Yankees manager Joe Girardi is no longer committing to LHP Aroldis Chapman as his primary closer after another rough outing on Friday night.
Girardi said he will instead use Chapman "at any point" and said it will "not necessarily" be in save situations, reports Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. Girardi would not commit to any other single pitcher, but suggested he would use Dellin Betances and David Robertson, according to NJ.com.
"If you look at the guys that are next, you could close with if you didn't close with Chapman, Robbie's got the most experience, Dellin's got some experience and he's been throwing the ball well," Girardi said. "I mean, I could look at a lot of different things."
Chapman entered Friday's game in the bottom of the eighth to preserve a 7-6 Sox lead. However, he didn't record an out as two more Boston runs crossed home plate in just four batters.
Chapman, who has struggled tremendously against the Red Sox this season, was calm when answering questions from reporters after Friday's. He knows that frustration will get him nowhere.
"You can't get frustrated," Chapman said. "Obviously, the last couple of outings, they haven't been what I want them to be. Going through a tough moment right now but you can't get frustrated. You just gotta work hard and get out of it."
As for what might be his issue, the flamethrower didn't point to one thing in particular. Instead, he will continue to fight through the bad spell.
"It's hard to pinpoint and say just one thing because I feel physically really, really good," he said. "My arm feels great. But I think it's just a tough moment that I'm going through and eventually I'm pretty sure I'll get out of it."
Chapman owns a 9.95 ERA with 10 walks and seven strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings against the Red Sox this season.
Girardi didn't have much of a choice but to reduce Chapman's role in the Yankees' bullpen. In the middle of a postseason push, the Yanks cannot afford to have a pitcher try to find his way through a slump in save situations, or high leverage ones for that matter.
I might be among the few who believe this, but I feel that Chapman can fix his physical issues which will help his mental state, though he is going to have to begin to work more like a pitcher than a flame-thrower. The Yankees made a huge investment in Chapman, so rest assured if he begins to come around, he will get more save chances down the line.
The trade that brought Robertson to the Yankees from the White Sox now takes on more meaning than just added depth to the bullpen. My guess is that Robertson will end up getting a bulk of the opportunities, though I also believe he is more valuable as a reliever that can come in and put out fires. The rest of the bullpen, including Betances, the Yankees' other closing option, perform much better in clean one-inning performances.