TAMPA, Fla. -- Aroldis Chapman's first spring appearance in a Yankees uniform showcased the high-octane velocity that has become his trademark, but the left-hander's control was erratic as he was unable to complete his assigned inning.Chapman threw just nine of 26 pitches for strikes on Thursday, hitting two batters and
TAMPA, Fla. -- Aroldis Chapman's first spring appearance in a Yankees uniform showcased the high-octane velocity that has become his trademark, but the left-hander's control was erratic as he was unable to complete his assigned inning.
Chapman threw just nine of 26 pitches for strikes on Thursday, hitting two batters and walking two in the fifth inning of an 11-4 loss to the Blue Jays. Chapman was lifted from the appearance after issuing a bases-loaded walk to Troy Tulowitzki.
"Just because I didn't have my control today doesn't mean that I need to worry about that," Chapman said through an interpreter. "This is Spring Training. All I need to focus on is keep on doing my daily work and I should be fine."
Chapman said that he feels "great" physically, and his fastball velocity registered as high as 99 mph, according to the YES Network.
"Speed is something that I don't worry about in Spring Training," Chapman said. "I like to make good pitches, I like to work on making good pitches. It's something that I don't pay attention to."
The Yankees strung their late-inning trio of Chapman, Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances together for the first time on Thursday, with Miller allowing two runs and four hits in the third inning and Betances pitching a scoreless, hitless fourth inning.
"It was nice to see those guys out there," said bench coach Rob Thomson. "All great stuff, obviously."
Pitching coach Larry Rothschild said that the Yankees are bringing Chapman along on a delayed program because of his upcoming 30-game suspension, which will delay his first big league appearance of the season until at least May 9. As such, the Yankees will not pitch Chapman in back-to-back games this spring.
"I think for a guy with a power arm and knowing that the season's not going to start right away, I think it's a little different approach for him," Rothschild said. "But I think he'll be better as we go."
With time not an issue, the hardest thrower in the Majors is using the spring as an opportunity to tinker. Chapman said that he wanted to work more on a changeup, which he mixed in a few times on Thursday.
"It's real good. It's a good seven, eight mph off his fastball," catcher Brian McCann said. "It's got some good action on it. I think it's a good weapon to have."
Chapman froze Darrell Ceciliani on a slider for the first out of the inning, but hit Ryan Goins and walked Kevin Pillar on a 3-1 pitch. Josh Donaldson popped out, but Jose Bautista was clipped by a pitch and Chapman lost Tulowitzki to the RBI walk.
"I think it's normal," Chapman said. "I didn't have my control today, but I feel great physically for my first game. I feel good."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.