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Barbato boards Scranton Shuttle to make way for Aroldis Chapman
TAMPA, FL - MARCH 02: Johnny Barbato #83 of the New York Yankees pitches during the Spring Training game against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field on March 2, 2016 in Tampa, Florida. The Yankees defeated the Tigers 10-9. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Johnny Barbato Boards Scranton Shuttle

Johnny Barbato optioned to Scranton
BALTIMORE, MD – MAY 03: Johnny Barbato #26 of the New York Yankees pitches during a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on May 3, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Orioles won 3-0. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

The Yankees have a new face and a fresh arm in the bullpen tonight: Aroldis Chapman‘s.  He was reinstated today from his 30-game suspension stemming from a domestic violence dispute.  But, in order for Chapman to make his highly anticipated debut, reliever Johnny Barbato was the sacrificial lamb from the 25-man roster.  Making room for Chapman, this afternoon, Barbato packed his bags and boarded the Scranton Shuttle to the New York Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate’s complex.

During Barbato’s spring stint in the Bronx, he appeared in action 12 times (1-2, 10 hits, 8 earned runs, 13 innings, 5.54 ERA). But, as of recent, opponents were batting .296 against him.  While the primary reason he was optioned to Triple-A was to make room for Chapman, according to reports, pitching coach Larry Rothschild challenged Barbato, telling him to “find consistency with his slider“.  Today, 23-year-old Barbato told reporters, “It’s just flatted out a lot,” he said. “It just has to get better — I know that. It’ll be work out fine” (NJ.com).  Manager Joe Girardi had nothing but good things to say about Barbato: “Johnny did a really good job early for us, and we believe the upside for Johnny is really, really big“.