The New York Yankees made a slew of roster moves on Wednesday in order to light a spark under the struggling team. Closing pitcher Clay Holmes was placed on the 15-day IL with a back injury, while fan-favorite Ron Marinaccio is set to return from Triple-A. Amid the bullpen shakeup, Aaron Boone revealed the Yankees' plans for the ninth inning, informing reporters that the team plans to roll with a combination of Aroldis Chapman and Scott Effross in a closer by committee type of setup, via Meredith Marakovits.
Boone said they will continue to determine closer based on matchup/who’s available. Chapman/Effross will get some reps #yankees
— Meredith Marakovits (@M_Marakovits) August 17, 2022
Boone indicated the Yankees will play the matchup game when it comes to the ninth inning, which will likely see Chapman facing lefty-heavy lineups while Effross could be called upon against right-handers.
There's been plenty of speculation that Holmes could use a “phantom” IL stint in order to get a mental reset. The Yankees' closer was baseball's best relief pitcher throughout the first few months of the season, but his production has dropped off a cliff in recent weeks.
Holmes surrendered two earned runs throughout the first three full months of the regular season. During that span, the right-hander threw 36.2 innings with 38 strikeouts and just five walks. Since July, Holmes has not been the same. The 29-year-old has surrendered 11 earned runs in his last 12.1 innings of work. With him not looking right for upwards of a month, the IL stint could be exactly what he needs to correct his mistakes.
Fortunately for the Yankees, Chapman has managed to rediscover the form that looked lost on him earlier in the year. The flame-throwing left-hander has tossed nine consecutive scoreless outings, walking just one batter and striking out 10 across 9.1 innings of work in that span.
With Marinaccio back in the fold and Holmes on the shelf, the Yankees will hope the tandem of Effross and Chapman can hold it down in high-leverage situations.