This past Friday’s blown save against the Red Sox was the final nail in the coffin, the last bit of proof needed to confirm suspicions. The Chicago Cubs & Joe Maddon ruined Aroldis Chapman.
There is no way to sugarcoat how far off a cliff New York Yankees hurler Aroldis Chapman has fallen since last season.
Though Chapman has still been able to rack up some strikeouts over the summer with the Yankees, the drop in production is staggering and undeniable.
It’s only one game, but Chapman’s collapse against the Sox is telling of how 2017 has gone in his return to the Yankees. The heat just isn’t there.
The fastball is, or was, Chapman’s bread and butter. It’s no secret that the Joe Maddon overused to win the World Series. Of course, it did bring a pennant to Wrigley, but Chapman looks like a shell of the bullpen ace he was last October.
The repercussions of being put in the ridiculous position of pitching five of the seven World Series games are evident in how flat Chapman has been ever since.
Chapman’s ERA has ballooned from a staggering 1.01 with the Cubs to a 3.92 with New York.
This is the worst Chapman has performed since his second year in the league with the Reds, but Cincinnati wasn’t paying the $86 million the Yanks are locked in for.
There’s no question, Maddon was selfish in his use of Chapman, and now the gifted closer is paying the price for it.
Aroldis Chapman agreed to a five-year, $86 million deal with the New York Yankees after spending most of the 2016 MLB season with the team until his July trade to the Chicago Cubs.
In Chicago, Chapman helped pitched the Cubs to their first World Series title since 1908, but that doesn’t mean he agreed with the way the Cubs and manager Joe Maddon used him in the playoffs:
“Personally, I don’t agree with the way he used me, but he is the manager and he has the strategy,” Chapman said during a conference call to officially announce his new deal with the Yankees. “My job is to be ready, to be ready to pitch, however that is, however many innings that is, I need to be ready for that. I need to go in and do my job.”
Chapman pointed to one particular situation in the call that he felt he wasn’t necessarily needed in. The Cubs were up seven runs in Game 6 of the World Series, but Chapman was still pitching in the ninth inning after fully pitching the 7th and 8th innings.
“There were couple of games, but the one I can point to is Game 6,” Chapman said when asked for specifics for his criticism. “The game was open and I don’t think he needed to (leave)me in the ninth. The important game was going to be Game 7 because we had that game almost won. The next day I came in tired.”
The fatigue that Chapman was showing showed in Game 7. In the 8th inning, the Cubs held a 6-3 lead before outfielder Rajai Davis hit a three-run homer to knot the game at 6 all. Chicago would of course go on to win, but the game may have ended easier with a more rested Chapman.
“I never told him about my opinion with the way he was using me,” Chapman said. “The way I feel as baseball players we are warriors. Our job is to be ready to do what we need to do on the field. They send me out there to pitch, I’m going to go out there and pitch.
“If I’m healthy, I’m going to go out there and pitch. If I’m tired, I’m going to put that aside and just get through it. It is kind of like a warrior, they send you somewhere and you have to go there and your mentality is you have to go there and do your job.”