Ron Marinaccio injury update should keep Aroldis Chapman off Yankees’ playoff roster


If you tuned in for a meaningless Yankees-Orioles game on Sunday afternoon hoping to watch Aaron Judge rewrite the history books, we hope you enjoyed your consolation prize: another Aroldis Chapman unraveling, in potentially his final appearance wearing the Yanks’ home pinstripes!

Chapman entered amidst a rainy, windy recipe for disaster in the seventh inning of a tie game, and immediately undid all of Chi Chi González’s hard work (what?!), retiring a single batter, walking three, and allowing two earned runs.

Never say never, but after a string of “encouraging” outings that seemed poised to fool Aaron Boone and company (he’s changed, he’s really changed!), Chapman’s final mess in the Bronx seemed like the nail in the coffin of his postseason roster chase. The 34-year-old played all the greatest hits: airmailing fastballs, showing zero command from the jump and never regaining it, an inability to recover from a leadoff single … with the three-batter rule in place, the man is simply unusable in 1/3 of his appearances (at least).

Can’t carry him in the postseason. Can’t. Simply cannot. And yet … after Ron Marinaccio was called in to put out Chapman’s walk-filled, slow-moving fire (man, imagine this guy with pitch clock next year), the sturdy right-hander left with a trainer in the eighth, putting a lump in Yankees fans’ throats.

Was Chapman back … on the playoff roster, seconds after he’d self-immolated? Why are the Yankees stuck in this endless loop, inevitably leading to postseason ugliness?

After the 3-1 loss, Marinaccio and the team confirmed his issue was not arm-related, but rather some shin soreness that’s sapped him a few times this season. He’ll have an MRI in the coming days. All of this is still nerve-wracking, but not in the same stratosphere as a barking elbow that immediately thrusts Chapman back into the spotlight.

Yankees may have ducked Aroldis Chapman trouble with Ron Marinaccio injury update

Show of hands: Anyone need to see more Chapman during the four-gamer in Texas? Anything else you think you might be able to “learn” from an additional Chapman outing? Any more data those brain-busters in the front office need to look at? Or does everyone just accept that he’s bad news by now, in ways both measurable and immeasurable?

Assuming Marinaccio is a go seems safer than assuming Clay Holmes will be available for the ALDS; he’s currently sitting out a minor shoulder strain, and has another eight days to get right. Wandy Peralta is hanging at the faux “Alternate Site” in Somerset, tossing to a rehabbing Matt Carpenter.

In other words, the Yankees’ bullpen is “in flux,” but not “in flux” enough to toss Chapman into the fire and flames.

Being conservative and assuming only two of the three aforementioned names make the ‘pen, that still leaves Scott Effross, Jonathan Loaisiga, Lucas Luetge, Domingo Germán, Clarke Schmidt, and Lou Trivino. Miguel Castro is reportedly being activated in Texas, too, and while nobody has any idea what that guy’s going to look like, we’ll take the Mystery Box over Chapman at this point, too.

Assuming the MRI shows nothing and Marinaccio just has a weird nag in his leg, that result will probably be Chapman’s last straw. Although, knowing the Yankees’ luck, it’ll probably show that Marinaccio’s leg fell off 50 years ago, leaving Chapman to save the day.