The New York Yankees have danced around their starting pitching the past few weeks. A lack of efficiency from their starters has forced manager Aaron Boone to look to his bullpen in relief situations. Utilizing 3-4 bullpen arms per game is not a sustainable game-plan for the Yankees, as they desperately need their starters to last more innings and give them more production.
Aside from ace Gerrit Cole, the starting rotation hasn’t been able to survive more than four innings in most occasions. With the bullpen being overused through just 18 games, the Yankees are entering dangerous territory, and the postseason could become a much more difficult reality with deficiencies at the forefront of their pitching.
On the bright side, they will soon be gaining back closer Aroldis Chapman. They have been using Zack Britton as their primary closer the past few weeks, but gaining Chapman back will allow them to utilize Britton in different scenarios.
Through 7.1 innings, Britton currently has a 1.23 ERA, allowing just one run and striking out five batters. He has gotten himself into some tumultuous positions, but luckily his defense has bailed him out. Allowing runners on base with the final outs of the game is exactly what a closer isn’t supposed to do. While Zack is considered a premium option, Chapman represents the better of the two.
Where has Aroldis Chapman been?
Aroldis tested positive for COVID-19 prior to the start of the regular season and has been recovering ever since. While he experienced minimal symptoms, he faced live batters this week and is almost ready for action.
“I feel good,” Chapman said via the team’s Spanish interpreter, per Brendan Kuty of NJ.com. “I felt good throwing and playing catch. I faced hitters for the first time (Tuesday). It felt better than expected. I think I’m going to have another outing Thursday or Friday, and I hope I can rejoin the team after that.”