Yankees activate Aroldis Chapman with surprise corresponding move
For weeks, Yankees fans have been girding themselves for Aroldis Chapman’s return from the Injured List, as the left-handed flamethrower powered his way through Double-A hitters in a novelty jersey.
The Month Without a Chapman was overwhelmingly pleasant. Clay Holmes nabbed the closer role and refused to let go, authoring sweat-free save after sweat-free save (except when somebody pressed the Catchers’ Interference button with two outs against Oakland). The “non-elite” backup ‘pen options performed well, from Ron Marinaccio’s one-hit relief to Lucas Luetge’s surprising stability. Despite a distinct lack of the projected firepower, things were going quite alright in a 22-6 month of June against top competition.
When Loaisiga returns, the corresponding move will undoubtedly sting. Marinaccio has found himself firmly in the circle of trust since returning in mid-May, but has options left and could find himself in the minors by midsummer.
Chapman? That move was supposed to be elementary; Manny Bañuelos’ DFA paved the way for JP Sears’ start, which led to Ryan Weber as a backstop, which led to New York’s closer emeritus.
Apparently, Weber gets to stick around a few extra days, though, as Miguel Castro is instead waving Chapman into the bullpen while hailing a cab to get to the paternity list.
Congrats to Castro! Didn’t see this coming, though.
Yankees bring Aroldis Chapman back, send Miguel Castro to paternity list
Castro’s effectiveness has increased lately (save for the Toronto meltdown that prevented a series sweep), and that progression can be tied directly to increased use of his slider. It hasn’t reduced his WHIP, but the erratic Castro has been more impressive than not since altering his arsenal a bit.
No one knows more about being erratically effective than Chapman, who’s become an unwelcome sight in the ninth inning. Preceding his IL stint, the left-hander allowed six earned runs and 11 hits in 5.2 May innings after maintaining an extremely misleading 0.00 ERA in April.
To be effective, Chapman only needs to perform better than the meaty middle of the Yankees’ bullpen. Unfortunately, he largely hasn’t been so far in 2022.
He reportedly won’t be the closer every day, and Aaron Boone has mentioned a preference to use Clay Holmes as a fireman against the toughest late-inning challenge, whenever that might come.
And … I’m sorry, WHAT, Bob Nightengale?
That’s … that’s certainly the first we’ve heard of that.
Stay tuned for updates on whether Chapman returns to the closer role in full. Also, stay tuned for another few days of Ryan Weber.