New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman is expected to begin throwing next week after he went on the disabled list due to a shoulder injury, according to YES Network.
Chapman hasn't pitched since May 12 and went on the disabled list two days later due to rotator cuff inflammation. He had been feeling shoulder discomfort for weeks before the Yankees placed him on the DL.
Chapman was scheduled to meet with a team physician before Monday's game against the Kansas City Royals, but manager Joe Girardi did not have a definitive update when talking to the media.
"Originally we said (Chapman) would not be throwing for two weeks," Girardi said, according to NJ.com's Randy Miller. "It's only been a week. But he does feel better, so that would be my update."
Chapman has seven saves, a 3.55 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 12 2/3 innigns this season. In his last two outings, he gave up four runs and six hits in 1 1/3 combined innings, however before that he had allowed just one run and six hits in 11 1/3 innings.
The Yankees signed Chapman, 29, to a five-year, $86 million deal in the offseason.
If Chapman is going to begin a throwing program next week, he would be about a week ahead of the four-week timetable the team suggested at the onset of his stint on the disabled list. The Yankees would be wise to make sure Chapman is completely healthy with an actual medical check before allowing him back on the mound, as opposed to taking his word that he's "feeling better" as they did before.
This is good news for the team, but not because Dellin Betances has failed as the interim closer. Rather, with Betances slotting back into a setup role, it also pushes the other relievers back an inning ensuring they'll pitch under less stressful situations. Since Chapman hit the DL, the setup crew in front of Betances has faltered, signaling the other relievers might be better served in their original roles.