After being suspended for the first 30 games of the 2016 season, Aroldis Chapman is preparing to rejoin the Yankees on Monday.
The Yankees acquired Chapman from the Cincinnati Reds this past December, as the club looked to add another quality arm to bullpen. With question marks in the starting rotation, adding Chapman to the mix was intended to help shorten the game, which has been a recipe for success for many teams over the past few seasons.
Before the season began, the 28-year-old was suspended by Major League Baseball under the league’s domestic violence policy. During the off-season incident, Chapman was accused of allegedly pushing and choking his girlfriend while also firing eight rounds from a firearm in his garage. Chapman accepted the 30-game suspension, and became the first player to face discipline for violating this new policy that the league has adopted.
The wait to see Chapman in Yankee pinstripes is almost over, as the hard throwing left-hander is set to rejoin the team on Monday night at Yankee Stadium. To prepare for his return, Chapman is set to make two appearances in the Gulf Coast League this week to stay sharp. During his suspension, Chapman has been pitching in extended spring training games at the team’s complex in Tampa, Florida.
With his return, it doesn’t appear as if the team will waste any time in using their newly acquired reliever. Manager Joe Girardi has stated that Chapman will be the closer right away once he returns, and if a save opportunity happens to present itself on Monday night, Chapman will definitely be called upon to close the game.