Monday, May 15, 2017


(May 11, 2017 - Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America)
Almost a month ago there were signs of trouble. Some thought we dodged a bullet back on April 26 against the Red Sox. After watching him struggle through a save and then grab his elbow wincing in pain he was quick to tell us all that he was "fine" but now it looks like he fooled not only all of us....but maybe even himself.

Aroldis Chapman has not looked like the flame throwing dominant closer we signed in the offseason for the last few appearances and now we know why....he is hurt. We also know that while Chapman may have had the best intentions and did not want to panic his team and ownership.....he has been in pain for weeks and just tried to pitch through it.

Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports
We called it last month when we wrote "AFTER THE WIN, A WORRISOME WINCE" and said we hoped the Yankees didn't just accept his "I'm fine" answer and start examining that shoulder nice and close. Obviously, they didn't. For a team that just set the record for the most expensive deal given to a closer, that's not showing a lot of concern for a big investment and it blows my mind.

Last month when Chapman said he was feeling "fine" he also said that he did not blame his performance on the cold weather. We even quoted him in our piece when he said "I would not blame not throwing for a couple of days or blame the weather at all. It's just sometimes you're not as sharp. That's it." Now all of the sudden his story has changed.

Photo: Getty Images
Now it is the complete opposite. "I was getting treatment so I believed it was going to go away with the treatment I was getting.  Also, the cold weather, I thought it was affecting me a little bit and that it had something to do but eventually it got worse."

So all of this leads up to a lie and Chapman being shelved for a while. Chapman will miss at least a month after an MRI revealed inflammation in his left shoulder rotator cuff......uh oh. Chapman was placed on the 10-day disabled list but won't throw for at least two weeks, and will be out a "minimum" of four weeks if everything goes right according to Brian Cashman HERE.

That is a really big "IF" right there. Chapman has had similar injuries in previous years. In 2011, Chapman also had inflammation and he was on the disabled list from May 16 to June 24.
In 2012, Chapman suffered shoulder fatigue and didn't pitch 12 days but avoided the disabled list. Can he get lucky again? I hope so, but that was also five years ago. Chapman is 29 now and Cashman already said the timeline for his return will be a lot longer than previous years.

The Yankees need to play it safe here and be smart with their investment. The loss of Chapman for at least a month is a big blow. It sucks losing your closer but this team has already been tested and survived without Didi Gregorius and Gary Sanchez and will do so again as Dellin Betances steps in once again as our closer. We are in good hands until then (here's looking at you Randy Levine). Let's just hope that we see Chapman back as close to that one month timeline as possible and 100% healthy.

--Jeana Bellezza
BYB Managing Editor
Follow me on Twitter: @NYPrincessJ

BYB Stack Merchandise (2017)

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