New York Yankees Remove Aroldis Chapman As Closer
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 15: Aroldis Chapman #54 of the New York Yankees reacts in the ninth inning against the New York Mets during interleague play on August 15, 2017 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Earlier this week, we pleaded with the New York Yankees to try something new in the ninth inning. Saturday, the Yankees finally made that call to the pen.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi told media members, including MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch, that Aroldis Chapman has been removed as the team’s closer. They now do “not necessarily” have a primary closer and will be using certain pitchers based on certain matchups.

The Yankees will likely employ a mix of Dellin Betances and David Robertson at the back-end of the game. Both have had much success over the past couple weeks and they are definitely able to serve as the team’s closer.

The 29-year-old, flame-throwing lefty landed a lucrative five-year, $86 million contract to re-sign with the Yankees this past offseason after New York had traded him to the Chicago Cubs at the trade deadline. While he’s shown flashes of his former self, Chapman has been nowhere near as effective as we’re accustomed to seeing.

Chapman missed a month of action earlier this season after going on the disabled list with rotator cuff tendinitis. He seemed to be settling down before his implosion against the Boston Red Sox last weekend.

Over his last four outings, Chapman has pitched to a 14.54 ERA and 2.31 WHIP. In 4.1 innings of work, he’s allowed five hits and seven earned runs while walking and striking out five batters apiece. Opposing hitters have slashed .313/.478/.688 with a 1.166 OPS against him over during this stretch.

Since the All-Star break, he has a 5.40 ERA and 1.47 WHIP, allowing 10 runs (nine earned) and 12 hits over 15 innings of work. While Chapman has struck out 16 batters, he’s also walked 10.

After the devastating loss last night in Boston, the Yankees are five games behind the Red Sox in the AL East and lead over the Minnesota Twins and the Los Angeles Angels—who are both tied for the second AL Wild Card spot—by less than four games for the top AL Wild Card spot.

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Max Wildstein writes columns for ESNY on the New York Yankees. He is the senior editor at Hardball Scoop, part of CBSi's Scout.com, as well as a freelance contributor at the Sporting News. You can go and interact with Max by following him on Twitter.