Aroldis Chapman
Brett Davis | USA TODAY Sports

Aroldis Chapman has been ineffective. And now he’s injured.

Mike Francesa believes the Yankees must ask themselves a tough question about their struggling closer.

“I don’t trust Chapman,” Francesa said on his latest BetRivers podcast. “The Yankees are going to have to make a decision on if there is another arm in that bullpen they can trust to join or replace Chapman as the closer. Otherwise, they are going to go into the postseason with Chapman. And he is going to be a massive question.”

Chapman has given up an earned run in each of his last five appearances. And his funk finally cost the Yankees on Sunday. Chapman took the loss in the first game of the doubleheader sweep by the White Sox after giving up two runs in the ninth inning (he entered with the game tied at 1). Manager Aaron Boone then revealed Chapman has been dealing with an Achilles injury.

This is not new territory for the Yankees, which makes things all the more alarming. Chapman had one of the worst seasons of his career in 2021 and briefly lost the closer job. He rebounded down the stretch, but a run of late-game meltdowns was a big reason why the team underachieved last season.


Further complicating the issue: The Yankees are facing more bullpen issues than Chapman. Chad Green is done for the season. So is farmhand Luis Gil. Jonathan Loaisiga has also pitched poorly. Clay Holmes has been brilliant, but is he ready to be a closer?

Chapman — as long as he is healthy enough to pitch — may still be the best option. Not exactly a comforting sign when you consider the Yankees’ 29-12 start has still only given them a five-game loss-column lead on the Rays atop the American League East.

“It’s not like the Yankees have shaken away from the competition,” Francesa said. “They haven’t just run away and hidden.”

James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.