The Yankees intend to activate closer Aroldis Chapman tomorrow, according to Lindsey Adler of The Athletic. Chapman has yet to pitch for the Yankees this year after a positive COVID-19 test during Spring Training 2.0.
Chapman originally went on the injured list on July 11, so it’s clearly taken a bit of time for him to not only get healthy, but also ramp back up into the swing of things.
Nonetheless, he’ll be a key addition to the back end of the Yankee bullpen, which has relied primarily upon Zack Britton in save situations through the first 20 games. Even with Chapman on the sidelines, Yankee relievers have been as dominant as expected, with Britton, Chad Green, and Adam Ottavino anchoring the unit. Unfortunately, they now find themselves without Tommy Kahnle, who underwent Tommy John surgery nearly two weeks ago.
The 32-year-old Chapman will embark on the first season of the $48MM extension he inked with the Yankees last winter. The shortened season means he will only earn a prorated version of his nominal $16MM salary.
Chapman, though perhaps slightly more worldly than he was when he broke into the Majors in 2010, is still one of the most dominant arms in baseball. Last year, he pitched to the tune of a 2.21 ERA while striking out 85 batters in 57 innings of work. And though his fastball averages a meager 98.2 mph these days, expect more of the same dominance when he makes his return to the mound in the coming days.