Aroldis Chapman: AWOL
Yesterday, the Yankees announced that Chapman was not going to be on the ALDS roster for skipping a practice. Let's talk about it.
Tweets (The Chronological Story):
11:21 AM (10/9) - The first report that Aroldis Chapman was not going to be on the postseason roster came out. It was an incredibly shocking move to hear about on a variety of different levels. My first thought was that the Yankees were set to announce an injury for Chapman but they were waiting on tests before they confirmed the source. However, this did seem to be an odd way to announce an injury. The Yankees also hadn't released an official ALDS roster, so there were questions about why Chapman was being singled out.
11:24 AM (10/9) - It was quick for the Yankees to issue a reasoning for the early exit from the postseason roster for Chapman, citing a lack of attendance at a team practice. I can only imagine the atmosphere in the clubhouse and on the field as they were waiting to see if he'd show up. I can't imagine skipping a work meeting, I can't fathom skipping a postseason practice with big money (i.e. postseason bonus money) on the line.
11:29 AM (10/9) - And if not playing in the postseason and giving up postseason bonus money wasn't enough, it looks as though the Yankees will be looking into some additional punishments for Aroldis Chapman. I wonder if the contract that Chapman signed with the Yankees said anything about repercussions for missing team meetings and/or practices. The legalese here, if the Yankees really do plan on going this route, is going to be very interesting to follow.
11:46 AM (10/9) - After Yankees manager came forward to the press about the Yankees not selecting Aroldis Chapman to the ALDS roster, it was only a matter of time before Brian Cashman was going to voice his opinion. It's very clear that he was disappointed in Aroldis Chapman for giving up on the team (regardless of how his recent performances have been poor). He went into further comments, as reported by Max Goodman, stating to the effect that there were and have been more and more questions about Chapman's dedication to the team as the season went on. Not a good look.
12:32 PM (10/10) - It took over a day (talk about not giving 100% effort) for Aroldis Chapman to have a response/excuse ready for the media. And this response is incredibly telling. Aroldis Chapman knew he was on the cusp of being on the postseason roster. He knew his performances were bad. He knew the Yankees are willing (now that contracts don't matter) to keep him away.
And instead of going after it. Instead of being a team player, trying your best, and accepting the outcome. Instead of saying "who cares about the haters, I'm going to give it my all". Instead of sticking his neck out there, Chapman took the easy way out. He tried to pre-emptively shift the blame on the Yankees instead of his own lack of effort. He tried to pressure them into making a tough decision.
It was an easy decision. If he's not willing to give effort to the team, he's not going to get a chance to give effort in the playoffs.
I will give the Yankees a ton of credit here. They could've just rolled over to the veteran arm, the guy whose been there and done it (with the Chicago Cubs in 2016), the guy who come into the year as their closer. Instead the Yankees looked at it and said no. We're not going to bother wasting our time with you anymore.
Let's look at the stats:
43 Games Pitched - Career Low*
36.1 Innings Pitched - Career Low*
4.46 ERA - Career Low
88 ERA+ - Career Low
1.431 WHIP - Career Low
43 Strikeouts - Career Low*
10.7 K/9 Rate - Career Low*
9 Saves - 2nd Lowest in Career* (1 in 2011)
.4.37 FIP - Career Low
28 Walks - 6th Most in Career
1.54 K/BB Rate - Career Low
*Not counting his rookie year, 2010, and the COVID-shortened 2020 season.
2022 was a terrible year for Aroldis Chapman.
Giving up to yourself, your team, and the fans as the postseason comes around is a terrible look for Aroldis Chapman.
I can't imagine this is going to help him this offseason as he looks for another contract.
He came in with fireball stuff,
and went out with a whimper.
See ya, Aroldis.
(Truthfully, the bullpen will be better for this.)