1. There’s No Closer!
Say it with us! There’s! No! Closer! Aroldis Chapman might not even make the postseason roster, if the Yankees actually had the guts to make such a drastic decision.
But his supposed successor in Clay Holmes has been awful for months now. His overall season numbers are good, but it’s all about how you’re performing as October approaches. In Holmes’ case, he’d be all but officially dead to rights in this scenario.
Since July, the right-hander has allowed 16 earned runs on 22 hits and 15 walks in just 25 innings of work. Compare that to his two earned runs on 22 hits and six walks in his first 36.2 innings of work, and perhaps the picture is better painted for you. He has just six saves in his last 25 games, compared to an impressive 14 through his first 35 games.
Aaron Boone has no choice, though. Chapman is as bad and unreliable as they come (4.41 ERA, 4.64 FIP, 1.38 WHIP, 23 walks in 32.2 innings). He cannot locate. His off-speed stuff isn’t good enough to make up for his diminishing velocity. He’s continued to let the team down in astonishing fashion after a career-worst 2021 (and now a career-worst 2022!).
Loaisiga, despite a recent rebound, has regressed back to his previous production. After a breakout 2021 that had fans anointing him as the organization’s next closer, the right-hander has a 4.64 ERA, 3.81 FIP, 1.34 WHIP and 33 strikeouts in 42.2 innings pitched. He’s also struggled terribly with his location (4 BB/9) and has seen his strikeouts dip. It’s unclear what the problem has been beyond his previous shoulder injury.
As you can see, right now there’s no closer. And the Yankees have been doomed in previous postseasons thanks to a combo of their offense going silent and their bullpen being unable to hold onto slim leads. What’s told us this year will be any different, especially now that the bullpen’s arguably the worst it’s been since 2017?