Yankees Insider: Chapman grateful to be pitching through ban

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Yankees Insider: Chapman grateful to be pitching through ban

TAMPA — Aroldis Chapman already has been through a lot this spring, getting acclimated to new surroundings, new teammates and a new pitching coach.

Oh, there was also that 30-game suspension handed down by Major League Baseball that will keep him out of action until May 9.

On Thursday, Chapman finally will get to do what he loves, taking the mound for the first time in an exhibition game.

“I’m very happy getting an opportunity to pitch in a game in a Yankees uniform,” Chapman said through a translator. “I’m looking forward to it and I’m anxious to get on the field and face hitters in real situations, in game situations.”

Chapman has thrown several bullpen sessions and has faced hitters in live batting practice, showing off the plus fastball and slider that have made him one of the premier closers in the game over the past four years.

An inning of work in a meaningless game doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things, but Chapman is eager to see game action at Steinbrenner Field

against the Blue Jays.

“I’m ready to go,” he said.

GREAT FOR NATE

Nathan Eovaldi will make his first spring start Thursday. Eovaldi, who missed the final month of the 2015 season with elbow inflammation, has been slowed by a minor groin injury this spring, but he’s not concerned about either issue heading into his outing.

“It’s always fun to get back out there for the first game when you’re not facing your own teammates,” Eovaldi said. “That competitive feeling gets your blood flowing.”

BRETT GETS CLOSER

Brett Gardner (left wrist bone bruise) continued to take full batting practice, keeping him on track for his first game sometime next week. Despite the slow pace this spring, the left fielder seems confident he’ll be ready by April 4.

“It’s been a little different, but I’m not too concerned about it,” Gardner said. “I’ll still get plenty of at-bats.” 

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Baseball – NY Daily News

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