Bullpen shines bright in a 3-2 Yankees victory in Toronto

(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

I forgot for a hot minute how intense those late-season Yankees-Blue Jays games were last year. The Jays are not a team without imperfections (see: their rotation) but they still figure to be a contender for AL East title this season. Tonight’s game was not an easy one to watch for either team’s fans, but thanks to Jacoby Ellsbury‘s seventh-inning bloop RBI and a strong bullpen performance, the Yankees took the first game of the three-game series by the score of 3-2.

Early Lead

The Yankee bats were up against a power arm, Aaron Sanchez. After being chosen with the 34th overall pick out of HS in 2010 MLB Draft, Sanchez was a starter in minors, but when he came up, the Blue Jays got him used to pitching in ML as a reliever. After battling for a fifth starter spot in ST, he beat out Gavin Floyd to be a starting pitcher in their rotation.

New York had a scoring chance against him in the bottom of second. Brian McCann walked to lead off and advanced to second on a Carlos Beltran ground out. Chase Headley walked to put two baserunners on and both of them advanced when Sanchez’s pickoff throw to second sailed to outfield. With one out, runners on second and third, Starlin Castro‘s ground out scored McCann from third. 1-0 Yankees. When you’re matching up against a division foe, you really want to score a run some way or another. Yankees will gladly take a couple of walks, an errant throw and an RBI ground out to do so. For Sanchez, it didn’t help that his command was rusty early on.

(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

(Gutty) Tanaka Tuesday

You would think that, Masahiro Tanaka, who hasn’t been great with keeping the ball in the ballpark (allowed 28 homers last year), would not be a great matchup versus the Jays. However, in seven career games versus Toronto, Tanaka has held them to a .584 OPS, allowing only 7 walks while striking out 48, which is … pretty good.

Anyways, no matter how successful he’s been against them, it’s never easy facing a lineup like that. From the get-go, in the first, Tanaka walked Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion back-to-back to create a two out, runners on first and second situation. After a full count battle against Troy Tulowitzki, Tanaka got him strikeout swinging on a splitter, needing 29 pitches to get three outs.

At least in the early going, Tanaka seemed like he was pitching for hitters to chase while not being able to finish them off swiftly. For instance, here’s how his matchup versus Russell Martin in second inning:

Pitch 1: Ball above the zone, 90 mph fastball
Pitch 2: Strike on outside corner, 91 mph fastball
Pitch 3: Foul on the inside 88 mph fastball
Pitch 4: Foul on the outside 85 mph splitter
Pitch 5: Ball on just above the zone 85 mph slider
Pitch 6: Foul on inside 83 mph slider
Pitch 7: Foul on the 91 mph fastball on outside corner
Pitch 8: Ball on the outside 78 mph curveball
— Pickoff Throw —
Pitch 9: Foul on the 82 mph slider, bit down the middle
Pitch 10: Swinging strike on 91 mph fastball up

In the third, Tanaka hit Kevin Pillar with a pitch and surrendered a single to Josh Donaldson. Up next, Bautista smoked a hanging slider to deep center for a two-run double. It also didn’t help that Ellsbury got off to a late start to track the ball. Had he seen the ball better, he could have limited the damage to a sac fly; instead, it became 2-1 Jays. However, after a Larry Rothschild mound visit, fortune stood more on Tanaka’s side. He struck out Encarnacion and induced a Chris Colabello double play to get out of the inning without more damage.

Tonight wasn’t Tanaka’s prettiest start but give him credit for this: he bent but didn’t break. After the laborious third, the rest was easier for him. He managed a seven-pitch fourth and allowed only one baserunner (Pillar lead off single) in 14-pitch fifth. And that was the end of his night – 92 pitches, 54 strikes, 5 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 6 K. Not great but all things considered, especially with the walks he allowed, two earned runs in five innings pitched doesn’t sound terrible.

(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Tie Game

After showing some rocky command to start the game, Sanchez seemed to settle in. From third to fifth, he only allowed two baserunners and protected Toronto’s 2-1 lead. It seemed like he was well on his way to another scoreless inning in the sixth after getting A-Rod and Mark Teixeira out. However, McCann saw a mistake fastball down the middle with full count and drove it to the right field seats to tie the game up at 2-2.

McCann is not usually known as a contact hitter, but so far this season, he’s carried one of the hottest bats in baseball. After tonight, the Yankee catcher has hit for a .500/.591/.889 line in 22 PA’s. He also came off a ST where he hit for a pretty good average too (.333/.366/.436 in 39 AB’s) so I wonder if there were some adjustments made with new hitting coaches.

Bullpen Wars (aka How I Learned to Love the Yankee Bullpen Even Without Chapman)

The Yankees put in Johnny Barbato in the bottom of sixth in relief of Tanaka. I know this may sound like a knee-jerk reaction, but his stuff has late-inning reliever written all over him — power fastball and nice-looking off speed pitches. He needs some big league seasoning, of course, but man, his arm can be something nice to watch.

In the next frame, the Jays put in Brett Cecil, one of their late-inning guys. Headley led off with a single and Castro walked in four pitches. Did Gregorius executed a successful sac bunt to bring two runners into scoring position with one out. In a full count, Ellsbury dunked a blooper right in front of LF Michael Saunders for an RBI single. After misjudging a fly ball earlier in the game to cost Yankees a run, he gave one for the team when it counted. Had the Jays placed the infield back, Donaldson might have had a chance to catch it. 3-2 Yankees.

Chasen Shreve entered in the bottom seventh and got the first two outs. After walking Donaldson, however, Joe Girardi decided to match up Bautista with Dellin Betances. Power against power, Betances against Bautista, Yankees up by one in late innings: pretty fun TV, right? After a full count battle, Betances dropped an absolute filthy curve into the strike zone to win the battle. Goodness gracious what a pitch. Don’t believe me? Just watch:

The Yankees threatened once again in the next frame against Jesse Chavez. After a Teixeira ground out, McCann singled to not only get on base but also to raise his batting average to .500, which is pretty neat. Beltran struck out swinging but Headley singled to left to make it dicey for the Jays. Castro, after putting up a bit of a battle, struck out swinging on a cutter way off the plate. He can hit the ball hard but sometimes, he can make himself foolish like that.

Betances did what was expected of him in the eighth: pure filth. Encarnacion popped out, Tulowitzki struck out swinging on a curve on dirt and Colabello got called out on strikes on (guess what) a curve. They call good curveballs Uncle Charlie. Betances’ tonight was more like Great Uncle Charleston who drinks the finest bourbon on fancy cruise parties, or something like that.

(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Girardi pulled the usual move and put Andrew Miller to take care of the ninth. The tall lefty struck out Michael Saunders, got Martin to ground out and struck out Justin Smoak to win it for New York. 11 pitches, 9 strikes, 2 strikeouts and immeasurable filth.

The Yankee bullpen: 4 IP, 2 BB, 5 K’s and no hits allowed tonight. Pretty solid.


I mentioned Barbato before but he deserves another mention because tonight was his first career ML victory. Drafted in the 6th round by the Padres (out of Varela HS in Miami, Fl.), he spent five seasons in minors and looks like he found his niche as a bullpen arm that could be useful in ML. Congrats to him.

This is a bit buried since New York won tonight but the top four of the lineup – Ellsbury, Gardner, A-Rod and Teixeira – were very quiet tonight. They went 2-for-16 combined, which is not ideal. So far in this very young season, these guys are hitting a total combined 18-for-87, which is good for a 0.207 average. Good to see that the team hasn’t faltered much (4-2 in first six games is pretty nice) while they’ve been cold.

Box Score, WPA, Highlights and Updated Standings

Here’s tonight’s box score, WPA, video highlights and updated standings. Knock yourself out. Side note: a 4-2 start is nice but man, are the Orioles hot (7-0 !).

Source: FanGraphs

The Yankees are back at it again tomorrow in the Rogers Centre. Michael Pineda will take the mound, hoping to pitch a better one than his season debut last week.

DotF: Judge picks up four hits in Scranton’s win

Two quick notes:

  • One scout told Erik Boland that RHP James Kaprielian was “unbelievably good” in his season debut last night. His fastball was up to 97 mph — so the velocity bump has not yet faded — and his slider up to 86 mph. Pretty, pretty good.
  • IF Deibinson Romero has been placed on the Triple-A Scranton DL with an unknown injury, so says Shane Hennigan. They’re currently playing with a 23-man roster, if you can believe that. Soon enough 1B/OF Nick Swisher will join them, though they’ll still be a man short.

Triple-A Scranton (9-1 win over Pawtucket)

  • CF Ben Gamel: 2-5, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB
  • RF Aaron Judge: 4-6, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 K — 9-for-23 (.391) in the early going
  • DH Slade Heathcott: 0-6, 1 R, 4 K — ouch … he’s been pretty great so far though, so shake it off
  • C Gary Sanchez: 1-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 PB — he’s thrown out all three runners who have tried to steal so far this year
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 1-5, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI — first start at second base this year
  • RHP Chad Green: 3.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 5 BB, 4 K, 3/2 GB/FB — 55 of 92 pitches were strikes (60%) … not the most efficient night
  • RHP Conor Mullee: 3.1 IP, zeroes, 6 K, 2/2 GB/FB — 29 of 42 pitches were strikes (69%) … nice night for the three-time Tommy John surgery guy
  • LHP James Pazos: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 2/1 GB/FB — 22 of 39 pitches were strikes (56%)

[Read more…]

Update: Fluoroscope on McCann’s toe comes back negative


10:43pm: A fluoroscope at Rogers Centre came back negative, the Yankees say. It’s being called a bruise and McCann is day-to-day. He will not go for any additional tests unless the injury lingers. Exhale.

10:24pm: Brian McCann is going for an x-ray on his toe, Joe Girardi told reporters following tonight’s game. He took a foul pitch off his foot early in the game but did stay in, and he even hit a home run in the sixth inning. Girardi said McCann will not play tomorrow regardless of the x-ray results.

McCann was limping noticeably during his home run trot and was also seen rubbing his foot during the at-bat. He even called the trainer out at one point during the game, but stayed in. Austin Romine replaced McCann behind the plate in the ninth inning.

Following tonight’s 2-for-4 effort, McCann is now hitting .500/.591/.889 (323 wRC+) this season. Yes, it’s super duper early. That doesn’t take away from the fact that he’s been outstanding so far. Everyone loves Gary Sanchez, but man, losing McCann for any length of time would be a big blow.

Game Six: Tanaka Tuesday

(Al Bello/Getty)
(Al Bello/Getty)

Last year, when the Blue Jays went 9-4 against the Yankees in the second half, Masahiro Tanaka was the only starter to put up much of a fight against the Toronto offense. He made three starts against the Blue Jays after the All-Star break. The result: 22 IP, 12 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 20 K. The Jays wrecked all sorts of pitching late last year, but they couldn’t touch Tanaka.

Tanaka and the Blue Jays will meet tonight for the first this season, and unfortunately nothing that happened last year matters now. Tanaka’s second half success against Toronto doesn’t mean anything today. It’s a new season. The Yankees and Blue Jays are going to beat up on each other all summer — hopefully the fight isn’t so one-sided this year — and these head-to-head games are going to play a huge role in deciding the AL East. Here is the Jays’ lineup and here is the Yanks’ lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Brett Gardner
  3. DH Alex Rodriguez
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. C Brian McCann
  6. RF Carlos Beltran
  7. 3B Chase Headley
  8. 2B Starlin Castro
  9. SS Didi Gregorius
    RHP Masahiro Tanaka

It is cloudy and cold in Toronto, so I assume the Rogers Centre roof is closed. I’m sure the Yankees don’t mind. They’ve played in nothing but temperatures near freezing so far this year. Tonight’s game will begin a bit after 7pm ET and you can watch live on YES. Enjoy the game, y’all.

Injury Update: Nick Rumbelow will have his Tommy John surgery this Friday. We heard yesterday Rumbelow needs his elbow rebuilt. He hurt himself over the weekend. Sucks.

Yanks agree to stay in Tampa for Spring Training through 2046; GMS Field to get $40M in renovations


The Yankees and the Tampa Sports Authority have agreed to a new deal that will keep the team in Tampa for Spring Training through 2046, the two sides announced Monday. As part of the deal, Gorge M. Steinbrenner Field will get $40M in renovations. Upgrades will also be made to the Himes minor league complex across the street.

“The Steinbrenner family is extremely proud to have called Tampa Bay home for decades and extending the New York Yankees’ agreement with the community through 2046 is very important to us,” said Hal Steinbrenner in a statement. “We are excited to see these improvements to Steinbrenner Field, all of which will significantly improve the fan experience.”

“The New York Yankees have been great partners in our community for decades and having these improvements and commitment thru 2046 will be a major economic benefit for our area,” added Eric Hart, president and CEO of the Tampa Sports Authority. “I would like to thank the Hillsborough County administration and the New York Yankees for their efforts to ensure the continuation of this great partnership.”

According to the press release, the renovations to GMS Field will include new outfield concourses and more “social gathering areas” with shade. The plan still needs approval from several governing parties, and once they dot all the I’s and cross all the T’s, the renovations will begin. Construction is expected to be completed in time for Spring Training next season.

I assume GMS Field will still be playable this summer and High-A Tampa won’t have to play their home games somewhere else. There was nothing about that mentioned in the release. A few years ago PNC Field underwent extensive renovations, forcing Triple-A Scranton to play an entire season on the road. That was not fun for the players.

The renovations will be paid for by Hillsborough County, the state Spring Training Retention Program, and the Yankees. Public money for stadium renovations. Blah. Unfortunately that is happening all over the country.

4/12 to 4/14 Series Preview: Toronto Blue Jays

They have an all-dirt infield in Toronto now. (Photo via @sbrooksbaseball)
They have an all-dirt infield in Toronto now. (Photo via @sbrooksbaseball)

Each of the five AL East teams has won a division title within the last six years. Last year it was the Blue Jays’ turn, as they stormed up the standings in the second half and blew by the Yankees. New York was six games up at the trade deadline and six games back at the end of the season. That happened quick. The Yankees and Blue Jays figure to compete for the AL East title again in 2016. They meet for the first time this week with three games at Rogers Centre.

What Have They Done Lately?

The Blue Jays are 3-4 in the early going this season. They split a four-game series with the Rays in Tampa Bay last week, then dropped two of three to the Red Sox at home over the weekend. Toronto has scored 29 runs and allowed 30 so far. Like the Yankees, the Blue Jays had an off-day yesterday. (They didn’t get rained out Sunday though.)

Offense & Defense

A year ago the Blue Jays scored 892 runs, by far the most in baseball — the Yankees were second with 764 runs — and the most by any team since the 2009 Yankees scored 915 runs. Most of the lineup returns this year. The only difference is OF Michael Saunders in left field instead of OF Ben Revere. The season is still very young, so I’m going to give you each player’s performance to date and their 2016 ZiPS projections. Sound good? Too bad if it doesn’t. This ain’t no democracy.

2016 Stats to Date 2016 ZiPS
C Russell Martin
2-for-20 (.100), 0 HR, 0 SB, 0 BB, 10 K .231/.329/.403 (101 wRC+), 15 HR, 5 SB
1B Chris Colabello
1-for-12 (.083), 0 HR, 0 SB, 0 BB, 5 K .251/.304/.433 (99 wRC+), 18 HR, 1 SB
2B Ryan Goins
6-for-21 (.286), 0 HR, 0 SB, 1 BB, 6 K .237/.282/.326 (64 wRC+), 5 HR, 3 SB
SS Troy Tulowitzki
3-for-25 (.120), 1 HR, 0 SB, 3 BB, 10 K .255/.330/.434 (107 wRC+), 16 HR, 1 SB
3B Josh Donaldson
9-for-29 (.310), 4 HR, 0 SB, 2 BB, 11 K .279/.354/.525 (139 wRC+), 32 HR, 6 SB
LF Michael Saunders
5-for-19 (.263), 1 HR, 0 SB, 1 BB, 5 K .247/.323/.421 (102 wRC+), 8 HR, 5 RBI
CF Kevin Pillar
6-for-29 (.207), 0 HR, 1 SB, 0 BB, 4 K .269/.304/.403 (90 wRC+), 11 HR, 21 SB
RF Jose Bautista
6-for-21 (.286), 2 HR, 0 SB, 9 BB, 8 K .263/.385/.527 (149 wRC+), 29 HR, 5 SB
DH Edwin Encarnacion
8-for-27 (.296), 0 HR, 0 SB, 2 BB, 4 K .271/.363/.505 (135 wRC+), 27 HR, 4 SB
C Josh Thole
1-for-7 (.143), 1 HR, 0 SB, 0 BB, 2 K .238/.298/.313 (67 wRC+), 3 HR, 0 SB
1B Justin Smoak
1-for-5 (.200), 0 HR, 1 SB, 2 BB, 4 K .236/.314/.424 (101 wRC+), 16 HR, 1 SB
IF Darwin Barney 3-for-11 (.273), 0 HR, 2 SB, 1 BB, 0 K .241/.290/.336 (69 wRC+), 6 HR, 5 SB
OF Ezequiel Carrera
1-for-7 (.143), 0 HR, 0 SB, 0 BB, 2 K .253/.301/.351 (78 wRC+), 6 HR, 19 SB

ZiPS is expecting Tulowitzki to really start to decline, but the Blue Jays still have those three huge bats in Donaldson, Bautista, and Encarnacion. Those dudes are terrifying. For some reason manager John Gibbons insists on batting Pillar leadoff, meaning Donaldson, the No. 2 hitter, will bat with the bases empty and one out in roughly 70% of first innings in 2016.

Colabello is a prime candidate to see his numbers slip back — he hit .321/.367/.520 (142 wRC+) in 2015 — because he had a .411 BABIP last season, and he ain’t no true talent .411 BABIP hitter. No one is. Especially not a big, lumbering first baseman. I think it’s only a matter of time until Smoak is playing first base everyday, or at least everyday against righties. (He’s a switch-hitter, Colabello is a right-handed hitter.)

One aspect of the Blue Jays that got overlooked last year was their defense. This is a very good defensive club. Aside from first base and right field — Bautista doesn’t have a ton of range, but he has a rocket arm — they have average or better defenders all over the field. Check out Sean Dolinar’s defensive projections visualization:

Blue Jays defense

Pretty good defensive club right there. The Blue Jays don’t just mash. They catch the ball too. I thought that was a very overlooked part of their team a year ago.

Pitching Matchups

Tuesday (7pm ET): RHP Masahiro Tanaka (vs. TOR) vs. RHP Aaron Sanchez (vs. NYY)
The Blue Jays are giving Sanchez another try in the rotation. The 23-year-old had a 3.55 ERA (5.21 FIP) in eleven starts and 66 innings as a starter last season, and he came out of the gate by firing seven innings of one-run ball against the Rays in his first start of 2016. He struck out eight and walked one in that start, which is way different than the 15.0 K% and 13.2 BB% he had as a starter in 2015. Sanchez sits in the mid-90s with his sinker, and his go-to offspeed pitch is low-80s slider. He’s working on a changeup, and the pitch has shown some ridiculous movement in the past:

Aaron Sanchez change

Sanchez threw 15 changeups in his first start last week, the second most he’s ever thrown in an outing in his career. I’m guessing he’ll go back to that well given all the lefties the Yankees have in the lineup.

Wednesday (7pm ET): RHP Michael Pineda (vs. TOR) vs. LHP J.A. Happ (vs. NYY)
Happ is essentially replacing David Price in the rotation. Price is gone and Happ is the guy they signed to fill the rotation spot. He had a 3.61 ERA (3.41 FIP) in 172 innings a year ago, though he was way better with the Pirates in the second half (1.85 ERA and 2.19 FIP) than he was with the Mariners in the first half (4.64 ERA and 4.12 FIP). Pittsburgh got Happ to throw his low-90s four-seam heater more often, and he located it better than ever before, but in his first start of this season he threw it only 34.8% of the time. He again shelved it in favor of his low-90s sinker for at least that one start. Happ also throws a lot of upper-80s cutters. A mid-80s changeup is his primary offspeed pitch, and he’ll flip a few upper-70s curves per start as well. Last week Happ, 33, held the Rays to two runs in six innings. He walked one and fanned four.

Thursday (7pm ET): RHP Nathan Eovaldi (vs. TOR) vs. RHP Marcus Stroman (vs. NYY)
Stroman, 24, is now the staff ace with Price gone. A torn ACL limited him to four starts last season (1.67 ERA and 3.54 FIP), and at this point it’s pretty clear he’s a ground ball guy (career 56.0 GB%) and not so much a strikeout guy (19.9%). Stroman will throw six different pitches but he leans on four the most: low-90s sinker, upper-80s cutter, mid-80s changeup, and mid-80s curve. He’ll throw a handful of straight low-90s four-seamers and loopy upper-70s curveballs per start. That deep repertoire has allowed him to avoid a significant platoon split early in his young career. Stroman gets himself into trouble when he tries to get cute and put guys away with his fourth or fifth (or sixth) best pitch. He was excellent in his first start (three runs in eight innings, but two runs came super late) and pretty bad in his second start (five runs in 5.1 innings) last week.

Bullpen Status

The Blue Jays are without three of their best relievers from last season. Sanchez was moved into the rotation, RHP Mark Lowe left as a free agent, and RHP Liam Hendriks was traded to the Athletics for RHP Jesse Chavez. Those three combined to allow 36 earned runs in 110 innings. That’s a 2.95 ERA. Here is the current bullpen:

2016 Stats to Date 2016 ZiPS
RHP Roberto Osuna
4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 0 HR 3.13 ERA (3.22 FIP), 27.5 K%, 7.6 BB%
RHP Drew Storen
2.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 0 HR 3.10 ERA (3.21 FIP), 9.1 K/9, 2.3 BB/9
LHP Brett Cecil
2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR 2.96 ERA (2.72 FIP), 31.0 K%, 8.4 BB%
RHP Jesse Chavez
2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HR 4.33 ERA (3.93 FIP), 20.6 K%, 6.8 BB%
RHP Gavin Floyd
2.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 0 HR 5.62 ERA (5.33 FIP), 16.9 K%, 7.3 BB%
RHP Arnold Leon
2.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HR 5.52 ERA (5.09 FIP), 6.3 K/9, 2.8 BB/9
RHP Joe Biagini
 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 0 HR N/A

Osuna, who was the youngest player on an Opening Day roster this year at 21 years and 65 days, was dynamite last season. So was Cecil, who flew under the radar. Storen has had some great years in the past, but his meltdowns are becoming more and more frequent. Gibbons has already shown a quick hook with him this year.

The rest of the bullpen is pretty sketchy. Biagini is a Rule 5 Draft pick who was in Double-A with the Giants last year. ZiPS didn’t even bother spitting out a projection for him. Chavez is an Adam Warren-esque swingman — he’s not as good as Warren, but that’s his role — and Floyd’s trying to come back from a series of elbow injuries. Leon is an out of options scrap heap arm the Blue Jays are not ready to cut ties with just yet. Cecil and Osuna are pretty formidable. The rest of the ‘pen can get got.

Sunday’s postponement does not delay Chapman’s return


I’ve seen some confusion about this and figured it was worth clearing up: Sunday’s postponed game does not mean Aroldis Chapman will have to wait one extra day to return from his suspension. He is eligible to return on May 9th regardless of how many Yankees games are postponed between now and then. Both Jayson Stark and Bryan Hoch have confirmed it.

Chapman was suspended 30 games following an October domestic dispute incident at his home, but apparently the suspension covers 30 regularly scheduled games, not 30 games played. Don’t ask me why. That’s the way the league’s domestic violence policy is written. Chapman will still lose the same salary ($1.85M or so) and service time as a result of the suspension, however.

There has been no official announcement yet, but Sunday’s game is tentatively scheduled to be made up on July 28th, well after Chapman’s suspension is due to end. He will now effectively serve a 29-game ban and be eligible to play in the other 133 regular season games. Having Chapman available that one extra game could very well end up having a huge impact on the final standings.

So remember: May 9th. That’s the date Chapman will be eligible to return — the Yankees have said they plan to make sure Chapman is MLB ready that day, because duh — no matter what the weather does to the team’s schedule.