The Yankees have a major bullpen problem brewing

aroldis chapman, yankees

The New York Yankees blew an opportunity to steal a win against the Chicago White Sox on Saturday evening, but thanks to another inconsistent performance from closer Aroldis Chapman, the team wasn’t able to reach extra innings for one last shot at victory.

Chapman may host a 1.54 ERA this season, but his strikeouts per nine are down significantly. He’s striking out 9.26 batters per nine innings and walking 6.94, two of his worst numbers since entering the league back in 2010.

The 34-year-old closer acknowledges that Chicago got the best of him in the loss.

“Things got a little complicated,’’ Chapman said after the loss. “You’ve got to give them credit. They got the job done.”

Chapman has been abysmal in the month of May over four games. He’s allowed five hits, two earned runs, and walked three batters, striking out just two over 3.1 innings of action.

Chapman started off the season in better form back in April, but hosting a 5.40 ERA this month has showcased opposing teams’ ability to get a hold of his pitches. In terms of velocity, Chapman is throwing 97.3 mph on average with his fastball, down 1.2 mph compared to 2021. His slider is down nearly an entire mph. He’s also incorporating a split-finger fastball 16.1% of the time, up about 5% from last year.

Aroldis’s advanced metrics showcase a pitcher that has lost his touch. His called strike percentage is up 4% this year to 20.4%, but batters are making significantly more contact in recent years. In fact, the total percentage of contact made when swinging at all pitches has risen to about 70%, a 10% increase. The percentage of times a batter makes contact with the ball when swinging at pitches thrown inside the strike zone is up 8% to 80.4%.

With Chapman’s velocity down significantly, he’s losing a lot of his production and efficiency. Batters are seeing his pitches far better, creating more walks and better contact. His hard-hit percentage is up to 38.7%, just around what he recorded in 2021, which is a significant increase compared to 2020 and prior.

Chappy’s 4.73 SIERA and 4.88 xFIP are the worst in his entire career up to this point, meaning the Yankees might be headed toward a serious problem unless he can get his velocity back up.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: