Notes: Not rushing Chapman; Cessa returns

August 5th, 2020

is entering the next stages of his rehab at the Yankees’ alternate training site in Moosic, Pa., though manager Aaron Boone said that the club does not plan to rush the left-hander back to the closer’s role.

Boone said that Chapman is expected to throw a bullpen session on Wednesday, which will mark his first time on the mound since testing positive for COVID-19 during Summer Camp. Boone expects that Chapman will need to face hitters several times before being activated.

“He'll probably have at least a couple [of bullpens] before he faces live hitters, so I don't expect [him to return] anytime soon,” Boone said. “I feel like physically he's in a good spot. We'll just kind of monitor how each ‘pen goes, how his live BPs go and make a smart decision about when to bring him back. We won't rush him.”

Zack Britton has served as the interim closer in Chapman’s absence, recording four saves in as many appearances without permitting a run. Boone said that he has been pleased by the quality of the Yankees’ bullpen, even without Chapman and right-hander Tommy Kahnle.

“Even going back to Spring Training, one of the things I've been most excited about is our depth of pitchers,” Boone said. “The young pitchers that are knocking on the door have given us some really good options at any point in the game.”

One in, one out
The Yankees reinstated from the 10-day injured list on Wednesday, adding the right-hander to the bullpen mix just as right-hander underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery.

Cessa made his first appearance in Wednesday’s first game, pitching 1 1/3 scoreless innings in the Yankees’ 11-7 loss at Philadelphia.

Kahnle’s procedure was performed by Dr. Christopher Ahmad at New York-Presbyterian Hospital on Tuesday, and the team said that the procedure went as planned.

Seven and seven
said that Wednesday’s seven-inning doubleheader reminded him of some experiences from his Minor League career. The Yankees will have another opportunity to travel down memory lane on Saturday, when they’ll play another twin bill against the Rays at Tropicana Field.

“The challenge is just being ready,” Voit said. “You look up during these games and all of a sudden it's the sixth inning -- that's the eighth inning, technically. It goes quick. From a body perspective, they're a lot better on our bodies. In the long run, it's a little bit easier on us and we don't have as many guys playing, so it's good.”

Voit trimmed about 13 pounds from his frame during the four-month shutdown and said that he feels more agile than last year, when he was hampered by bilateral core injuries that eventually required surgery in October.

“I'm the type of guy that wants to play,” Voit said. “I didn't realize how serious my injury was I got the surgery. It feels good to finally be healthy again. I feel like I’ve got my power back. It's going to be hopefully what I felt like in the first half of last year.”

Up next
The Yankees and Phillies will conclude their series on Thursday at Citizens Bank Park, with first pitch scheduled for 6:05 p.m. ET. Left-hander Jordan Montgomery is set to make his second start of the season for New York, with right-hander Zach Elfin set to go for the Phils.