Girardi names Yankees’ closer prior to spring training
Monday, New York Yankees’ skipper Joe Girardi named his closer. It was going to be interesting to see what the Yankees were going to do with their triple-threat late inning relief crew of Andrew Miller, Dellin Betances and newly acquired Aroldis Chapman.
All three players would be in the conversation if you were say, discussing Major League Baseball’s best relievers. In 2015 each of the three pitchers had 100 or more strikeouts, this is the first time in baseball history that a team has had three relievers who got a least 100 strikeouts each in the same year.
Miller won the American League’s Mariano Rivera Award for being the best reliever and Chapman is likely the hardest throwing closer in baseball, consistently hitting triple digits on the radar gun (I heard a rumor he’s hit as high as 106!).
Of the three stellar reliever’s Joe Giaradi has made it official that the closer’s job is now Chapman’s. This is somewhat surprising because Chapman is currently under investigation by Major League Baseball for a domestic violence issue that was, somehow, kept under the radar until Chapman’s former team the Cincinnati Reds attempted to trade Chapman to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Chapman will very likely face a suspension once MLB has concluded their investigation.
In light of the allegations the Yankees were able to get Chapman relatively cheap trading away four minor league prospects, only one of which is even close to being MLB-ready. The Yankees could’ve gotten by without Chapman but not only does he make their bullpen historically good, he helps make up for their lack of reliable starting pitching.
The Yankees didn’t really even go after a quality starter over the offseason, at least thus far, so they have elected to shorten the game using the bullpen.
Girardi did not specify what could or would happen if Chapman receives a long suspension nor did he assign specific innings to Miller and Betances. What is now known is that the closer’s job is Chapman’s to lose.