New York Post>Dan Martin
The 2020 year has been an unorthodox one so far, and it doesn't look like it will give anyone a sense of normalcy. It is unfortunate that the 2020 year has brought us this terrible sickness that we now know as the coronavirus. It is a silent and invisible killer that no one can see coming.
The virus has plagued the entire world in one way or the other, and one guy that has been infected by the virus is Aroldis Chapman. The Yankee closer has been on the COVID-19 IL since the season began. He tested negative for the coronavirus during the intake program, but the right hander tested positive afterward.
The 32-year-old finished with 32 saves last year and is in the first year of a three-year, $48 million deal.
Manager Aaron Boone and the New York Yankees will be looking forward their closer's return, as he is expected to be back in his pinstriped uniform this evening.
Zack Britton has performed well in the closing role in Chapman’s absence and picked up his eighth save in as many chances with Sunday’s 4-2 win over the Red Sox. Boone is looking forward to having the lefty flamethrower to go to in the ninth inning once again.
“The thought is he’ll be here [Monday],’’ Aaron Boone said Sunday. He also added that, "To get [Chapman] back at the back end of the bullpen, I’m really excited about that...the trickle-down [effect] it has is to move other high-leverage guys and it makes us a little bit deeper back there...." The manager of the Yankees went on to explain that, it’s not just about Chapman and his greatness, but also where it slots other guys and gives you better options throughout the game.
It is really unfortunate that the Yankee club and their fanbase couldn't see their closing pitcher to start the 2020 baseball season, but not to worry, the flame throwing closer did his best to not miss a beat. As the season had a delayed start and players had to stay quarantined, Chapman made good use of his extended offseason.
Throughout the quarantine, the Yankees' closer frequently took to Instagram to post his workout regiments. In one of his Instagram post, Chapman showed off his boxing skills, which resulted from his body building that came from using his home gym. So, there is no questioning whether or not the big lefty is physically fit to return. As a matter of fact, he didn't let the virus stop him, he made sure to keep at his workout regiment while he quarantined himself in his New York apartment.
Britton called Chapman’s return “huge” and said that “We’re adding a quality arm to give us some depth with Tommy [Kahnle] being out with season-ending Tommy John surgery."
In a sport like baseball, teams have to be able to start games strong and close out games with even more dominance. That would mean, the entire pitching staff needs to work as a well-oiled machine in order to prevent the opposition from tacking on runs. With the Yankees' acquiring Cole (RHP,4-0, 2,67 ERA, 34Ks,0.85 WHIP) and the team getting some reassurance from their offense right now, Chapman would just add some additional flames to the power surge the team is experiencing right now.
It has been long awaited, but the moment is finally here. That's right, you read that right, the Yankee closer is ready to perform whenever his manager may need him.. We seen him carry the Chicago Cubs to a World Series, we have seen him close out the 2019 All-Star game where he guaranteed the American League their seven straight win against the National League and we have seen The Cuban Missile shut down bats in close-scoring regular season games. Now that he is back to take part in a 60-game sprint, he will be an asset to a Yankee ballclub that currently sits atop the AL East with the best record of 15-6.