New York Yankees reliever Aroldis Chapman placed on IL because of leg infection stemming from tattoo

OAKLAND, California — In the final chapter of Aroldis Chapman’s disappointing 2022 season, the New York Yankees put their former player closer to the 15-day injury list because manager Aaron Boone contracted a “pretty bad infection” on Chapman’s leg from a new tattoo.

Boone announced ahead of Saturday night’s game against the Oakland Athletics that the left assistant, who was demoted after Clay Holmes took the closer role in May, would be placed on the injured list for the second time this season, this time with a serious one leg infection. Chapman missed 35 games earlier in the year (May 24-June 30) due to left Achilles tendonitis.

“[Chapman’s] has an infection in her leg. We’re hoping we can somehow turn it off and take care of it in the last few days, but it’s still meaningful enough from a tattoo he recently got; he’s got a pretty bad infection in there,” Boone explained ahead of Saturday’s game against the A’s. “He was actually at the hotel yesterday [Friday], still back at the hotel now. We’re treating him with antibiotics and stuff like that. So he has an infection that he’s dealing with that will force him to IL.”

Chapman was with the team at the Oakland Coliseum Thursday for the first matchup of the four-game series against the Athletics, but he was unable to field due to mounting leg problems.

“We’re treating him with antibiotics and things like that,” Boone added. “Hopefully he’ll be fine in a few days. We can backdate that a few days but we need to wrap our arms around it and get the infection out of there. It’s gotten a bit worse in the last two days.”

A person familiar with the situation told ESPN that the Yankees are rightly concerned about the current state of Chapman’s leg infection and are not ruling out a possible visit to a local hospital near the team’s downtown San Francisco hotel.

Regarding whether there was a level of frustration with Chapman that he had put his physical health at risk by getting tattooed during the season, Boone called getting tattooed something that generally doesn’t come with any additional complications.

“I don’t have tattoos. That’s a personal decision [but] it’s usually pretty safe to deal with,” Boone said. “It’s more of an unfortunate situation that turned into an infection. My focus is trying to please him and help him.”

Opposing sluggers have averaged .164 (9 to 55) against Chapman in his last 19 appearances since returning from the injured list on July 1. Chapman, whose last appearance was against Toronto on Aug. 19, has a 4.70 ERA in 36 games this season.

Boone said the Yankees, not bringing a cab team to Oakland, did not make a roster change because it would have been logistically impossible to get a player to the West Coast in time for Saturday night’s game. The move was further justified with the knowledge that assist Clay Holmes (lower back stiffness) is scheduled to be taken off the injured list before the start of the series Monday in Anaheim.

“We’re just going to monitor the situation today,” Boone said of whether the Yankees would field another pitcher for Sunday’s series finale in Oakland. “If we need someone for tomorrow, maybe we’ll cross this bridge.”

In other Yankees injury news, catcher Jose Trevino repeated the “I’m fine” refrain multiple times when asked how he felt after the Yankees 3 hit from a 94 mph fastball on his right in the eighth inning on Friday night big toe had been hit -2 victory over athletics.

“Getting hit by a baseball hurts; shake it off and come back,” Trevino said of the pain in his right toe.

Trevino was replaced by Kyle Higashioka in the ninth inning Friday night, and Higashioka also started on catcher Saturday. Boone said Trevino would likely only be available for the third game of the series “in an emergency situation,” adding that Higashioka would also likely be behind court on Sunday.

And while Trevino is still very sore, Boone said the team were encouraged after the X-rays came back negative.

“Hopefully it’s something that’s just an everyday thing,” Boone said. “Fortunately, we hopefully avoided something serious.” New York Yankees reliever Aroldis Chapman placed on IL because of leg infection stemming from tattoo

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