The good news is that Aroldis Chapman’s infected tattoo is feeling better, but the Yankees are still without a much-needed piece in their bullpen.
Chapman told reporters on Sunday night that it had been a scary experience having the tattoo he had gotten a week ago become infected. It wasn’t until Thursday that he noticed any issues.
The Yankees and Chapman are at least optimistic that he could return to the bullpen next month, but this was the latest setback for the reliever this season. Chapman had dealt with an injury earlier in the year and upon his return had started to regain his form.
However, he had struggled again in more recent appearances and allowed runs against in his last two. Now the infection has put him back on the injured list as the Yankees inch closer to the stretch run of the season.
“We have a really good bullpen and I’m part of that bullpen,” Chapman said through an interpreter. “Not being there of course you’re going to feel bad not being there for them.”
The reliever told reporters that this wasn’t the first time that he’d gotten a tattoo in the middle of a season and that he hadn’t experienced any issues like that in the past. He had been dealing with a fever as part of the infection, but was doing much better on Sunday night in Oakland.
The Yankees traveled to face the Los Angeles Angels for a three-game set beginning Monday before traveling back east to face the Tampa Bay Rays later in the week. New York has been handed a number of injuries this season and they’ve continued to struggle of late.
The Yankees have seen their once double-digit division lead dwindle to single digits and they dropped back-to-back games to the Oakland Athletics over the weekend.
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Still, Chapman remained confident that he’d be back in more than enough time to help the team during the final month of the season.
“I don’t think this is going to take away too much time for me,” Chapman said. “I’m just waiting the next couple of days for everything to heal correctly and so that I can start doing all kinds of baseball activities. I’ll probably do a bullpen and then right into games.”