday because of Chapman’s instability and imminent departure.