NEW YORK (WFAN) — The Yankees should strongly consider going with a closer-by-committee approach after Aroldis Chapman cost them a win against the Red Sox on Sunday night, WFAN’s Mike Francesa said Monday.
“You don’t have a top bullpen if your closer can’t get anybody out,” Francesa said. “So you can talk about the numbers game, and they can talk about how this bullpen stacks up with the great Yankee bullpens like ’96 and etc., etc. — it is all nonsense, it is all just empty conversation if your closer can’t do the job, and Chapman right now can’t do the job.”
In a 3-2 loss to Boston at Yankee Stadium, Chapman gave up the game-tying homer to Rafael Devers in the ninth inning. Before being pulled in the 10th inning, he hit Jackie Bradley with a pitch and walked Eduardo Nunez. Bradley later scored the winning run when Andrew Benintendi singled off Tommy Kahnle.
Two nights earlier, Chapman earned the save despite allowing a run and walking three batters.
Francesa criticized Yankees manager Joe Girardi for making excuses for Chapman.
“Friday night, he was rusty — that’s what we heard then,” Francesa said. “Now, yesterday, (Girardi said) he really threw well. Oh really? He threw well? Really? Which part did he throw well, when he gave up a home run into the left-center field area, against a lefty no less, or the fact that he came out the next inning — I don’t know why he was pitching that inning — and hit a batter and walked a batter? So which part of it was great?”
Chapman’s ERA sits at 3.48 — it was just 1.55 last season. He has blown four saves in 2017.
“He isn’t fooling anybody right now, Chapman,” Francesa said. “What Chapman used to have was a fear factor. He scared the heck out of anybody who was in the box. He doesn’t scare anybody anymore. Not only that, he scares himself and the fans because he’s wild now. So you can’t count on him.”
Francesa said it’s time for the Yankees to “reassess the idea of having a closer,”
“Go with the hot hand,” he said. “You’ve got enough guys out there that can close. If that’s the case, you don’t owe Chapman anything. Make him earn it. And if he doesn’t, so be it. I don’t care if he’s in a funk or not. I don’t care if he likes it or not. You are in a pennant race right now. You cannot wait for this to come around.”
To listen to Francesa’s open, in which he also discusses this week’s Subway Series and the uproar over the Mets’ Jay Bruce trade last week, click on the audio player above.