Ahead of today’s matinee with the Mariners, the Yankees announced that they had placed reliever Aroldis Chapman on the IL with elbow inflammation, retroactive to last night. They recalled right-hander Nick Nelson from Triple-A to take Chapman’s spot on the active roster.
This is, of course, yet another blow to the team, just as it’s beginning to hit its stride. That said, the Yankees’ ship has appeared to be taking on water for weeks now with numerous players testing positive for COVID, yet the club has kept winning. They’ll now have to do so without their closer for some stretch of time.
Chapman had recently looked as though he’d rediscovered his form after a dreadful midseason lull. The left-hander hadn’t yielded a run in his last seven appearances, allowing a .422 OPS to opposing hitters over that span. However, Chapman looked shaky in his latest outing on Thursday night, putting a couple runners on and showcasing diminished velocity, perhaps presaging this IL stint.
The Yankees will have no shortage of options to cover the closer role, whether via Chad Green, Zack Britton, Jonathan Loaisiga, or some sort of committee. But the bullpen will be a little less deep, and there has to be some concern about how long this injury will affect Chapman. Now well into August, any injury has the potential to throw a player’s readiness for October into question.
An MRI on Aroldis Chapman showed no damage to the elbow ligament (other than whatever wear and tear might be typical for a pitcher), source says.— Andy Martino (@martinonyc) August 7, 2021
Well, that’s good news at least. Chapman will still be shut down for a week, but it’s a relief to know there’s no serious damage.