The Yankees’ bullpen just got a whole lot deeper. Aroldis Chapman is back with the team after recovering from COVID-19. Aaron Boone told reporters that Chapman will pitch the 9th inning tonight if there is a save situation, but they will not use him on back-to-back nights this week. He’s been throwing some sim games at the Alternate Site and supposedly sitting 99 with his fastball. He should be game-ready, but they won’t push him. That all makes sense to me.
Chapman is a welcome addition to the pen. The Yankees middle relief has been shaky at beset so far in 2020, and Chapman has been the best reliever in baseball by fWAR since joining the Yanks in 2016. Chapman threw to a 2.21 ERA (2.28 FIP) with 85 strikeouts in 57 innings pitched for the Yankees last year. His return moves Zack Britton (1 R in 8.1 IP so far this year) to the 7th and 8th inning. It’s good.
It’s bad news for David Hale, though, who was DFA’d to make room on the 40-man roster. Hale has been pretty good in his two years with the Yankees, but will be sent to the Alternate Site if he clears waivers.