The more things change, the more they stay the same. Former Yankees reliever Aroldis Chapman can probably agree with that statement.
What’s changed is his performance between 2022 and 2023. Chapman produced so little that the Yankees didn’t even put him on their postseason roster last October. He finished his final year in pinstripes with a 4.46 ERA and 1.43 WHIP through 36.1 innings.
He signed a one-year, $3.75 million deal with the Kansas City Royals over the winter and took advantage of his opportunity. In 29.1 innings before getting traded to the Texas Rangers, Chapman posted a 2.45 ERA and 1.23 WHIP. His strikeout rate also went from 26.9% to 43.4% thanks to a couple of extra ticks on his average fastball velocity.
What hasn’t changed is him giving up home runs in big spots. During a matchup between the Rangers and Astros on Monday night, Texas manager Bruce Bochy called on Chapman in the seventh inning. He faced Chas McCormick with two on and the Rangers clinging to a three-run lead.
But then, McCormick took Chapman deep to a part of Minute Maid Park the reliever is all too familiar with:
Aroldis Chapman just gave up a massive home run into *that* part of Minute Maid Park pic.twitter.com/yDaOiVxW8M
— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) July 25, 2023
Unfortunately, we can’t tell if Chapman was smirking at all while the runs crossed the plate. As a quick refresher, here’s what happened to end the 2019 ALCS:
Houston ended up beating the Rangers on Monday by a score of 10-9. Could this give Chapman a case of the yips? Texas certainly hopes not. Outside of this outing, he’s been solid since arriving from Kansas City. The left-hander has posted a 3.38 ERA and 0.75 WHIP with a 45.2% strikeout rate in eight innings with his new club.
So, yea — this is just another example in life that the more things change, the more they stay the same. That’s how the cookie crumbles, folks.