The trouble continues to mount for the Yankees. On the same day the club placed Didi Gregorius on the disabled list, a pair of high-end bullpen arms raised some red flags.
As the Bombers attempted to shut the door on the Marlins in the 12th inning on Tuesday night, closer Aroldis Chapman experienced a flare up in with his knee tendinitis. The problem manifested after issuing a leadoff walk to Isaac Galloway and firing a ball to Rafael Ortega. The left-hander signaled to the dugout, summoning Steve Donohue and Aaron Boone to the mound. He departed from the game after a brief discussion.
According to Marc Carig, Chapman explained this time the pain felt worse than usual. The Yankees closer first reported suffering from knee pain a couple months ago. That resulted in him declining to participate in the All-Star Game, despite making the team.
Chapman, 30, has pitched to a 2.11 ERA with a 1.84 FIP over 47 innings. He’s recorded 31 saves while posting a terrific 16.09 K/9. After a shaky first year of his contract in 2017, he rebounded nicely this season. Losing him for any period of time would definitely sting.
Meanwhile, David Robertson curiously didn’t appear in tonight’s game. According to Bryan Hoch, that’s because the right-hander has a “tender shoulder after playing catch.” Even if Robertson wasn’t worried about it, this is a right call. Shoulder injuries can be devastating for a pitcher, so no use in risking any significant damage.
Robertson, 33, has had a roller coaster of a season. His 3.11 ERA (2.81 FIP) is slightly above his career average, and a far cry from his dominance down the stretch last season. Nonetheless, he’s an integral part of the late-game bullpen. Like Chapman, if Robertson gets sidelined for an extended stretch, the Yankees are in for a headache.