The New York Yankees placed closer Aroldis Chapman on the injured list on Tuesday because of left Achilles tendinitis. Catcher Kyle Higashioka was activated from the COVID-19 injured list in a corresponding move.
Chapman, 34 years old, has appeared in 17 games so far this season for the Yankees. In those outings, he has amassed a 3.86 ERA (98 ERA+) and a 1.50 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Should those marks somehow hold for the course of the season, they would represent the worst of his career in both categories.
Chapman, whose fastball velocity is down from 98.3 mph in 2021 to 96.8 mph this year, has been particularly ineffective as of late. He’s surrendered at least one run in five consecutive appearances. Chapman had previously not allowed an earned run in his first 12 outings, meaning his ERA has swelled from 0.00 to 3.86 in about two weeks’ time.
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“When you’re dealing with things, sometimes it can affect you, but at the end of the day, it’s not the reason for the last results,” Chapman told ESPN, among other outlets, through an interpreter on Monday. “Pretty simple, things have not worked out the way I would want.”
The Yankees are also without veteran reliever Chad Green, who is set to undergo Tommy John surgery. The most logical internal candidate to take Chapman’s place in the ninth inning, then, is Clay Holmes. He’s posted a 0.42 ERA (900 ERA+) and a 10.50 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 21 innings this year. Holmes has not allowed a run to score since Opening Day, giving him 19 consecutive shutout appearances.