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.
"Obviously, he was really efficient," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said, per the New York Post. "It looked like there was good life on his fastball. I wasn't overly concerned with it, [but] it was good to see him come in and start to push it up a little bit and look like his stuff was crisp."
Chapman was not concerned with the lack of juice on his fastball after his first appearance and his save Monday displayed improvement. However, he still has a ways to go to reach the level he's consistently thrown his fastball; he regularly eclipsed the 100-mph plateau early in his career with the Reds and last year averaged 100.9 mph with the pitch -- which ranked in the 100th percentile among hurlers, per Baseball Savant.
As the weather heats up and the season progresses, perhaps the Cuban native will see his velocity tick back over 100 mph.
Velocity is obviously an important component of Chapman's arsenal, but he's utilized the fastball less over the past two seasons. In 2018, he threw the pitch 65.9 percent of the time, a career low.
At the end of the 2016 season with the Cubs, Chapman experienced a severe velocity dropoff toward the end of the seven-game World Series against the Indians. That instance was attributed to fatigue.