Aroldis Chapman back from illness in time for Tigers series

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DETROIT — Aroldis Chapman was back on the field Friday night.

The Yankees’ closer was out the previous two days with what the team called “a bug,” and the team was uncertain he would travel with them here for the series opening game against the Tigers at Comerica Park.

“He’s doing well. Good to have him back,” Aaron Boone said before the game. “And yeah, he should be available.”

Thursday night, Chad Green came in for the save against the Blue Jays, the first indication that Chapman was ill. The Yankees closer, who was un-scored on in his first 18 appearances until his last, was tested multiple times for COVID-19 and was negative.

The Yankees just went through an outbreak of “breakthrough cases” — meaning those who tested positive had been fully vaccinated — on their last road trip. They had nine people, including Gleyber Torres and three coaches test positive. Since the Yankees reached the 85% threshold of vaccinated players and employees at that point, they were able to play on.

Phil Nevin, the third base coach who first tested positive and the only one who showed any symptoms, has still not returned to the team.

STANTON BACK

Giancarlo Stanton was back in the lineup Friday night, the first time since May 13. The slugger had been dealing with a strained left quad.

“He’s been doing well and definitely good to have him back, obviously, what he means to our lineup and how well he’s been swinging the bat to start the year,” Boone said. “So not only that, but he just adds a little bit more length, obviously, to our lineup as well. So good to have him back.”

Stanton was hitting .282/.347/.534 with nine home runs and an .882 OPS in 33 of the Yankees’ 50 games he played this season.

“Obviously, his power is prodigious,” Boone said. “I think what’s been really impressive about him this year, to me is just the quality that we’ve been getting really going back to, I feel like in spring training. He was having really good at bats, a really good process and carried it right into the regular season. Even on days, he’s not getting hits, I feel like routinely we’re looking at two or three balls that are smoked each and every day and kind of having those kinds of at bats going back to last postseason really carried it into this year.

“And I just think he’s in a really good frame of mind,” Boone continued. “He’s putting together really good plans when he walks into the game each and every night. And for the most part, it’s been delivering on that.”

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