Yankees left-handed reliever Aroldis Chapman has been fined and will not be part of New York’s ALDS roster after he missed a mandatory workout, according to The Athletic’s Lindsey Adler. Manager Aaron Boone told reporters (including MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch) that Chapman had not provided an “acceptable excuse” for his absence.
Even before this incident, Chapman had a tenuous grasp on a playoff roster spot. CBS Sports recently chronicled why he was considered to be on the bubble:
The Yankees were reportedly considering cutting Chapman just a week-and-a-half ago, yet a slew of new and/or lingering bullpen injuries may leave them no choice but to roster him in October. To wit, New York is currently without Ron Marinaccio, Wandy Peralta, Zack Britton, and Clay Holmes, severely thinning their bullpen options ahead of the ALDS. Although Chapman is never going to resemble his old dominant self again, he’s healthy and he’s had a few successful outings as of late. That might be good enough.
Chapman, a 34-year-old impending free agent, appeared in 43 games during the regular season. He amassed a 4.46 ERA (88 ERA+) and a 1.54 strikeout-to-walk ratio in those contests. Each of those marks registered as career-worst offerings.
Though Chapman served as the Yankees closer entering the year, he has not recorded a save since May 17. He limited his chances to right the ship by missing nearly a month of action late in the season because of an infection from a recent tattoo. In seven appearances thereafter, he posted a 3.18 ERA in 5 2/3 innings, albeit while running an unsightly 1.54 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
The Yankees will begin their playoff run on Tuesday by taking on the Cleveland Guardians in a best-of-five Division Series. The Yankees, by virtue of possessing the superior record, will have home-field advantage.