Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Chapman Finds Closure with Return

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Chapman Finds Closure with Return

Article excerpt

NEW YORK - There's a chance tonight that the bullpen phone will ring at Yankee Stadium, giving Aroldis Chapman the call he's waited so long to receive.

"First of all, I want to say that I'm super excited and I'm happy that the manager has given me that vote of confidence," Chapman said Sunday through an interpreter of stepping into the closer's role, now that his 30-game MLB suspension has been served.

"At the same time, I'm very humbled by [Dellin] Betances and [Andrew] Miller moving down the order to allow me to pitch the ninth."

The left-handed Chapman's entry - featuring a 100-mph fastball - gives the Yankees an electric, late-inning relief trio, one they envisioned since trading four prospects to get him from Cincinnati in December.

But that deal was made at a discounted price, following the serious matter of Chapman's violation of MLB's domestic violence policy.

Chapman, 28, was never charged in the Oct. 30 matter at his Miami- area home when he was alleged to have pushed and choked his girlfriend and later, alone, fired eight shots from a handgun inside his garage - one of which exited a window.

Commissioner Rob Manfred emphasized the use of a firearm in handing down the suspension.

"I learned a lot from it. It's part of life to keep on learning," Chapman said Sunday, though he quickly darted from the subject. "The good thing is it's something that is behind me now and I want to focus on baseball, being here with my teammates and having the opportunity to contribute [and] to hopefully win."

Manager Joe Girardi never deviated from his mid-January decision to have Chapman assume the closer's role from Miller, who saved 36 games in 2015 and is 6-for-6 in saves this season - without yielding an earned run in 12 appearances.

"What do you want me to do, you want me to throw a fit?" Miller said evenly, after once again praising Chapman's addition. …

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