Aroldis Chapman close to return in different Yankees role



Aroldis Chapman is approaching his return from his Achilles tendon injury, but it’s pretty clear he won’t be the closer when he does.

Asked what Chapman’s role will be when he’s back, manager Aaron Boone said, “a big-time arm in the back end of the pen.”

But Clay Holmes has, at least for now, supplanted Chapman as the closer, having entered Tuesday’s game against the Twins without allowing a run in 24 appearances, covering 26 innings.

Still, the Yankees could use a healthy Chapman, since the bullpen has been hurt by injuries to Chad Green (Tommy John surgery) and Jonathan Loaisiga (shoulder).

Boone said Chapman is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Friday or Saturday. Just as importantly, the tendinitis that sidelined the left-hander is no longer an issue.

“He’s almost asymptomatic,’’ Boone said. “So it’s not really a concern.”

Aroldis Chapman
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Once Chapman gets his arm back into form, Boone said he’ll be ready to go.

Loaisiga, meanwhile, is dealing with a family situation in Nicaragua but is still throwing.

And Zack Britton continues to make strides in his comeback from last year’s elbow surgery. He’s throwing bullpen sessions, but remains “a ways out from a rehab [assignment],’’ Boone said. “There’s optimism he could be back this year, and he’s really encouraged with where he’s at.”


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