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Aroldis Chapman shouldn’t have a postseason roster spot

After a mostly frustrating season, the longtime closer doesn’t deserve a roster spot.

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Much has been said and written about the upcoming roster crunch that the Yankees will be facing. Of course, the pitching is a big part of this, as rosters are limited to just 13 pitchers. Most of those 13 spots are largely set in stone for New York, but there are still some real questions left to be answered. One of the most pressing and surprising (if you were to ask sometime in the past), is whether or not Aroldis Chapman should be one of those 13. Based on his performance for most of this year, there is a very solid argument that he should be left off.

On Sunday afternoon against the Orioles, Chapman recorded just one out, giving up a hit, three walks, and two earned runs, saddling him with the loss. After the disastrous outing, Chapman bumped his season ERA up to 4.58, to go along with both the lowest strikeout rate and highest walk rate he’s had since his first full big league season over a decade ago.

Sunday was just his sixth appearance back after nearly a month on the shelf. Though the first five were scoreless, the combination of the limited time back and Sunday’s brutal showing makes his future for the remainder of the season very much up for debate. In the simplest way, Chapman is not a very good or trustworthy pitcher right now, and hasn’t done much to earn a postseason roster spot with this team.

Even with Ron Marinaccio’s health now a bit suspect, there is not necessarily an absolute shortage of options to use instead of Chapman, either. Wandy Peralta will not pitch again in the regular season, but the lefty is close to a return and is a very solid option as someone who isn’t currently on the roster. He has an ERA and FIP below three in 56.1 innings this year, and would likely be a no-brainer assuming he is healthy. Miguel Castro is being reinstated and has good stuff, but has been on the IL since July, although he hasn’t done as much to lose trust as Chapman has, which isn’t nothing.

Albert Abreu is supposed to be healthy as well, and has had a solid comeback as a Yankee in his time this season. Even Greg Weissert, who has interesting stuff, would be somewhat of an option. Essentially, it’s not like the Yankees are just totally hopeless and simply must use Chapman; it would be possible and perhaps advantageous for them to leave the former All-Star off the roster.

The postseason is, obviously, a do-or-die situation. And the best-of-five situation the Yankees will find themselves in is more of a coin toss than most people would like to admit. Chapman is prone to his fair share of blow-ups and out-of-control outings, as we’re all aware. Losing a game on the back of one of those outings, when each game is so crucial, simply is not an option, and likely isn’t a possibility the Yankees should entertain.

In the postseason, there is no room or time to “get right.” It’s the time to deploy the best possible options as often as you can. As it stands now, Chapman does not fit that mold. At the very least, the lefty should not see anything resembling a high leverage situation.

With one final series against the Rangers remaining in the regular season, the postseason is just about upon the Yankees. It is what the entire season is spent building up to, for the team as a whole as well as players carving out their spot on it. Aroldis Chapman’s shaky performance this year has likely built to the point of leaving him off the playoff roster.