The Yankees’ already strong bullpen figures to get even better Monday.
That’s when they expect to get Aroldis Chapman back from the COVID-19 injured list.
“The thought is he’ll be here [Monday],’’ Aaron Boone said Sunday.
Zack Britton has performed well in the closer’s role in Chapman’s absence and picked up his eighth save in as many chances in Sunday’s 4-2 win over the Red Sox, but Boone is looking forward to having the lefty flamethrower to go to in the ninth inning.
“To get [Chapman] back at the back end [of the bullpen], I’m really excited about that,’’ Boone said. “The trickle-down [effect] it has is to move other high-leverage guys and it makes us a little bit deeper back there. It’s not just about [Chapman] and his greatness, but also where it slots other guys and gives you better options throughout the game.”
Chapman has been on the COVID-19 IL since the season began. He tested negative for the coronavirus during the intake program but positive afterward.
The 32-year-old finished with 32 saves last year and is in the second year of a three-year, $48 million deal.
Britton called Chapman’s return “huge.”
“We’re adding a quality arm to give us some depth with Tommy [Kahnle] being out,’’ Britton said of Kahnle’s season-ending Tommy John surgery.
Chad Green is one of the relievers who has thrived to start the season. He’s allowed just six baserunners in 12 ²/₃ innings and struck out 17.
The Yankees improved to 9-0 at home and Mike Ford said even with no fans, they still have a home-field advantage because of the routine players can keep. With Sunday’s win, the Yankees are 15-6, their best record through 21 games to start a season since 2003, when they went 18-3.
Tyler Wade has seen what Clint Frazier has done since being recalled from the alternate site after Aaron Judge hit the IL with a strained calf and hopes to have similar success with DJ LeMahieu out with a sprained thumb.
“We know what kind of players we are and we’re on the best team in baseball,’’ Wade said of their roles. “We have superstars and All-Stars at every single position and we realize that and just have to take it in every single day and get your work in like you’re gonna play that night. When you take that mindset, it shows in Clint’s game. He went down there [to the alternate site] like he was gonna come back. You never know when that time’s gonna be. He’s doing his thing and hopefully I follow his lead.”
Britton called Frazier, “a special talent. On most teams, he’s on the Opening Day roster and starts in the outfield.”
Major League Baseball commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Negro Leagues on Sunday.
The Yankees wore a patch to honor the league during Sunday’s game and the team also had a video tribute to Buck O’Neil.
Judge also wore a T-shirt honoring Jackie Robinson during his Zoom call with reporters on Sunday and recalled how CC Sabathia would bring teammates to the Negro League museum whenever the Yankees visited Kansas City.
Jordan Montgomery is slated to make his fourth start — and second against the Red Sox — of the season — on Monday.
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