Pinstripes Win, Time To Address Chapman's Injury • Latino Sports

Baseball

Pinstripes Win, Time To Address Chapman’s Injury

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Bronx, NY –  In the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader, the Yankees defeated the Houston Astros by a final commanding score of 11 – 6. With that said, Derek Jeter night is supposed to be the story at Yankee Stadium this Mother’s Day.

Just when things appear to be in order in Yankee Universe, their relief ace Aroldis Chapman changed the mood. Prior to the start of a rain caused doubleheader in the Bronx with the Houston Astros, the lefthander Chapman became the latest pitcher to hit the disabled list.

Left rotator cuff inflammation. Yes, you heard that right and there was a hint of something that was wrong when Chapman grabbed his shoulder in his relief appearance Friday night. Manager Joe Girardi said there was nothing wrong, yet there was that sense that Chapman was bothered and a fear he was headed for the MRI and the DL.

Chapman said he had something similar in 2012. “I’m not worried about it,” he said through a translator prior to the first game. I believe treatment will make it better. You definitely lose location and sharpness,” he said.

Now the question for Chapman, who was put on the 10-day DL and most likely will not be seen on the mound for a month, is, why and how? It’s obvious with the velocity of throwing a 100-mile fastball that an injury of this magnitude is inevitable. This is also becoming a recurring theme in baseball with the elbow, shoulder, and inflammation issue that has become more common

“He’s not replaceable and this kind of moves everyone back,” manager Joe Girardi said. In other words, that means a closer role again for Dellin Betances who is capable and had been used in the setup role before the Chapman fastball was used to close the ninth. Still this is a blow to the Yankees a team that came into Sunday with the second best record in the American League next to the Astros.

Friday night in the Yankees 5-1 loss to Houston, Chapman made his 14th appearance of the season and allowed an earned run and three hits in 0.21 innings. Last season with the Yankees and Chicago Cubs, he was a combined 4-1 with 36 saves.

So there is no doubt that Chapman is a valuable tool. But with a 100-mile fastball the Cuban flame thrower may need to reevaluate how hard that velocity will take him in order to prevent further injury to the elbow or the shoulder.

The Yankees will play this with caution, as other teams are learning with injuries of this nature. As to the causes, and as baseball insiders say, the game has changed. Conditioning may be the culprit and pitchers and position players are seen more in the weight room.

And now both New York teams are without their bullpen stopper. This week the crosstown Mets saw their righthander, Jeurys Familia go down for the next four months after successful surgery to remove a blood clot from his right shoulder.

About Rich Mancuso

Established sports journalist and educator. Contact Rich at [email protected]

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