NEW YORK -- Aroldis Chapman said that he did not agree with how Chicago manager Joe Maddon and the Cubs used him in this year's postseason, specifically pointing to his surprise relief appearance in Game 6 of the World Series against the Indians.
Chapman was summoned in the seventh inning of Game 6 at Progressive Field with Chicago holding a 7-2 lead. He recorded four outs in a 20-pitch appearance that he said taxed him for the decisive Game 7, when he blew the save in a 35-pitch outing that included surrendering a game-tying, eighth-inning homer to Cleveland's Rajai Davis.
"Personally, the way he used me during the playoffs, I believe there were a couple of times where maybe I shouldn't be put in the game and he put me in," Chapman said through an interpreter. "So I think, personally, I don't agree with the way he used me. But he is the manager, and he has the strategy. My job is to be ready, to be ready to pitch whenever that is, however many innings it is. I need to be ready for that, and I need to go in to do my job."
Chapman made his comments while speaking on a conference call Friday, formally announcing his five-year, $86 million deal with the Yankees, who traded him to the Cubs in July. Chapman made 28 regular-season appearances with Chicago with a 1.01 ERA, and then he made 13 postseason appearances in which he logged four saves and a 3.45 ERA.
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Chapman worked in five of the seven World Series games, but he said that he never voiced his concerns to Maddon or the Cubs.
"I never told them my opinion about the way he was using me, because the way I feel is that as baseball players, we're warriors," Chapman said. "Our job is to be ready to do what we need to do on the field. If they send me out there to pitch, I'm going to go out and pitch.
"If I'm healthy, I'm going to go out there and pitch. If I'm tired, I'm going to put that aside and just get through it. It's kind of like a warrior, you know, they send you somewhere and you've got to go there. Your mentality is that you have to go there and do your job. That's the way I see it."
In Game 6, Chapman threw two pitches to induce an inning-ending groundout in the seventh, then faced the minimum in the eighth before the Cubs extended their lead to 9-2. Chapman started the ninth, issuing a leadoff walk to Brandon Guyer before being relieved by Pedro Strop.
One day later, Chapman's velocity noticeably dipped when he was called upon to replace Jon Lester with two outs and a man on in the eighth. Chapman allowed a run-scoring double to Guyer, Davis' two-run homer and a Coco Crisp single before settling down to record the next four outs. Chapman was credited with the win in Chicago's 8-7, 10-inning victory.
"The one that I can point to is Game 6," Chapman said. "The game, it was open. He brought me in; I don't think I needed to come into the game. Looking forward, the important game was to have me [for] Game 7. Basically, we had that game almost won. The next day, I came in and was tired."
Maddon said Friday that he was surprised to hear Chapman's comments and that he consulted the pitcher about his useage before every game. The Cubs manager also praised the lefty's contributions for the World Series champs.
"I know the home run probably bothered him a little bit and that's probably the residue of what sits in his mind," Maddon said. "But moving forward, all I know is I loved having him and I thought we had a great relationship.
"He's a one of a kind, man. I've never been on the field with a more athletic pitcher. … Anybody that strong, anybody who can do what he does -- it's not even once in my lifetime, it's once in a century. ... So from my perspective, we appreciate what he did."
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has said that he has no concerns about a lingering effect from Chapman's workload while with Chicago, saying during last week's Winter Meetings that he would not be pursuing the left-hander if that were the case. Chapman said that he feels physically "great" heading into the new season.
"I'm healthy, my arm is strong and I'm working hard every day physically to be in shape from Spring Training," Chapman said. "I feel healthy. God willing and [if He] helps me to stay healthy the next five years, I will be fine."