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Chapman as advertised facing Yanks hitters

Left-handed closer shows off fastball, secondary pitches
MLB.com @BryanHoch

TAMPA, Fla. -- Aroldis Chapman's first assignment facing hitters in a Yankees uniform produced exactly what the team would have expected: Flailing swings and misses, some splintered bats and a sense of relief that the left-handed closer is on their side.

Chapman took the hill on Monday morning, showing off his heat to four Minor Leaguers while flashing his slider and changeup. Catcher Carlos Corporan guessed that Chapman's fastball was coming in at 97 or 98 mph free and easy, "without even trying."

TAMPA, Fla. -- Aroldis Chapman's first assignment facing hitters in a Yankees uniform produced exactly what the team would have expected: Flailing swings and misses, some splintered bats and a sense of relief that the left-handed closer is on their side.

Chapman took the hill on Monday morning, showing off his heat to four Minor Leaguers while flashing his slider and changeup. Catcher Carlos Corporan guessed that Chapman's fastball was coming in at 97 or 98 mph free and easy, "without even trying."

"I felt great. Physically, I felt awesome out there," Chapman said through an interpreter. "It's the first time I've faced live hitters since last season, but I feel great."

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Ben Gamel, Jorge Mateo, Cesar Puello and Tyler Wade were dispatched quickly by Chapman. At one point, Mateo -- the team's No. 1 prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com -- shattered his bat on a weak foul ball down the first-base line, walking back to the dugout while shaking his hand.

"It was definitely difficult, that's for sure," said Wade. "I mean, it's tough to see the ball coming out of his hand, especially being a left-handed hitter. I'm really glad we have him on our side. I wanted to see what it was like."

So did Corporan, a non-roster invitee who said he had been hoping for the opportunity to catch Chapman this spring. Chapman told him that he is not worried about his fastball and wanted to use Monday to focus on secondary pitches.

"I can die now and I'll be happy," Corporan joked. "I knew he throws hard, but it was surprising how well he executes his secondary pitches. His slider, he can throw in any count. He threw a changeup. It's like a regular sinker for any other pitcher. That's a ground-ball pitch, all day long."

Of the hitting group, Gamel made the closest thing to solid contact, whacking what might have been a single into the outfield. That was cause for celebration.

"They were trying, but they were just laughing," Corporan said. "They're like, 'This is unhittable.' They had no chance."

Chapman said that he had no update to offer regarding potential discipline from Major League Baseball regarding the investigation into his alleged Oct. 30 domestic incident.

"I'm just waiting, like everybody else," Chapman said.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.

New York Yankees, Aroldis Chapman