MIAMI – Another day, another Yankee to the DL.
Aroldis Chapman became the latest to go to the disabled list, landing there Wednesday with left knee tendinitis. Righthander Chance Adams took Chapman's spot on the 25-man roster.
The move to the DL was expected as soon as the closer signaled to the dugout for the trainer after six pitches of his relief outing in Tuesday night’s 2-1 victory in 12 innings over the Marlins.
“I’m confident that he’s going to play a major factor for us down the stretch and hopefully in the postseason,” Aaron Boone said before Wednesday night’s game. “He’ll fly back tomorrow and see the doctor Friday so we get a little better handle on the timeframe. I do think this is something that he’ll be able to manage hopefully. We’ll just see what the course of action is.”
Boone said in the meantime he’ll close games with “probably a little bit of everyone” - a group that includes Zach Britton, Dellin Betances and David Robertson, each of whom has closing experience.
“Obviously, you take a guy like Aroldis Chapman out of your bullpen, that’s a blow, but we feel like we’re equipped to handle it,” Boone said. “We have guys capable of getting big outs in high-leverage spots.”
Chapman, who is 31-for-33 in save chances this season with a 2.11 ERA, was evaluated and underwent an MRI on Wednesday.
The 30-year-old Chapman, who after Tuesday’s game used the word “worrisome” to describe the discomfort he felt, had been dealing with left knee tendinitis the vast majority of the season, but for the most part it had not impacted his performance.
It was for that reason Boone called it a “huge concern” when the lefthander, who walked Isaac Galloway on five pitches, called for trainer Steve Donohue after throwing one pitch, a ball, to Rafael Ortega.
Chapman was named an All-Star for the fifth time in his career this season but did not participate in the game to give the knee extra rest. He had 26 saves and a 1.35 ERA at the break – as well as 68 strikeouts in 40 innings – but his second half has contained far more hiccups than his first.
Chapman’s second half started with an outing against the Mets July 21 in which he did not retire a batter and was charged with three runs after walking three and allowing a hit. Overall, Chapman has a 6.43 ERA in nine games since the break, striking out 16 but walking 11 in seven innings.
LHP CC Sabathia will come off the DL to start Friday’s series opener in Baltimore. LHP J.A. Happ will start one of Saturday’s double header games, with the other starter being either RHP Sonny Gray or Adams, Boone said. The safe bet is Gray, who has had three decent to good starts in four tries vs. the O’s this season. RHP Luis Severino will start Sunday night.