The return from suspension of reliever Aroldis Chapman Monday provided an obvious boost to the Yankees, who now have their much-heralded trio of bullpen stars all at the ready.
Still, Carlos Beltran cautioned Tuesday, adding Chapman to Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances is not the answer to all of the Yankees’ challenges.
Asked whether having Chapman could be an emotional lift, the veteran outfielder said, “I mean, he’s a guy who’s going to come in one inning. He can’t hit, he can’t play defense. So we have to do our part also.
“We can’t depend on three guys to bail us out every night. As an offense we have to score runs. There might be days where we have to give those guys a break because we’ve been using them too much. Everything has to work perfectly for us.”
Beltran, speaking at BTIG’s Charity Day event, did agree that Chapman will give manager Joe Girardi more options.
“Now you have three guys and you can use them back to back to back,” Beltran said. “He’s one of the more powerful lefties in the game. So it gives Joe Girardi the flexibility of, if he needs to give a break to Betances or Miller, then Chapman is the guy.”
Beltran said he never has hit against Betances, “but what I see from the outfield he’s a power guy. And I’ve faced Miller before. Very uncomfortable at-bat. And of course, Chapman. So it’s fun to see those guys playing on your team.”
Girardi, also speaking at the BTIG event, said of Chapman, “I think he can help a lot. A manager always wants his team intact. It gives you more depth in your bullpen. There’s a few games where I think it would have made a difference if he was here.”
Asked about the Yankees’ mini-surge on offense, Girardi said, “I think it was just due to turn around. There are too many good bats in that lineup and we had struggled for whatever reason.”
Why didn’t it happen sooner? Said Girardi: “If I knew I would have flipped the switch a long time ago.”