Aroldis Chapman is on his way back to the Yankees’ bullpen, according to manager Aaron Boone, who said on Friday that the left-hander has been cleared to resume activities with the team.
Chapman was placed on the COVID-19 injured list on July 11 after testing positive during Summer Camp workouts. Boone said that Chapman was expected to play catch on Friday, though he has not been activated.
The 32-year-old Chapman is believed to have been asymptomatic. He frequently posted workout videos on Instagram from his Manhattan apartment while preparing for his season debut.
“We all know Chappy and how much of a workout freak he is, and how well he takes care of himself,” Boone said. “The good thing is, he was never really sick, so he was able to maintain a level of physical conditioning that some people otherwise wouldn’t be able to.”
Major League protocols state that players must test negative twice at least 24 hours apart in order to be activated. Though Chapman was not able to throw outdoors, Boone said that the Yankees provided a sock-like contraption that allowed him to simulate his motion.
“He was actually throwing in his apartment, like full-on throwing,” Boone said. “He’s always in great shape, so I’m hopeful that he’s probably a little further ahead of the game than some other people normally would be.”
Zack Britton has served as the Yankees’ closer in Chapman’s absence. Britton logged his second save of the year in Thursday’s 8-6 victory over the Orioles in Baltimore.
Right-hander Tommy Kahnle had an MRI performed on Friday after complaining of tightness in his right forearm, Boone said. Kahnle was placed on the 10-day injured list with an injury to his right ulnar collateral ligament and will meet with team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad to discuss his prognosis.
According to Boone, Kahnle experienced the tightness on Tuesday when the Yankees worked out under the lights at Camden Yards. Kahnle was unable to throw again on Wednesday, prompting the club to shut him down. The Yankees recalled left-hander Jordan Montgomery from their alternate training site to take Kahnle’s spot on the roster.