ESPN - New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman has been suspended 30 games by commissioner Rob Manfred under Major League Baseball's new domestic violence policy for his involvement in an alleged incident last October.
He will not appeal.
Huge win for Major League Baseball here. Really shows what a competent professional sports league can do when faced with a potential crisis in the form of a star player with a domestic violence scandal. Chapman choosing not to appeal is the key here for MLB. It means this story will go away quickly. This does not mean MLB always gets it right though. Just this past offseason one of baseball's top prospects was suspended 50 games for weed but that's a conversation for another day.
So what does this mean for the Yankees? In terms of their playoff outlook losing Chapman for 30 games shouldn't affect much. Even without him they still have an elite bullpen. Last season Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances combined for an insane 231 strikeouts in just 145.1 innings pitched. Miller ranked second among all pitchers in strikeouts per nine innings and Betances ranked third. Who was first? You guessed it. Chapman, who struck out an unholy 116 batters in just 66.1 innings last year.
For these first 30 games I'm assuming Miller will close for New York with Girardi mixing in Betances now and then when the situation calls for it. As for the rest of the team? They have a strange mix of past their prime veterans (A-Rod, Beltran, Teixeira, McCann, Sabathia) combined with potential injury concerns (Tanaka, Ellsbury, Gardner). After signing no free agents this offseason it should be an interesting year for the Yankees. Coming off a wild card birth in 2015 the team should be back in the playoff hunt as long as their rotation is at least league average and they stay relatively healthy. Basically the Yanks need to just stay afloat in the standings until May 7th, when this guy comes back: