New York Yankees star closing relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman was benched Sunday with left shoulder rotator cuff inflammation and could miss at least a month of the Major League Baseball season. Then, on Friday, Chapman gave up a run on three hits in 2/3 of an inning to the Astros.
Chapman told reporters that discomfort started in an appearance against Boston last month. Chapman left without speaking to reporters.
In his last few outings, Chapman would periodically grab at his arm, but when asked, he would say there was nothing to worry about. "But, eventually, it got a little worse".
The Yankees first acquired Chapman in the offseason before the 2016 season by taking advantage of the Reds' desperation to trade him because of a domestic violence incident that hung over his head and his large salary. You just never know with shoulder injuries.
The four-time All-Star's average fastball velocity has dropped from a major league high 100.9 miles per hour last year to 98.2 miles per hour this year, according to MLB's Statcast.
Chapman is 1-0 with a 3.55 ERA and seven saves in eight chances this year. In a corresponding move, they called up right-hander Chad Green from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Girardi said reliever Adam Warren's role may expand. Chapman exited the game in the middle of the inning while being tended to by the team trainer and manager Joe Girardi. Chapman initially remained in the game, then was removed after Jose Altuve's single.
After the DL stint was announced, Chapman maintained "it's really hard to say that that was the cause, because not too long ago I felt great and I was pitching really good". The Yankees will obviously be careful with their $86 million investment, though.