Chapman impressive in first BP with Yankees
TAMPA, FLA. >> Prospect Tyler Wade got an up-close look at Aroldis Chapman and saw why the New York Yankees' closer is one of baseball's top relievers.
Wade was among four minor leaguers to bat against Chapman during the left-hander's first batting practice session with the Yankees on Monday.
"It was like a blur," Wade said. "He's got really good breaking stuff. He makes you feel really uncomfortable. I kind of had to guess on him."
"It's what, Feb. 29, and it's tough," Wade added with a laugh.
Chapman threw 25 pitches overall.
"Physically I felt awesome out there," he said through a translator.
Chapman threw the 62 fastest pitches in the big leagues last season, ranging from 103.92 mph to 102.36 mph.
Catcher Carlos Corporan thought Chapman was throwing his fastball around 97-98 mph Monday.
Wade had a swinging strike and foul ball in nine pitches. Chapman broke the bat of Jorge Mateo on foul grounder during a five-pitch sequence that included three swings and misses.
Following the acquisition of Chapman from Cincinnati in December, Andrew Miller is moving from closer to a setup role alongside Dellin Betances.
"There's some really sexy names, clearly, that have been collected, but it's still going to be hard pressed to achieve what we did last year," general manager Brian Cashman said. "But we aspire to, and that's why we brought Chapman in. You can play that season out last year 100 times and I doubt that we would reproduce the performance we got last year."
The Yankees were 73-2 last season when ahead after seven innings, and 81-0 with the advantage entering the ninth.
Miller and Betances preceded Chapman in batting practice, then stayed to watch their new teammate throw.
Chapman is under investigation by MLB under the sport's new domestic violence policy for an incident at his house in Florida in October involving his girlfriend.
"I'm just waiting like everybody else," Chapman said.
Prosecutors declined to file charges. Chapman said he would appeal any suspension to baseball's arbitrator.
Nathan Eovaldi, slowed by mild groin tightness, had his scheduled bullpen session pushed back one day to Wednesday due to Tuesday's offday. ... CC Sabathia threw batting practice for the first time. ... Girardi said Masahiro Tanaka, coming back after offseason right elbow bone spur surgery, is close to throwing BP. Tanaka had a 61-pitch bullpen session Sunday,
Guest instructor Reggie Jackson arrived at camp. ... LF Brett Gardner (left wrist bruise) also had his first batting practice session in an indoor cage moved from Tuesday to Wednesday. ... Alex Rodriguez broke out his glove to play catch during a television interview. Girardi has said A-Rod will strictly be a designated hitter this season. ... Girardi said reliever Chasen Shreve was OK after getting hit in the back while throwing batting practice.
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