Aroldis Chapman pitched a scoreless inning Tuesday night with Triple-A Scranton and his rehab from an ankle issue is over. The Yankees used the time, afforded to them by the excellent performance of Clay Holmes, to rework Chapman’s delivery.
They’ve seen progress.
“I think the biggest thing for me [is] it’s delivery related,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Wednesday morning before the Yankees swept the A’s at the Stadium. “When he’s in control of delivery everything else follows the fastball, but the crispness of the fastball, and whatever that number is, whether it’s 101 [mph] or 97, whatever, it’s just if he’s got some feel with that pitch and feel with his delivery then everything else works off of that.
“For much of this year, he’s thrown the ball really well. He had a couple tough outings before he went on the IL. But hopefully, the time down to address those issues, not only physically with the ankle and the Achilles, but also hopefully syncing them up a little bit better and allowing them to be more consistent with his mechanics.”
Chapman should be activated before Friday’s series opener against the Guardians in Cleveland.
“Possibly tomorrow, but he’s thrown three out of five [days] now so we want to kind of have him in a good spot. So we’re ready to go back to back if we need to,” Boone said. “So I haven’t even seen him yet today. So we’ll kind of see where we are today. But I would say tomorrow’s potentially in play and probably definitely Friday.”
MORE HELP ON THE MOUND
Wednesday morning, Ryan Weber was back.
The right-hander had made an emergency spot start for the Yankees on June 16, when Luis Severino came down with flu-like symptoms. He was designated for assignment, elected free agency and re-signed by the Yankees after going 3.1 innings, holding the Rays to a run in a win at the Stadium.
He took JP Sears’ spot on the roster, which is likely a spot holder until Chapman comes off the IL.
“Obviously, he’s a guy that can give us some length, protect us in that way,” Boone said. “Last time he came up he was right in there and it fits really well for us and the game that we want. So he’s having a good year down there in Triple-A. So a guy that walks in here and he’s very comfortable in this situation, obviously has a lot of experience and a strike thrower, so no situation is going to be too big for him.”
Jameson Taillon got hit hard early on Wednesday. The right-hander gave up three runs in the first and had to work around traffic in the second, but was bailed out by the offense in the Yankees’ 5-3 win over the A’s at Yankee Stadium.
Over his last five starts, however, Taillon has allowed 16 earned runs in 25.1 innings. That’s a stark difference from his first 10 starts when he pitched to a 2.30 ERA.
Taillon isn’t too worried though.
“This is a results game. So I guess from that standpoint, it’s definitely been different,” he said. “But I’m kind of also telling myself just to stay the course, because I think the delivery is in a great spot. I think the stuff is in a good spot. I think it really comes down to like a pitch here, a pitch there.”
He pointed to his battle with A’s left fielder Stephen Piscotty in the first inning.
“Maybe it’s just that awareness in these situations like, my miss here is gonna be a ball,” Taillon said. “I think earlier in the season was probably a little better at that. But I don’t think it’s any big changes needed or anything but yeah, the results definitely speak for themselves. It’s been a little different lately.”
LOAISIGA ‘S NEXT STEP
Reliever Jonathan Loaisiga, who has been on the IL since late May with right shoulder inflammation, will face batters soon. After throwing his bullpen on Wednesday, Loaisiga headed down to the Yankees’ player development complex in Tampa.
“He’s going to throw a live batting practice down there this weekend,” Boone said.