Yankees reliever Aroldis Chapman sidelined with leg infection stemming from tattoo

Aroldis Chapman, a veteran left-handed reliever for the New York Yankees, was placed on the 15-day injured list on Saturday due to an infection he acquired from a recent tattoo session, the team said. Chapman’s leg is where the infected wound is, as per presenter Michael Kay. He has struggled this season, his sixth with the Yankees, in a way that is unusual for him.

The left-handed reliever, who was demoted after Clay Holmes took over as the closer in May, was informed by manager Aaron Boone prior to Saturday night’s game against the Oakland Athletics that he would be placed on the injured list for the second time this season, this time due to a serious leg infection.

Earlier in the season (May 24-June 30), Chapman missed 35 games due to left Achilles tendonitis. “[Chapman’s] got an infection in his leg right now. We’re hoping we’d kind of knock it out and be able to take care of it the last couple of days, but it’s still significant enough, from a tattoo he recently got; he’s got a pretty bad infection in there,”

Boone explicated before 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 things like that. So he’s got an infection that he’s dealing with that’s going to force him on the IL.”

Chapman attended the first game of the four-game series against the Athletics on Thursday at the Oakland Coliseum with the club, but he was unable to pitch due to a worsening leg muscle wound. “We’re treating him with antibiotics and things like that,” Boone added.

“Hopefully he’s good in several days. We can backdate this a few days, but we have to get our arms around it and get the infection out of there. It’s gotten a little bit worse over the last two days.”

The 34-year-old pitched to a 4.70 ERA (83 ERA+) in 30 2/3 innings out of the bullpen, with 35 strikeouts and an unsightly 22 walks, all unintentional. With 315 saves in his career and a long record of dominance, Chapman, owner of one of the most renowned fastballs ever seen, is a pitcher to be reckoned with.

Zahid Iqbal

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