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HomeSportInjured list ‘in play’ for Aroldis Chapman as Yankees’ bullpen concerns grow

Injured list ‘in play’ for Aroldis Chapman as Yankees’ bullpen concerns grow

The hits keep coming for the Yankee bullpen. 

With Chad Green heading towards Tommy John surgery that will end his season, Aaron Boone said the IL is “very much in play” for Aroldis Chapman, despite an MRI showing no damage to the left-hander’s Achilles tendon. 

“Everything came back good and clean,’’ Boone said before the Yankees faced the Orioles on Monday, a day after Chapman was scored upon in a fifth straight appearance in the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader, when the Yankees were swept by the White Sox. 

Boone said Chapman had Achilles tendinitis and the team would make an IL decision in the coming days, depending on how Chapman responded to treatment. 

The lefty had already seen his grip on his role as closer somewhat diminished, as Clay Holmes continued to excel, while Chapman’s velocity and command remained issues. 

The loss of the dependable Green — who is scheduled to undergo UCL surgery next week and be out 12-18 months — and the potential absence of Chapman will impact the pen as a whole. What was once considered an overpowering strength has looked a bit more vulnerable lately — although the emergence of Holmes, Michael King and Clarke Schmidt has helped. 

Aroldis Chapman
Aroldis Chapman could be headed for the injured list.
Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

But Boone said the back end of the bullpen remains strong. 

“We still feel we have a ton of really good options, a lot of talented, really good pitchers,’’ Boone said. “We hit a little bump here in the last couple days with injuries [and] struggling. I still feel we’re in a really good spot right there and it continues to be a strength for us.” 

Boone said he expected to use matchups to determine who would close on a game-to-game basis. 

While the pen has been strong all season and Holmes has been nearly unhittable — entering Monday with 21-straight scoreless innings and Wandy Peralta unscored upon over his previous seven outings and nine innings, there have been some shaky performances among the relievers of late. 

Jonathan Loaisiga’s rough season includes seven earned runs over his previous five innings, with four walks. The right-hander’s command has been lacking all season after his breakout year in 2021. 

Miguel Castro has allowed four runs — three earned — in just one inning over his last three appearances. 

And Lucas Luetge has also given up four runs — three earned — in 2 ¹/₃ innings in three appearances, with all three relievers having also given up a homer. 

King, meanwhile, has come back down to Earth a bit, with five earned runs in his last nine innings after mostly overmatching hitters over the first month of the season. 

They’ll also be relying on Ron Marinaccio and may need to look to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre for reinforcements again if Chapman is out for an extended period of time. 

But the Yankees have also displayed an ability to turn little-known relievers into valuable arms in the majors. David McKay also pitched a scoreless ninth inning in Sunday’s loss to the White Sox before being optioned back to SWB. 

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