NEW YORK -- Although the Yankees took the series opener against the Rangers, 7-3, on Thursday night, a shaky appearance from Albertin Chapman raised questions of whether the closer was still battling pain in his left knee, but the team does not seem to be worried."Health-wise, I think he's good,"
NEW YORK -- Although the Yankees took the series opener against the Rangers, 7-3, on Thursday night, a shaky appearance from Albertin Chapman raised questions of whether the closer was still battling pain in his left knee, but the team does not seem to be worried.
"Health-wise, I think he's good," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "I think the knee's better than it's been in a while. Just got to work through it with him. Obviously we'll see how he is today, getting out there and throwing and back on the field, but I don't think we have any issues physically."
Chapman has battled left knee tendinitis this season, and it is the reason he was unable to make an appearance in the All-Star Game. On Thursday, Chapman entered in a non-save situation in the ninth inning and walked the first two batters he faced. Ultimately, he was able to work out of trouble without allowing a run, but his fastball velocity ranged mostly between 95-97 mph, a dip from the triple-digit heat.
"No, the knee's not bothering me," Chapman said through an interpreter. "For speed to fluctuate like that, it's normal. That's where I was yesterday."
"The thing about Chappy, he's mechanically kind of freakish in the way he's able to generate the kind of velocity he does," Boone said. "So I think he's fighting that a little bit so he's not getting that kinetic chain perfectly in sync that allows him to have that velocity."
Since the beginning of July, Chapman has posted a 5.40 ERA with 10 walks in 10 innings. Prior to Thursday's outing, he was coming off his second blown save of the season, allowing three runs -- two earned -- in the ninth against the Red Sox. Boone said he thinks the closer's recent struggles on the mound are mechanical rather than health-related.
"I think he is good. Just going through a little patch right now," Boone said. "I think in a given year you pretty much see every closer go through a little bump."
"There's nothing I can pinpoint to. It hasn't been there, but it doesn't mean it's not going to be there," Chapman said. "You can't over-complicate things, watching a lot of videos and a lot of stuff. You want to keep it simple."
• Domingo German was diagnosed with an ulnar nerve injury at the end of July just after his demotion to Triple-A. Boone said Friday that German did not throw for the 10 days after the diagnosis and has yet to throw a bullpen session but has begun playing catch again.
• Jonathan Loaisiga landed on Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's disabled list with right shoulder inflammation just a few days after his first stint in the big leagues. Boone said Loaisiga has thrown a couple of bullpen sessions and pitched in a simulated game a few days ago. Boone said the pitcher is close to getting "back into game action."
This date in Yankees history
Aug. 10, 1986: In a pregame ceremony, the Yankees unveiled a plaque in honor of Alfred Manuel "Billy" Martin in Yankee Stadium's Monument Park. Both a player and manager with the Yankees, Martin's No. 1 is also retired.
Mandy Bell is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York.