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Aroldis Chapman

CC leads Yanks past ChiSox 00:01:31
CC Sabathia pitched 5 strong innings in his season debut and Aaron Judge added a solo home run as the Yankees blanked the White Sox, 4-0

The Yankees beat the White Sox, 4-0, on Saturday afternoon in the Bronx >> Box score

Six takeaways from Saturday's game…

1) CC Sabathia, coming off the injured list to make his first start of the season, was spectacular. In five innings, Sabathia allowed just one base runner (on a single) and struck out three. Sabathia, who will be retiring at season's end, is now 11 strikeouts away from 3,000 for his career, which should aid his bid to be elected to the Hall of Fame. Before we concern ourselves with Sabathia's career worth, right now the Yanks can use some of the stopper stuff he's possessed the last couple of seasons. He provided it Saturday.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, CC Sabathia, Chicago White Sox, Dellin Betances, Domingo German, Chris Carelli
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Apr 10, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) watches the game from the dugout against the Houston Astros during the eighth inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports  (Erik Williams)
Apr 10, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) watches the game from the dugout against the Houston Astros during the eighth inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports (Erik Williams)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

If any Yankee fans were looking for Aaron Boone to call out his team or turn over a food table after the Houston Astros completed their sweep on Wednesday, they were once again disappointed by the even-tempered manager.

And as unsatisfying as it might be for a bloodthirsty public, Boone was exactly right, both in style and substance, when he said the following:

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, Domingo German, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Luke Voit, Miguel Andujar, Andy Martino
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Feb 18, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances (68) throws to first base during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)
Feb 18, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances (68) throws to first base during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)

The Yankees were supposed to ride the strength of their bullpen to many victories this season, but instead it is coughing up leads on a regular basis.

With right-handed reliever Dellin Betances on the injured list, the Yankees pen has been somewhat porous, creating some short term issues and -- worse -- setting the stage for potentially long term affects.

Obvious shortcomings

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, Dellin Betances, Jonathan Holder, Stephen Tarpley, Chris Carelli
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

The primary focus as Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman has struggled with inconsistent velocity so far this season has been on his fastball. But a deeper look at the velocity of his second-most important pitch (which happens to be his only other pitch) might be of even greater concern. 

Chapman's slider, which he has thrown 22.9 percent of the time this season, has averaged 81.7 MPH -- down from the 86.2 MPH it averaged during the 2018 season. 

And while the stark drop in the speed of Chapman's slider from 2018 to 2019 is alarming, it's been in decline since 2016 -- when it averaged 88.3 MPH, followed by 87.9 MPH in 2017...

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Danny Abriano
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Apr 2, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) reacts after giving up a run against the Detroit Tigers in the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Apr 2, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) reacts after giving up a run against the Detroit Tigers in the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

When a power pitcher begins to lose his fastball, he first tells the world that everything is fine.

The pitcher's manager and teammates will echo that too, because what can you say in the face of apparently diminishing stuff other than to offer encouragement?

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Andy Martino
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

It may not be triple digits, but Aroldis Chapman's fastball velocity is trending in the right direction. 

After an Opening Day outing in which his heater sat around a troubling 93-94 mph, the Yankees' closer rebounded with an effort that looked like his more usual self on Monday against the Tigers. 

The left-hander recorded his first save of the season with his fastball averaging 97.2 mph and topping out at 98.3 mph, which he blew by Mikie Mahtook for seventh and final pitch of the game. 

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Mar 25, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) looks on from the dugout against the Washington Nationals before the game at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Mar 25, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) looks on from the dugout against the Washington Nationals before the game at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

First, let's state the obvious: You can't drop a series to the 2019 Orioles. Throw away all your cliches about how it's a long season with many ups and downs, and any major league team can beat another on any given day, blah blah blah.

Those justifications don't apply here because the Orioles are truly not a major league team. Last year, they lost 115 games, and that was with contributions from Manny Machado, Zack Britton and Adam Jones. All of those players are gone, as is iconic manager Buck Showalter.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Giancarlo Stanton, Andy Martino
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Mar 28, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Luke Voit (45) celebrates his three run home run against the Baltimore Orioles with left fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Mar 28, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Luke Voit (45) celebrates his three run home run against the Baltimore Orioles with left fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

If you're looking for Opening Day omens, how's this: At the same time Luke Voit smashed a ball into Monument Park to show that, perhaps, his big splash last year was no fluke, Mariano Rivera was sitting with reporters, recapping his ceremonial first pitch and saying how it was about time for the Yankees to win another championship.

Maybe that was nothing more than a cute juxtaposition, well-timed for Opening Day. But the way the Yanks handled the rest of Thursday afternoon, an easy 7-2 victory over the woeful Orioles, certainly trumpets the idea that they might be destined for big things this season.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Giancarlo Stanton, Greg Bird, Luke Voit, Masahiro Tanaka, Anthony McCarron
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Mar 28, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Adam Ottavino (0) pitches against the Baltimore Orioles during the sixth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Mar 28, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Adam Ottavino (0) pitches against the Baltimore Orioles during the sixth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Early on Thursday, Aaron Boone and pitching coach Larry Rothschild checked in with their relievers, telling them how they might be used that afternoon against the Orioles.

The message for Adam Ottavino was to be ready for the sixth or seventh inning. The Yankees call these "lanes," a term the team uses for the basic game situation and part of an opposing lineup that best suits each reliever's repertoire. In a well-executed game, Boone is able to utilize each reliever in his ideal lane.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, Dellin Betances, Andy Martino
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Before the Yankees took the field on Opening Day, Mariano Rivera jogged to the mound to deliver a beautiful first pitch to kick off the new season. And with it, Rivera hopes to have kickstarted to the Yankees' next World Series title. 

"It's been 10 years this year and it's time. We're due," Rivera told reporters at Yankee Stadium. "It's time to get No. 28."

The Yankees were close to making it to the World Series in 2017, falling just one game short in Houston. Last season, the Red Sox were just too hot a team for the Bombers as they were ousted in the ALDS in four games. Still, New York won 100 games last season. 

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, Dellin Betances, Jonathan Holder
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Chris Carelli, SNY.TV  Twitter | About Me | Archives

While the Yankees did not splurge on stars Manny Machado or Bryce Harper as many expected, the club completed a big trade and spread out its wealth for roster additions in free agency in an effort to supplement its incredibly talented young core.

Let's take a look at the 2019 Yankees, a team that sports an Opening Day payroll of approximately $204 million, according to Cot's Baseball Contracts ($226 million-plus for competitive balance tax purposes), as they embark on their yearly quest for a World Series title.

Pitching Staff

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, CC Sabathia, Chad Green, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Greg Bird, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Jonathan Holder, Luis Cessa, Luis Severino, Luke Voit, Masahiro Tanaka, Miguel Andujar, Stephen Tarpley, Chris Carelli
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Scott Thompson, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Yankees are exactly one week away from opening their 2019 season against the Orioles in the Bronx, and the battles to make the 25-man roster when camp breaks are coming down to the wire. Injuries continue to plague this squad, with Greg Bird the latest to receive medical attention after he was hit by a pitch in the elbow. Luckily, that isn't expected to be a big deal, but other Yankees may not be so lucky when the season kicks off.

Here's how we see things shaking out in our 25-man Roster Prediction 3.0...

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Brett Gardner, CC Sabathia, Chad Green, Clint Frazier, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Greg Bird, James Paxton, Jonathan Holder, Luis Cessa, Luis Severino, Luke Voit, Masahiro Tanaka, Miguel Andujar, Stephen Tarpley, Scott Thompson
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Oct 9, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Zach Britton (53) pitches during the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox in game four of the 2018 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 9, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Zach Britton (53) pitches during the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox in game four of the 2018 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV  Twitter | About Me | Archives

The Yankees continue to possess one of the best bullpen crews in the game. The grouping of above-average to elite relievers rattles up to six pitchers.

For New York, the biggest impact might not come from its top two holdover relievers - Aroldis Chapman and Dellin Betances - but rather the team's newest signings. Zack Britton and Adam Ottavino are working under elite reliever contracts and each pitcher's production will have a major impact on the Yankees postseason aspirations.

Britton has a slight advantage over Ottavino in that the 31-year-old southpaw has some experience in pinstripes under his belt after coming to the Yankees in a late July trade last season. The right-handed Ottavino, 33, has an edge of his own - unfamiliarity for batters - coming to the American League after parts of eight seasons in the National League.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, Chris Carelli
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Feb 28, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Adam Ottavino (0) throws a pitch during the third inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Feb 28, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Adam Ottavino (0) throws a pitch during the third inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | TwitterA bullpen loaded with high-end relievers is one of the Yankees' great strengths. But having so many relief aces capable of pitching the eighth or ninth inning can also be awkward.

Traditionally, relievers appreciate two things from a manager: Knowing which inning they will pitch, and having an opportunity to collect saves and holds, the stats that earn money in arbitration and free agency.

With the Yankees, it will be difficult for Aaron Boone to fully provide either, because of the depth that he has, and the flexibility expected of it.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, Andy Martino
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New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman throws a pitch during the fourth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman throws a pitch during the fourth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV  Twitter | About Me | Archives

For Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman, high-octane fastballs have been his game since he broke into the big leagues full-time in 2011. While Chapman's fastball still elicits mouth-opening radar gun marks on the scoreboard, he has realized that some added finesse to the top-notch velocity is a necessity.

Chapman averaged 98.6 mph with his four-seam fastball and 100.9 mph with his sinker in 2018, which ranked in the 100th percentile in the game, according to Baseball Savant. Add in a spin rate that positioned him in the 95th percentile among all pitchers, and Chapman's fastball remains one of the best weapons in the game. Yet the velocity is not enough.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone looks on against the St. Louis Cardinals at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone looks on against the St. Louis Cardinals at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

Yankees manager Aaron Boone said he could envision his team using openers on some circumstances, especially considering two starting pitchers are dealing with injuries.

With Luis Severino being shut down for two weeks due to rotator cuff inflammation and CC Sabathia expected to start the season on the injured list, Boone said on Wednesday he wouldn't rule out the use of openers -- using relief pitchers to pitch the first inning or two of a game in an assurance to face the opponents' 1-3 hitters -- in 2019.

"I could see it being something we consider from time to time," Boone said, according to ESPN's Coley Harvey. "I don't see it a lot, but yeah, I could see it coming into play on certain occasions."

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, CC Sabathia, Chad Green, Dellin Betances, Domingo German, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Jonathan Holder, Luis Cessa, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Stephen Tarpley, Matt Eisenberg
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Mar 6, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Jonathan Loaisiga (67) talks with catcher Austin Romine (28) on the mound during the third inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Mar 6, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Jonathan Loaisiga (67) talks with catcher Austin Romine (28) on the mound during the third inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The Yankees couldn't match the Cardinals' offense Wednesday afternoon, falling on their home field, 9-5, in Tampa.

Five things to know about Wednesday's game

1) The only offense produced until a last-minute attempt at a comeback in the ninth came from an Austin Romine three-run jack in the bottom of the second. That was the only time the Yankees collected a hit with runners in scoring position, finishing 1-for-10 on the day.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Austin Romine, Giancarlo Stanton, Greg Bird
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New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton throws as pitchers and catchers report for spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton throws as pitchers and catchers report for spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

James Paxton threw a career-high 160 1/3 innings with the Mariners last season, 24 1/3 innings more than his previous high the year before.

Now that he's with the Yankees, Paxton has a loftier goal.

"My goal is to get to the 200-inning range," Paxton said, according to the New York Post's Joel Sherman. "I understand the bullpening and leverage, but I wonder if those relievers who are being pushed to constant two- and three-inning stints will run out of gas. I think it is still up to starters to provide innings."

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, CC Sabathia, Chad Green, Dellin Betances, Luis Severino, Matt Eisenberg
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Adam Ottavino excited to join NY 00:01:25
Adam Ottavino is excited to join the Yankees, a team he was a fan of growing up. He's learned some lessons from his Babe Ruth comments.

Adam Ottavino went to high school in Brooklyn but went to college in Boston. Now that he's one of the newest Yankees relievers, he's proud to be directly involved in one of the biggest rivalries in sports.

Upon signing a three-year, $27 million deal with New York this offseason, the newest Yankees reliever is glad to be part of the team he rooted for as a kid.

"It's cool, it's a thrill," Ottavino said. "It's a team I grew up watching and rooting for and it's just a great opportunity for me."

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, Dellin Betances, Matt Eisenberg
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 (Gary A. Vasquez)
(Gary A. Vasquez)

After a 100-win regular season, the Yankees had World Series aspirations on their minds entering the postseason. However, they fell short in the ALDS to the Red Sox, their most-hated rival that hoisted the World Series trophy at the end of the year. 

This year, though, Vegas believes the roles will be reversed.

BetOnline gave the Yankees the best odds to win the World Series at 6/1, with the Red Sox behind them at 7/1. These two AL East powerhouses are stacked up virtually even as the season begins, but BetOnline could have the Yankees' bullpen being a deciding factor once the postseason rolls around...

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, Dellin Betances, Gleyber Torres, Luis Severino, Miguel Andujar
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Oct 2, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone speaks at a press conference during workouts one day before the 2018 American League Wild Card playoff baseball game at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY Sports (Danielle Parhizkaran)
Oct 2, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone speaks at a press conference during workouts one day before the 2018 American League Wild Card playoff baseball game at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY Sports (Danielle Parhizkaran)

On Wednesday, Yankees pitchers and catchers will officially report to the team's Tampa complex to kick off the 2019 season. And manager Aaron Boone will also hold his first official press conference of the year. 

The Yankees enter Spring Training with virtually the same clubhouse as last season, but with a few new faces like Adam Ottavino, Troy Tulowitzki, and James Paxton. GM Brian Cashman made the necessary moves to bolster a roster that hopes to win more than their 100-game mark last year, and hopefully knock down the Red Sox and capture a World Series title for the first time since 2009. 

Those are some lofty expectations, but that was the same goal in mind for Boone and the rest of the team exactly one year ago. So, with that in mind, here are some questions Boone will likely face from the media when he steps in front of the mic...

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Scott Thompson
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Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

As the Yankees descend on George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa for spring training, who will be on the 25-man roster when the team heads north? There are some intriguing battles and here's how we see things shaking out.

Starting Rotation (5)

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Austin Romine, Brett Gardner, Didi Gregorius, Domingo German, Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird, Jonathan Holder, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Tyler Wade, Chris Carelli
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Sep 19, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) reacts after the top of the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 19, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) reacts after the top of the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Baseball Prospectus' 2019 PECOTA (Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm) projections are out. For the Yankees, they see a big year on the horizon.. 

PECOTA is a system that "takes a player's past performance and tries to project the most likely outcome for the following season. It looks at all of the numbers, and all the numbers that make up the numbers, to see which players are more likely to repeat their success and which ones benefited from good fortune."

When it comes to how Luis Severino will rebound from the putrid second half he had in 2018 and James Paxton potentially becoming an ace during his first season in pinstripes, PECOTA -- a projection system that is notoriously conservative -- sees things shaking out like this...

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, CC Sabathia, Dellin Betances, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Danny Abriano
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Chicago White Sox pitcher Danny Farquhar reacts after throwing out a ceremonial first pitch after suffering a brain hemorrhage prior to a game between the Chicago White Sox and the Milwaukee Brewers at Guaranteed Rate Field. (Patrick Gorski/USA TODAY Sports)
Chicago White Sox pitcher Danny Farquhar reacts after throwing out a ceremonial first pitch after suffering a brain hemorrhage prior to a game between the Chicago White Sox and the Milwaukee Brewers at Guaranteed Rate Field. (Patrick Gorski/USA TODAY Sports)

Veteran relief pitcher Danny Farquhar vowed to return to the baseball diamond from a life-threatening brain hemorrhage and ruptured aneurysm he suffered last year.

And there's a four-game window in June he's eyeing.

Farquhar, who hasn't pitched since last April when he suffered a season-ending brain hemorrhage, signed a minor-league deal with the Yankees earlier this month with an invite to spring training.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Chicago White Sox, Dellin Betances, Matt Eisenberg
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 (Jayne Kamin-Oncea)
(Jayne Kamin-Oncea)

John Harper, SNY.tv | TwitterMaybe Alex Cora was simply playing to the crowd at the Boston baseball writers' dinner Thursday night. But suffice it to say he didn't seem concerned that the Yankees had just added another weapon, Adam Ottavino, to the best bullpen in baseball. 

"Somebody might write this, I don't care," Cora said upon receiving his AL Manager of the Year award. "If you guys thought last year was special, wait 'til this year."

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, Dellin Betances, Boston Red Sox, John Harper
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Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Adam Ottavino pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the ninth inning at PNC Park. (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)
Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Adam Ottavino pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the ninth inning at PNC Park. (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

The Yankees will be adding another elite arm to an already dominant bullpen, giving the club a certain advantage over virtually the entire league.

New York and free-agent right-handed reliever Adam Ottavino agreed to a three-year, $27 million deal on Thursday, SNY.tv's Andy Martino confirmed.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, CC Sabathia, Chad Green, Dellin Betances, Domingo German, Gleyber Torres, Greg Bird, Luke Voit, Sonny Gray, Tyler Wade, Chris Carelli
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Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | ArchivesManny Machado was supposed to help the Yankees surpass the Red Sox. He's apparently not coming (and neither is Bryce Harper), so the Yanks should double down on their strongest facet -- the bullpen.

If the Yankees want to measure up to the Red Sox, they must possess an advantage somewhere on the roster that unequivocally distances the World Series champs. Adding one more "elite" reliever, like Adam Ottavino, should make it next to impossible for the Red Sox to catch the Yankees in that department even if Boston re-signs Craig Kimbrel. Boston arguably has a slight edge in the rotation and the offenses are quite similar in strength, but the overall scale could tip toward New York if the Yanks add to an already dominant bullpen.

Much has been made about the Yankees "coming up short" in the offseason if they're unable to secure Machado or Harper. Expectations were high that one of the two 26-year-old stars would become part of the Yankees after the team reset their luxury tax rate. Adding Machado or Harper would have clearly pushed the Yanks offense ahead of Boston's.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, CC Sabathia, Chad Green, Dellin Betances, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Luis Severino, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees relief pitcher Zach Britton throws the ball during the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the 2018 ALDS at Fenway Park. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees relief pitcher Zach Britton throws the ball during the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the 2018 ALDS at Fenway Park. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The theme of this Yankees' offseason is finding ways to close the gap on the Red Sox, and there's no denying the rivals to the north established a clear level of superiority last season.

Yet it's plausible to make the case that, at least for the moment, the Yankees have opened an important gap of their own over the Sox. Right now, in fact, they own a Patriots vs. Jets-like advantage in the bullpen, if I can extend the New York-Boston angle to make a point.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, David Robertson, Dellin Betances, Jonathan Holder, Boston Red Sox, Tommy Kahnle, John Harper
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Sep 16, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Zach Britton (53) pitches against the Toronto Blue Jays during the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports (Catalina Fragoso)
Sep 16, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Zach Britton (53) pitches against the Toronto Blue Jays during the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports (Catalina Fragoso)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives: The Yankees should be pursuing the likes of Manny Machado, but the hole in the bullpen was much larger than the need for a $30 million per season position player.

As such, the Yankees sought out a familiar face in left-handed reliever Zach Britton to seal the gap, laying out a guaranteed $39 million for three years. The agreement has a fourth year option for $14 million that the Yanks can exercise after year two of the deal. If the Yankees decide not to grant the option, Britton has the ability to opt out of the deal. If neither happens, Britton sticks around for the third year.

Either way, the Yankees, who are being criticized by some for their lack of spending, are sinking significant cash into a set-up reliever and there's a reason for that.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, David Robertson, Dellin Betances, Chris Carelli
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Sep 16, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Zach Britton (53) pitches against the Toronto Blue Jays during the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports (Catalina Fragoso)
Sep 16, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Zach Britton (53) pitches against the Toronto Blue Jays during the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports (Catalina Fragoso)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives: The Yankees should be pursuing the likes of Manny Machado, but the hole in the bullpen was much larger than the need for a $30 million per season position player.

As such, the Yankees sought out a familiar face in left-handed reliever Zach Britton to seal the gap, laying out a guaranteed $39 million for three years. The agreement has a fourth year option for $14 million that the Yanks can exercise after year two of the deal. If the Yankees decide not to grant the option, Britton has the ability to opt out of the deal. If neither happens, Britton sticks around for the third year.

Either way, the Yankees, who are being criticized by some for their lack of spending, are sinking significant cash into a set-up reliever and there's a reason for that.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, David Robertson, Dellin Betances, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees relief pitcher David Robertson pitches during the sixth inning against the Boston Red Sox in Game 4 of the 2018 ALDS at Yankee Stadium. (Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees relief pitcher David Robertson pitches during the sixth inning against the Boston Red Sox in Game 4 of the 2018 ALDS at Yankee Stadium. (Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

The Yankees have reached the offseason many believed would see them make monumental moves that push them back to the head of the pack in the American League as they aim for a 28th World Series title. 

Here is an update of rumors surrounding the Yankees pursuits, followed by my take on how things currently stand and may shake out.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, David Robertson, Dellin Betances, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees relief pitcher Zach Britton pitches during the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox in Game 4 of the 2018 ALDS at Yankee Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees relief pitcher Zach Britton pitches during the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox in Game 4 of the 2018 ALDS at Yankee Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

The Yankees have reached the offseason many believed would see them make monumental moves that push them back to the head of the pack in the American League as they aim for a 28th World Series title. 

Here is an update of rumors surrounding the Yankees pursuits, followed by my take on how things currently stand and may shake out…

Yankees working on bullpen market

As the Yankees await a decision from Manny Machado, the club is reportedly working on revamping its bullpen according to a tweet from Jon Heyman.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, CC Sabathia, Chad Green, David Robertson, Dellin Betances, Sonny Gray, Chris Carelli
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Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives: The Yankees would be better with Manny Machado on the roster and it's a move that the team should make. However, the extent to which Machado improves the club is unknown and the notion that the offseason will be a failure if the Yanks cannot sign the 26-year-old is not entirely true.

Here are four reasons why...

The Yanks have a third baseman and a shortstop

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, David Robertson, Dellin Betances, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar, Sonny Gray
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Zach Britton (53) Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Zach Britton (53) Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

In 2018, the Yankees possessed one of the best -- if not the best -- bullpen in all of baseball. With flamethrowers Aroldis Chapman and Dellin Betances in the back end, they still touted relievers like David Robertson, Chad Green, Jonathan Holder, and even Zach Britton when he came over at the trade deadline. 

However, that was then, and this is now. This offseason, GM Brian Cashman has to reload his bullpen following the losses of Robertson and Britton to free agency. He can obviously re-sign them, but could there be more intriguing options out on the market? Perhaps Adam Ottavino?

The Baseball Night in New York crew give their takes on whether or not the Yankees need to reload their bullpen with a top-tier guy, and if so, who should it be?

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, David Robertson
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Brian Cashman Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Brian Cashman Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Aside from a few nifty quips by Bryce Harper's agent, there was little real action on baseball's two biggest free agents at this week's Winter Meetings. Harper and Scott Boras sat down with a few clubs and Manny Machado has meet-and-greets scheduled in the coming days, but neither player seems close to a resolution. 

Instead, the best intel to come out of Las Vegas might have been about the developing bullpen market. Or further confirmation that shopping for a top-end catcher, by trade or free agency, will be pricey. 

That affects both the Yankees and Mets, who are searching for upgrades. Here's a look at the market following the week in Vegas. 

Tags: Amed Rosario, Andrew Miller, Aroldis Chapman, Brandon Nimmo, David Robertson, Didi Gregorius, Giancarlo Stanton, Jeurys Familia, Justin Wilson, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Anthony McCarron
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Brodie Van Wagenen speaks during a news conference to announce the New York Mets new General Manager Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)
Brodie Van Wagenen speaks during a news conference to announce the New York Mets new General Manager Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)

Aside from a few nifty quips by Bryce Harper's agent, there was little real action on baseball's two biggest free agents at this week's Winter Meetings. Harper and Scott Boras sat down with a few clubs and Manny Machado has meet-and-greets scheduled in the coming days, but neither player seems close to a resolution. 

Instead, the best intel to come out of Las Vegas might have been about the developing bullpen market. Or further confirmation that shopping for a top-end catcher, by trade or free agency, will be pricey. 

That affects both the Yankees and Mets, who are searching for upgrades. Here's a look at the market following the week in Vegas. 

Tags: Amed Rosario, Andrew Miller, Aroldis Chapman, Brandon Nimmo, David Robertson, Didi Gregorius, Giancarlo Stanton, Jeurys Familia, Justin Wilson, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Anthony McCarron
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Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado celebrates after hitting a home run during the first inning against the against the Atlanta Braves in Game 2 of the 2018 NLDS at Dodger Stadium. (Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports)
Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado celebrates after hitting a home run during the first inning against the against the Atlanta Braves in Game 2 of the 2018 NLDS at Dodger Stadium. (Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

The Yankees have reached the offseason many believed would see them make monumental moves that push them back to the head of the pack in the American League as they aim for a 28th World Series title. 

Here is an update of rumors surrounding the Yankees pursuits, followed by my take on how things currently stand and may shake out...

Happ signing doesn't preclude trade

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, CC Sabathia, David Robertson, Masahiro Tanaka, Sonny Gray, Chris Carelli
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Baltimore Orioles' Manny Machado, waits in the dugout before being presented with his All-Star jersey before playing the Texas Rangers in a baseball game, Sunday, July 15, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton) (Gail Burton/AP)
Baltimore Orioles' Manny Machado, waits in the dugout before being presented with his All-Star jersey before playing the Texas Rangers in a baseball game, Sunday, July 15, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton) (Gail Burton/AP)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

James Paxton is a terrific addition to the Yankees rotation and whatever relief pieces GM Brian Cashman lures to the Bronx likely will be key bullpen figures in 2019, too. Cashman also wants another starting pitcher. 
 
Whoever those hurlers are, though, they won't make the kind of splash that signing Bryce Harper or Manny Machado would. Heck, or both. This is the Yankees we're talking about, after all. 
 
Nor will the new pitchers impact the Yankee payroll in quite the same way as the 26-year-old mega-stars, who are projected by some this winter to stomp Giancarlo Stanton's record $325 million contract. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Brett Gardner, CC Sabathia, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez, Jacoby Ellsbury, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Sonny Gray, Anthony McCarron
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Jul 10, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Trevor Bauer (47) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports (Ken Blaze)
Jul 10, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Trevor Bauer (47) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports (Ken Blaze)

Viva, Las Vegas!

The Yankees struck quickly this offseason, acquiring James Paxton in a trade with the Mariners, but failed to lock down their perceived No. 1 free agent starting pitcher target in Patrick Corbin. However, a splash in Sin City could punctuate the team's offseason and indicate long-term direction of the organization.

Here are three things that should be on the Yankees' Winter Meetings checklist.

Tags: Andrew Miller, Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, David Robertson, Dellin Betances, Domingo German, Chris Carelli
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Oct 9, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Zach Britton (53) pitches during the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox in game four of the 2018 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 9, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Zach Britton (53) pitches during the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox in game four of the 2018 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

After the New York Yankees had their postseason in 2018 ended in four games at the hands of their AL East rival Boston Red Sox, it seems the Bronx Bombers could be playing catch-up on the hot stove market as well.

Following the premature exit in the playoffs, one of the top priorities is solving the team's bullpen situation in the offseason. Two names atop that list, free-agent relievers David Robertson and Zach Britton, have apparently drawn some interest from the chief rivals of the Bronx Bombers -- the Boston Red Sox. 

That's the reporting coming courtesy of the New York Post's George A. King III, who spoke with a source familiar with Boston's interest in the two former Yankee relievers.

.

Tags: Andrew Miller, Aroldis Chapman, David Robertson
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Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives: The Yankees invested heavily in creating a "super bullpen" for the 2018 season and the results were mixed. With two elite relievers -- David Robertson and Zach Britton -- heading to the free agent market, how will the Yankees seek to create a lockdown endgame relief crew for 2019?

Foundation remains

The Yankees will return three of their five high-leverage relievers from 2018 to 2019, with Dellin Betances and Chad Green set to once again bridge the gap to closer Aroldis Chapman...

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, David Robertson, Dellin Betances, Chris Carelli
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Oct 3, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman (right) before the 2018 American League wild card playoff baseball game against the Oakland Athletics at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY Sports (Danielle Parhizkaran)
Oct 3, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman (right) before the 2018 American League wild card playoff baseball game against the Oakland Athletics at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY Sports (Danielle Parhizkaran)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter | The Yankees are now two seasons into a new era defined by Aaron Judge and a young core. In each of those seasons, they have made the playoffs, but stalled before reaching the World Series. And while they might still be a team on the ascent, GM Brian Cashman faces a tricky offseason, at a time when American League powerhouses like Houston and Boston are ahead of the Yanks.

Here are the major questions the Yankees must confront:

How do they maintain the dominant bullpen?

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, David Robertson, Dellin Betances, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Greg Bird, Luis Severino, Miguel Andujar, Andy Martino
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Luis Severino got the Yankees to the fifth inning during the Wild Card game against the Athletics on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium, and the bullpen took it from there.

Here's how they fared...

  • Dellin Betances entered with runners on first and second and none out with the Yankees up, 2-0, in the fifth inning and got Matt Chapman to line out, Jed Lowrie to fly out, and Khris Davis to strike out to escape the jam. Betances came back out for the sixth, tossing a perfect frame with two strikeouts. 
Tags: Aroldis Chapman, David Robertson, Dellin Betances, Danny Abriano
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Zach Britton (53) Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Zach Britton (53) Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

The Yankees have not settled on their Wild Card Game starter, but it appears they will not utilize a reliever to open the game. As such, this leaves two distinct scenarios in which the Yankees might deploy its vaunted relief crew.

Bullpenning: The undesirable method

In the 2017 Wild Card game against the Twins, the Yankees had one of the game's best starters on the hill, but it was then that Luis Severino endured his worst start of the year. With Severino pulled after recording just one out, the Yankees were forced into a bullpenning situation and it amazingly worked.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, CC Sabathia, Chad Green, David Robertson, Dellin Betances, Chris Carelli
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Sep 24, 2018; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; New York Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner (11) hits an RBI single to center during a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Griffith-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Griffith)
Sep 24, 2018; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; New York Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner (11) hits an RBI single to center during a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Griffith-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Griffith)

Four different Yankees batters collected an RBI and eight pitchers combined to throw nine innings of one-run ball to lead New York to a 4-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night at Tropicana Field. >> Box score


1) Andrew McCutchen went deep in the third inning for his 20th home run of the season, putting the Yankees in front, 1-0. Brett Gardner, who replaced the injured Aaron Hicks, drove in Aaron Judge for the Yankees' second run to begin a two-run fifth inning, which was capped off by Giancarlo Stanton's RBI double. In the seventh, Aaron Judge knocked in McCutchen with a line drive double to center field.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, David Robertson, Dellin Betances
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May 1, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) pitches during the ninth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)
May 1, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) pitches during the ninth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)

Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman has been activated from the disabled list, the team announced Wednesday.  

Chapman, who had been out since Aug. 21 due to knee tendinitis, pitched in a simulated game Monday after throwing a 26-pitch bullpen session Saturday.

The 30-year-old has a 2.11 ERA (1.90 FIP) and 1.04 WHIP with 84 strikeouts in 47 innings (50 appearances) this season.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman
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May 1, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) pitches during the ninth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)
May 1, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) pitches during the ninth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)

Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman will be activated from the disabled list on either Wednesday or Thursday, manager Aaron Boone said prior to Tuesday night's game against the Red Sox.

Chapman, who has been out since Aug. 21, pitched in a simulated game Monday after throwing a 26-pitch bullpen session Saturday.

The 30-year-old has a 2.11 ERA (1.90 FIP) and 1.04 WHIP with 84 strikeouts in 47 innings (50 appearances) this season.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, David Robertson, Dellin Betances
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New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge heads to the dugout after scoring a run against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge heads to the dugout after scoring a run against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)

The Yankees are 23-19 since August 2, the day the season began to completely turn when they lost the first of four straight games to Boston. As the Red Sox return to the Bronx Tuesday, the Yankees are looking for the switch to flip. But despite manager Aaron Boone's optimism, time is running out for the club to get it all together.

Meanwhile, they might have to watch the Red Sox celebrate the division title on their home field as they work for a chance to exact revenge in the ALDS.

The Yanks, whose descent goes back to July 12 (30-27 record since then) have a handful of issues that need to be resolved. And the chances that all of them will be remedied before the wild card game are not great...

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Chris Carelli
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Apr 19, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) and right fielder Aaron Judge (99) celebrate after defeating the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Apr 19, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) and right fielder Aaron Judge (99) celebrate after defeating the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Yankees OF Aaron Judge and LHP Aroldis Chapman took part in a simulated game Monday at Yankee Stadium, the team announced.

Judge took 11 live at-bats against RHP A.J. Cole, RHP Chance Adams, and LHP Phillip Diehl during his game, while Chapman threw 22 pitches against INF Tyler Wade and C Kyle Higashioka

Judge and Chapman both finished their sessions without any issues coming up, which makes this another successful step toward returning to the club. On Judge specifically, manager Aaron Boone noted Sunday that there is a chance he could be a full participant for the Yankees' upcoming series with the Red Sox. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman
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Apr 19, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius (18) celebrates with New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) after Judge hit a home run in the seventh inning against Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Apr 19, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius (18) celebrates with New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) after Judge hit a home run in the seventh inning against Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Yankees have the third-best record in the majors, but for a franchise with 27 rings and World Series expectations nearly every year, that's not good enough for Mike Francesa.

Sure, New York sits 10 1/2 games back of the Red Sox in the AL East race, but the WFAN host took his criticism of the Yankees another step further on Thursday.

"I think this might be the worst 90-win team the Yankees have ever had," Francesa said during his radio show Thursday.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Gary Sanchez
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