September 11, 2017
Welcome back to one of the final editions of the Closer Report of the year. Though the season is winding down, we are actually coming off one of our busier weeks of the second half. There were some high-profile changes in some contending bullpens, as well as some injury news to keep an eye on. Before we get there, just a reminder to check up on the Closer Grid for new pecking orders around the league. Now, let’s get to the news.
Aroldis Chapman back in the ninth in New York
Last month, after a poor showing against the Red Sox that really put a bow on a what was a bad stretch of pitching for the hard-throwing lefty, Chapman was removed from the closer role. Since I didn’t believe he was truly as bad as his numbers, he wasn’t someone I was actively looking to drop, but that was more because I felt he could provide strong ratios rather than the idea that he’d get his job back. However, the latter appears to be happening, even if New York isn’t committing to Chapman as a full-time closer just yet. Dellin Betances, who took over the ninth, hasn’t been pitching well lately and rather than moving to David Robertson, the Yankees are going to try Chapman out again. My guess is that he’ll be able to hold on to this job for the rest of the year, so those of you who decided to hold on to the lefty after his demotion will be rewarded with some big saves in the most important stretch of the season.