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Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman absent from camp again

Closer Aroldis Chapman, who had an excused absence

Closer Aroldis Chapman, who had an excused absence from workouts Feb. 25, the second in a week, throws a bullpen session during at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida, on Feb. 23, 2016. Credit: Thomas A. Ferrara

TAMPA, Fla. — For the second time in four days, Aroldis Chapman had an excused absence from Yankees camp to deal with a personal matter Thursday.

“An excused absence for personal reasons,” general manager Brian Cashman said Thursday morning. “Shortly after we acquired him, they gave us some information about ‘there’s something he needs to attend to on these particular days.’ No problem.”

Neither of the absences was related to MLB’s investigation of Chapman for an alleged domestic-abuse incident last Oct. 30, a source said.

Commissioner Rob Manfred has indicated he will hand down a decision in the case at some point this week.

The expectation is that Chapman will receive a suspension of some kind. Twice in the last week, Chapman, who is expected back in camp Friday morning, has said he will appeal if that is the case.

n Five years? No way!

On Wednesday, Mark Teixeira said that given how good his body feels, he’d like to play five more seasons. Alex Rodriguez smiled Thursday and all but scoffed at that number for himself.

“I do love the game, I’m madly in love with the game of baseball, that’s for sure,” said Rodriguez, who has two years remaining on his contract. “But I won’t be playing five more years.”

n High heat

Like the rest of his teammates, Rodriguez is excited about the possibilities Chapman brings to the back end of the bullpen, which includes Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller.

Said A-Rod, “Chapman gives us a chance to have, if healthy, a historical bullpen.”

n Mining for 3B depth

Prospect Rob Refsnyder, who doesn’t have a position at the big-league level, according to many opposing team scouts, will get some work at third in spring training in addition to his regular work at second.

“We’ll see how it goes,” Ref snyder said. “I’m willing to do anything, to be honest.”

Refsnyder played two years in rightfield in the minors before being switched to second in 2013. New second baseman Starlin Castro also will get some work at third because the Yankees need a suitable backup for Chase Headley.


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