Aroldis Chapman missed 30 games due to suspension at the outset of 2016 following a domestic violence incident at his home during the offseason. He recorded his first save as a Yankee in his second appearance with the club in early May and proceeded to reel off a stretch with 44 strikeouts in 31.1 innings before he was shipped to the Cubs in July. Chapman immediately became the preferred ninth-inning option in Chicago, and his dominance with the Cubs included a 1.01 ERA and 0.82 WHIP to go with a 46:10 K:BB over 26.2 innings. Despite the time lost with his suspension, Chapman piled up 36 saves in 39 chances, while posting ratios in the neighborhood of his previous career-bests with the Reds in 2012. Now 29, Chapman still lights up the radar gun with triple-digit velocity, while keeping hitters off-balance with his high-80s slider. After returning to the Yankees via free agency, Chapman will be among the first closers off the board on draft day.
Chapman has tallied six strikeouts and allowed just two baserunners through five scoreless innings in Grapefruit League play this spring. Chapman certainly appears to be in midseason form already, and he's also been trying to work on his secondary offerings a bit more in his exhibition outings. After returning to the Bronx on a record deal last December, the 29-year-old flamethrower figures to be as safe an option as it gets when it comes to locking down the ninth inning, as he'll vie for his sixth straight season with at least 30 saves.
Chapman inked a five-year, $86 million contract with the Yankees on Wednesday evening, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports. The Yankees dealt Chapman to the Cubs earlier in the 2016 campaign and he locked down the ninth inning for the eventual World Series champs. After posting an immaculate 1.01 ERA and 0.83 WHIP over 28 regular-season appearances with the Cubs, the left-handed fireballer struggled a bit int he postseason, allowing six runs over 15.2 innings. Regardless he will retake his role as the closer for New York in the coming season, while his signing will push Dellin Betances back to a setup job.
Chapman walked one and struck out two in a scoreless inning for his 35th save Monday against the Reds. Chapman has saved eight games in as many opportunities in 11 appearances dating back to August 23. He owns a ridiculous 22:7 K:BB in 11.2 innings in that stretch as he remains one of the nastiest relievers in the game.
Chapman (1-1) pitched a perfect 10th inning against the Brewers on Friday, striking out the side on 11 pitches. After the Cubs had tied the game in the ninth on an Addison Russell infield single, Chapman was called on in the 10th to keep things knotted at 4-4. He complied in impressive fashion, first mowing down the pinch-hitting Jake Elmore, as well as Ryan Braun and Chris Carter. The 28-year-old has been outstanding over his last 10 appearances, giving up just a single earned run over the 10.2 innings covering that span, and successfully converting all seven of his save opportunities.
Chapman worked around a walk to record his 34th save Monday against the Cardinals. Chapman is now up to 14 saves with the Cubs and has converted seven in a row. He has gone 9.2 innings since his last blown save and has allowed just one run with a ridiculous 17:6 K:BB in that stretch. He remains one of the nastiest relievers in baseball, and although he is walking a lot of batters of late, it doesn't matter if opposing batters can't make contact.