Tha Sports Junkies 101

Was Aroldis Chapman’s Arm Pushed Past The Limit?

Was Aroldis Chapman's Arm Pushed Pass The Limit? Arturo Paradavila III via


Was Aroldis Chapman pushed to far?

You can stand on the mound, 60 feet six inches away, day in and day out. Or you can wait patently in the bullpen for your manager to make the signal to the ‘pen; pointing to the his arm, the same arm you pitch with. Then October hits; and all you think you know about yourself and your players, all you know about how many innings you can or should pitch, goes out the window faster than a 105.1 MPH fastball.

After signing back with the team that traded him, World Champion closer Aroldis Chapman criticized his ex-manager Joe Maddon, of the Chicago Cubs, for over-using him in Games 5, 6 and 7 of the Fall Classic.

Aroldis Chapman had this to say about the strategy of Game 6:


“The important game was going to be Game 7, we had that game almost won. And the next day, I came in and I was tired.”


In an already 9-2 lead, Maddon kept Chapman in going into the ninth. By then, he had already performed an eight-out-save two nights earlier, in Game 5.

For a guy not used to throwing more than an inning an outing for about three or four times a week, the workload placed on the Cuban’s arms, or left arm, caused him to tire and give up a possible consequential (but proving to be not as severe) game-tying home run to Rajai Davis.

Throughout the year, Maddon made some great decisions while managing games. That’s the reason why he was nominated as NL Manager of the Year. The reason why he did not bring home that hardware must be his risky and almost life threatening decisions in the World Series.

Though the blame can, and should, be put on Maddon for overusing his star-studded closer, Chapman should have spoken up. Possibly after an inning, talking to Maddon and telling him you’re checked out for the rest of the game is as simple as throwing that 104 MPH heater.

And yes, how could Maddon possibly know if Chapman’s arm is dead, but it is in Maddon’s best interest, as the manager, to know how many times he called Chapman’s number, and how long he has pitched before, and how long he can possibly go.

Thinking about how simple it could have been to ask your manager for a break, is just as simple as asking your pitcher if he has enough in the tank to go another inning.

The importance of arm availability has risen dramatically over the last decade. Especially arms that have the skill-set to not only close doors but lock them; and Chapman is one of those guys who can lock those doors.

Not too many Chapman’s come and go in this league, hardly ever, so the importance of spreading him out and using him only in key situations is vital. Overusing any ‘ol arm can be consequential, but overusing an arm than can effortlessly blow past 101 MPH is not only bad managing, but just downright irresponsible.

Fortunately, for Chapman, New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi’s managing philosophy is centered around knowing when to take a pitcher out. For the 28-year-old (29 in February), wearing the navy pinstripes means possibly never having to throw as much as he did in October 2016.