New York Yankees veteran left-handed reliever Aroldis Chapman was placed on the 15-day injured list Saturday because of an infected wound he got from a recent tattoo procedure, the club announced. According to broadcaster Michael Kay, the infected wound is on Chapman’s leg. The move is retroactive to Aug. 24.
Chapman, 34, has endured uncharacteristic struggles this season, his sixth with the Yankees. In 30 2/3 innings out of the bullpen, he’s pitched to a 4.70 ERA (83 ERA+) with 35 strikeouts and an unseemly 22 walks, all unintentional. Chapman, owner of one of the most legendary fastballs ever glimpsed, has 315 saves for his career and a long history of dominance. That dominance, however, has eluded the pending free agent in what may be his final season in the Bronx.
While Chapman’s ineffectiveness in 2022 is duly noted, the Yankees and manager Aaron Boone don’t have a lot of bullpen depth at the moment. Michael King and Chad Green are out for the remainder of the season, and five other relievers of varying degrees of importance — Clay Holmes, Albert Abreu, Scott Effross and Miguel Castro — have also landed on the IL in recent days and weeks. Zack Britton is currently on a minor-league rehab assignment in his recovery from Tommy John surgery, but his return to the active roster is not imminent. Given the state of the relief corps, getting innings from a rotation that’s presently without Luis Severino and Nestor Cortes will be important.
On the upside, the Yankees have a hefty lead in the American League East and enter Saturday’s slate with a five-game win streak. They’ll try to keep that streak going with yet another reliever laid up.