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Aroldis Chapman nearing return

Its been a few weeks that the Yankees have been without superstar closer Aroldis Chapman, but it doesn’t seem that will be the case for much longer. The Cuban native will head to Tampa on Friday to throw a simulated game. If all goes well, he will begin his rehab assignment at AA Trenton. Chapman is hopeful to rejoin the Yankees on the road for the four-game series against the Oakland Athletics.

Chapman started off hot in April, posting a 0.96 ERA and striking out 15 batters through 9.1 innings of work. However, May was a different story for the hard-throwing right hander. Through four appearances last month, he held an inflated ERA of 10.80. An inflamed rotator cuff was found to be the reason for Chapman’s dip in velocity and control issues, ultimately landing him on the DL.

Dellin Betances has shined as the interim-closer in Chapman’s absence. The usual set up man has yet to give up a run since Chapman hit the DL. He’s converted 5/5 save opportunities while striking out ten and giving up a mere three hits in 5.2 innings. Look for Betances to slide back into that set-up role when Chapman comes back.