The New York Yankees are “at least considering” appointing left-handed reliever Aroldis Chapman. according to Joel Sherman of New York Post. The Yankees’ decision comes down to whether they think Chapman’s mechanical problems can be fixed within the next week, and then whether they want to keep him in their postseason lineup.
Sherman also suggests that the Yankees have no plans to bring the soon-to-be-free agent Chapman back next season.
Chapman, 34, used to be one of the best pitchers in the majors. He has struggled this season, posting a 4.36 ERA (90 ERA+) and a 1.52 strikeout to walk ratio over 33 innings. This season, his pace has dropped by more than a mile an hour from last, and he’s needed a couple of trips to the injured list. Chapman only returned to the active roster in mid-September, missing several weeks due to an infected wound from a recent tattoo he had.
Although Chapman entered the season as the Yankees closed in, he hasn’t made a save since May 17. More recently, the Yankees have used him in low-shoulder situations, and instead the Yankees have opted to use Clay Holmes, Jonathan Loaisiga, Scott Effross. , and Lou Trivino as late game pitchers.
Indeed, Chapman’s average leverage — a measure that attempts to gauge the “pressure” of any given situation — is a career-worst 1.27. Or, in other words, for the first time in his career, he is gaining momentum to appear more often in low leverage situations than in high leverage situations.
The Yankees entered Sunday with a 93-58 regular season record to give them an 8 1/2 game lead in the American East League. Their magic number has been reduced to three, which means they could claim the division crown earlier this week.