Last week, Aroldis Chapman agreed to a five-year, $86 million deal with the New York Yankees after spending most of the 2016 MLB season with the team until his July trade to the Chicago Cubs.
In Chicago, Chapman helped pitched the Cubs to their first World Series title since 1908, but that doesn’t mean he agreed with the way the Cubs and manager Joe Maddon used him in the playoffs:
“Personally, I don’t agree with the way he used me, but he is the manager and he has the strategy,” Chapman said during a conference call to officially announce his new deal with the Yankees. “My job is to be ready, to be ready to pitch, however that is, however many innings that is, I need to be ready for that. I need to go in and do my job.”
Chapman pointed to one particular situation in the call that he felt he wasn’t necessarily needed in. The Cubs were up seven runs in Game 6 of the World Series, but Chapman was still pitching in the ninth inning after fully pitching the 7th and 8th innings.
“There were couple of games, but the one I can point to is Game 6,” Chapman said when asked for specifics for his criticism. “The game was open and I don’t think he needed to (leave)me in the ninth. The important game was going to be Game 7 because we had that game almost won. The next day I came in tired.”
The fatigue that Chapman was showing showed in Game 7. In the 8th inning, the Cubs held a 6-3 lead before outfielder Rajai Davis hit a three-run homer to knot the game at 6 all. Chicago would of course go on to win, but the game may have ended easier with a more rested Chapman.
“I never told him about my opinion with the way he was using me,” Chapman said. “The way I feel as baseball players we are warriors. Our job is to be ready to do what we need to do on the field. They send me out there to pitch, I’m going to go out there and pitch.
“If I’m healthy, I’m going to go out there and pitch. If I’m tired, I’m going to put that aside and just get through it. It is kind of like a warrior, they send you somewhere and you have to go there and your mentality is you have to go there and do your job.”
Now that Chapman is back in the Bronx, he is ready to form a dynamic bullpen duo once again with Dellin Betances. With the Yankees in 2016, Chapman posted a 3-0 record with a 2.01 average and 20 saves, and put up collective season stats of a 4-1 record, 36 saves, and 1.55 earned run average with 90 strikeouts in 58 innings of work.
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