Chapman to remain closer, hopes to avoid DL

Girardi gives struggling left-hander vote of confidence after 3 rough outings

August 17th, 2017

NEW YORK -- The Yankees offered two votes of confidence for on Wednesday afternoon, with manager Joe Girardi stating that "he will continue to be my closer" and that he believes the left-hander will be able to avoid a stint on the disabled list.

Chapman reported that his right hamstring tightened in the ninth inning of Tuesday's 5-4 win over the Mets, in which Chapman appeared despondent after surrendering a two-run homer to rookie . Girardi said that no MRI has been scheduled for Chapman, though he was unavailable to pitch Wednesday.

"You're going to look at it day to day in terms of what he's doing," Girardi said. "Again, I have a lot of confidence in him to get back on track. He's going through a little blip here, and we'll get him right."

With having pitched in three consecutive games, Girardi said that he would hand the ball to in a save situation.

That move will not be permanent, despite Chapman having allowed five runs over 3 1/3 innings in his last three appearances, marking the first time since 2012 that he's allowed a run in three consecutive outings.

Since returning from a shoulder injury in mid-June, Chapman is 3-2 with a 4.09 ERA and nine saves in 12 chances. He had a 0.79 ERA and seven saves over his first 12 appearances of the season.

"Physically, he's had no complaints," Girardi said. "Velocity-wise, it's been pretty normal for him. I don't think he's hit 105 [mph] like he did a couple years ago, but his velocity's been pretty good. He's made some mistakes."

Girardi said that he believes Chapman's issues have been mechanical.

"We're looking at that," Girardi said. "The save he blew on Sunday [to Boston], his stuff was really good. That's not a pitch many people are going to hit. The kid [] put a great swing on it. It happens.

"When you look how he went through that inning, it was the only hit, the only baserunner. He was pretty good. Last night he struggled with his command, maybe he threw too many sliders last night. We're looking at that. There's so many measurements you look at now."

CC feeling A-OK

threw a 25-pitch bullpen session on Wednesday at Citi Field and said that he expects to be ready to pitch on Saturday against the Red Sox at Fenway Park, the first day he is eligible to be activated from the 10-day disabled list.

"Everything felt really good today. A lot better," said Sabathia, who was limited to three innings in an Aug. 8 start at Toronto by right knee pain. "Hopefully, it just continues to get better, and I'll go out there and perform well."

Sabathia said that he has returned to the original right knee brace that he began using in September 2015, reasoning that he enjoyed a lengthy period with no significant issues. Sabathia had cortisone, platelet-rich plasma and stem cell injections after being placed on the DL, and said that there is no timetable to have further injections in the knee.

"Hopefully, it keeps getting a lot better," Sabathia said. "We'll just have to see going out and throwing 100 pitches, we'll see how that responds. Right now it feels a lot better than it did when I was in Toronto the other night."