The Yankees got one stalwart back Tuesday in Aaron Judge.
Another could be back as soon as Wednesday.
Closer Aroldis Chapman, on the DL since Aug. 22 with left knee tendinitis, came through a simulated game Monday OK and is likely to be activated “tomorrow or Thursday,” according to Aaron Boone.
“Everything went as expected and I feel good,” Chapman said Tuesday through his translator. “Arm feels great, knee feels great.”
Chapman, 31-for-33 in save chances this season with a 2.11 ERA, had been dealing with tendinitis in the knee most of the season and for the most part it did not impact his performance.
But the lefthander signaled to the Yankees dugout that he needed to come out after throwing six pitches in the 12th inning of a 2-1 victory over the Marlins on Aug. 21. Afterward Chapman used the word “worrisome” to describe what he was feeling.
But an MRI showed just the inflammation and no structural damage and Chapman suffered no setbacks during his rehab.
“I feel really good,” said Chapman, who had two PRP (platelet-rich plasma) injections during his rehab. “Happy to see that I’ve gained the strength back in that knee, which I lost a little bit. So everything that has happened with the rehab work that I’ve done has helped a lot.”
Gardner to the bench?
Andrew McCutchen, primarily a centerfielder in his career with occasional starts in right, started his first career game in left Tuesday, perhaps an indication of what the Yankees will do in the outfield for the postseason. Brett Gardner, hitting .207 with a .286 OBP in the second half, sat Tuesday and it would seem, with the return of RF Aaron Judge, playing time for the 35-year-old Gardner the rest of the way will be sporadic at best. Giancarlo Stanton, the DH Tuesday, is also an option in right.