I'll tell you right now what is wrong with Aroldis Chapman, Joe Maddon fried his arm, and the Yankees were dumb enough to witness it first hand and still offer him an enormous contract. I'm just being real with you, Aroldis Chapman is not the dominant closer he once was and I doubt he'll ever return to that point. The Cubs traded their best prospect to us for Chapman, obviously they were going to squeeze every pitch they possibly could out of his arm, and that's exactly what they did. They didn't offer him a contract for a reason, they knew he was broken. Yet, the Yankees wanted to look like geniuses acquiring the Cubs top prospect and then getting Chapman back just a few months later. It was a robbery, right? Wrong, they couldn't have been more wrong.
Now, the Yankees are stuck with this guy for 4 more years after this season. Paying him an unreasonable amount of money for a guy that's just a shell of what he was. I know what y'all are going to say, he's not completely broken he's just going through a rough patch. I mean the other night he was throwing cheese reaching 103 MPH. It's cool that he can still throw hard, but if he's not throwing hard and accurate, then he isn't what we paid him to be. When Chapman is at his best he's locating that 102 MPH fastball. Since his arm is shot he is forced to overthrow and is losing his accuracy, causing him to leave pitches over the plate, or miss the plate entirely. That's why we've seen him walk so many batters and let up home runs in his last two outings.
This isn't a recent thing either, yeah the home runs are recent, but he hasn't been particularly dominant at all this season. As a matter of fact, he's been quite average. Do these numbers sound like that of the highest paid closer in baseball, 3.89 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, and 4 blown saves in 20 attempts. Chapman is clearly lost on the mound, his confidence is now shattered, and as a Yankee fan I couldn't be more concerned.
It's awesome that we have 5 other great relievers, problem is we can't remove Chapman from the closer role. That's like taking away a Tigers stripes, it's just not the same beast, and Chapman will be useless if he gets removed from being the closer. His confidence is already in the dumps, imagine we strip him of his coveted role as Yankees closer, he'd be even worse, which is a scary thought at this point. If he can't handle the pressure of being a star in New York he should've never came back, he needs to be more mentally tough. Him crouching on the mound after letting up a home run is the opposite of mental tough, it shows weakness. People
used to fear Aroldis Chapman taking the mound, now he's just another regular closer. You wanna be the heir to Mariano Rivera's throne, then you better saddle up, and be lights out.
All in all, there really isn't much the Yankees can do, now. They have him under contract for 4 more years, he's going to be the closer for the next 4 years. They have to do whatever it takes to get this guy right or the team's succeess will be at stake. That's how vital this guy is to our franchise at this point. Ellsbury is enough dead weight to carry around we can't afford another awful contract with a guy that doesn't produce. I don't see how they'll get him to turn it around since I think he has a dead arm, but I'm praying they do. I've heard a lot of experts say that in situations like this the player usually takes a full year to recover from being overused, so maybe next year he'll return to peak form. The best thing for him might've been pulling his hamstring running to cover first base the other night. The Yankees should put him on the DL let him get some rest, give him time to evaluate his mental state, and hopefully get him ready for the stretch run. Then, we can use either Robertson or Betances as our closer for the time being without completely ripping out Chapman's soul.