As expected, adding Aroldis Chapman to the bullpen will make him the closer for the New York Yankees, their third in three years, demoting Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller to do the setup work.
The Yankees manager, Joe Girardi, said Chapman is first on the order, or more accurately last, meaning he begins the February training camp as the team’s closer, although no one knows if he’ll be suspended for the domestic violence investigation and if so, for how long. Chapman has been the closer for the Cincinnati Reds these last four seasons, making the All-Star game each time. He has 145 saves during that time with a 1.90 ERA, averaging 16.1 strikeouts per nine innings.
He, Miller and Betances have been the best in baseball when it comes to strikeout efficiency. As it seems right now, Betances is scheduled to be the 7th inning guy while Miller will set up the ninth for Chapman, although obviously things will change from time to time depending on workload and availability. Miller was the closer for the Yankees last season, who had David Robertson do the job before him in 2014, signing with the Chicago White Sox last offseason.
Betances was an All-Star these last two seasons, picking up 10 saves in the opportunities he did have although he has blown quite a few (five in two years). Overall in 174 innings pitched these last two years he has a 1.45 ERA while striking out 13.8 batters per nine innings. Miller, with 36 saves last season, had a good first season with the Yankees, ranking 10th on the Cy Young voting. He blew just two saves while posting a 2.04 ERA and averaging 14.6 strikeouts per nine innings.