Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman struggled with his control in his spring training debut on Sunday, throwing 10 of 18 pitches for strikes and allowing two of the three batters he faced to reach base in a 9-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.
Chapman, whose fastball was able to reach the high 90s, according to the New York Post's George A. King III, hit one batter, allowed a single and induced a fielder's choice before manager Aaron Boone pulled him due to his pitch count.
"He lost a couple of fastballs there, obviously," Boone said, according to MLB.com's Bryan Hoch. "What I liked was, I thought he spun the ball well. I thought the slider was pretty good, especially for the first time out in a game."
The three batters he faced all hit from the left side of the plate. He hit Tampa Bay's Jake Cronenworth on his right elbow guard and threw two pitches up and in to Mallex Smith.
"Facing lefties last year, my command wasn't there where I wanted it to be," Chapman said through an interpreter after the game. "[I want to] just feel more comfortable facing them. This is the time to do that now, to make those adjustments. I definitely know I can improve."
The 30-year-old Chapman gave up a .175/.252/.316 batting line to lefties last season, something he wants to improve upon in 2018.
"I had a couple of issues with lefties last year. I want to improve on that," Chapman said. "That has been a goal of mine and Larry's, to face more lefties during this camp. The fastball feels good, feels that it is there. The slider as well. I feel pretty good right now. We'll keep on going."