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Aroldis Chapman not ready to return to Yankees just yet

Aroldis Chapman, looking on during Yankees-Red Sox game

Aroldis Chapman, looking on during Yankees-Red Sox game last week, isn't quite ready to return yet.  Credit: Jim McIsaac

PHILADELPHIA – Aroldis Chapman isn’t quite ready to rejoin the Yankees, but he is taking the steps to get there.

Aaron Boone said before his team played the Phillies in a doubleheader Wednesday that Chapman was scheduled to throw a bullpen later in the day Wednesday at the club’s Alternate Site in Scranton.

“He’ll probably have at least a couple of those before he faces live hitters,” Boone said. “I don’t expect [him] anytime soon, but I feel like physically he’s in a good spot.”

Chapman tested positive for COVID-19 just a few days into Spring Training II and has been out since then. He only was cleared to resume training in Scranton over the weekend.

“We’ll just kind of monitor how each pen goes, then how his live BPs go and make a smart decision about when to bring him back,” Boone said.

Rotation set

Boone announced his rotation for the rest of the week. Jordan Montgomery will start Thursday against the Phillies at Citizens Park. Masahiro Tanaka goes Friday in St. Petersburg, Fla. against the Rays and Gerrit Cole will start one of the games for Saturday’s doubleheader, with the Yankees going the opener route for the other game. James Paxton wraps up the four-game series Sunday.

Kahnle has surgery

Tommy Kahnle, expected to be a bullpen stalwart this season, underwent Tommy John surgery Tuesday at NewYork-Presbyterian hospital. The operation was performed by team physician, Dr. Christopher Ahmad.

Boone on 28

According to a report in The Athletic, MLB is altering its extensive 2020 operations manual, allowing teams to play with 28-man rosters the rest of the season. Initially the figure was to be 30 players, trimmed after two weeks to 28 and then after another two weeks the number dipping to 26.

“Obviously for us, whether we’re at 28, 30 or it’s our 40-man [roster] guys, I really like our players,” Boone said. “I like our depth, so I feel like filling out the roster, hopefully, is a point of strength for us. Probably a little bit mixed [emotions] on how I feel about it, but in a way I kind of applaud Major League Baseball for evaluating each and every day, each and every week where we’re at in this 2020 season and playing in a pandemic and being mindful of players and players’ safety and making sure we manage this as best we can.”

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