Aaron Boone said Friday afternoon that he would not hesitate to use Aroldis Chapman for a lower-leverage position or “greatest position in the ninth inning” against the Red Sox.
The mayhem Yankees got their ninth inning on Friday night, but it came in mop-up duty, and they dusted off the cobwebs to pitch the final inning of a 4-0 loss at The Bronx, giving themselves a brutal funk. Were looking to get out of .
It appears that the work is in progress. Chapman delivered his second consecutive scoreless out on 23 pitches (15 strikes) and recorded a strikeout, but he also ran a batter, made a throwing error with a wild pickoff attempt and left a pair of flyouts on the warning track.
“Better,” said Boone. “Glad he was able to get there. I thought he recognized and made some small changes to the outing. When he missed a pitch, he wasn’t snowballing at it. Like he did some things As far as making some adjustments within the game, within a batsman, which I found encouraging.
“I thought it a good move for him and hope he can move on.”
It was Chapman’s first appearance in 10 days and only his second appearance in seven games as he took the lead in three consecutive outings. He also went to the All-Star Game in-between—an honor he received for his 0.39 ERA through his first 23 appearances—but didn’t pitch in Denver.
In nine appearances from June 10 to July 4, Chapman amassed 14 earned runs in 5/ innings. He made three saves in that stretch – not including an 8–4 lead in the ninth inning against the Angels – while dropping four home runs, nine going and hitting six.
Chad Green has since taken over closing duties, while Chapman’s only appearance before Friday was in the ninth inning of a 12-1 win over the Mariners on July 6.
Boone has insisted that Chapman’s struggles are not related to MLB’s action on the foreign substance – although the timeline is up – but rather the result of his delivery being out of whack. The manager reiterated that if the Yankees are to get where they want to go this season, they need Chapman to pitch as he is capable of pitching.
“That’s the Chapman I know and I’ve come to see and experience,” catcher Gary Sanchez said of Friday’s outing. “You have to understand, as a bowler, we all go through different struggles. You have to fight and get back on track. There is no doubt in my mind about his abilities.”