Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman has been showing signs of diminished velocity as of late, but is it time to worry just yet?
Panic meter is in full effect. Just kidding, five games into the 2019 season the Yankees are currently 2-3 with terrible losses to the Baltimore Orioles and Detroit Tigers.
The current 3-1 loss suffered at the hands of the Tigers is a bad look for a supposed 100-win team. Aroldis Chapman was thrown into the fire yet again in a 1-1 game at the top of the ninth inning. Giving up three hits and a walk is not something to hang your hat on, but if you have been watching the previous games, it was bound to happen. The diminished velocity has been a concern to fans but Chapman has reiterated that he is just building up his arm.
As fans, we are used to seeing 100 mph heaters high and away with a devastating slider to compliment such a notorious fastball. However, it seems as if Chapman is topping out at 98 MPH and his fastball is ranging between 93-98.
It seemed as if he didn’t have his stuff (yet again) today, and the heavy usage to start the season seems as if the pitching staff is trying to build up his arm as fast as they can. Personally, I think as he gets older the velocity is going to diminish. In the current state of Chapman’s arm, it is going to take longer for him to round into form. It is April 3, the fact that fans are worrying about this is absurd. The bullpen can carry the workload while he is regaining the velocity that makes him such a frightening opposition on the mound.
As Yankee fans, we hope Chapman is healthy and if there is something truly wrong, they might as well shut him down with half the roster (joke). But in all seriousness, having a fully engaged and healthy Chapman can only cement this bullpen as one of the best in the history of the sport. Sure he gave up two earned against the Tigers, but this isn’t September or even our beloved October.
Let’s just hope and pray that Chapman and the rest of the team return back to full strength for an AL East push this team deserves. The back-end of the bullpen will again be dominant for the New York Yankees, us as fans need to give it time and be patient, there are 157 games left in the season.