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Aroldis Chapman struggles to throw strikes in Yankees debut

TAMPA, Fla. -- Suspended New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman didn't draw much of a reaction while struggling to find the strike zone during his first spring appearance Thursday afternoon.

Chapman, who will miss the first 30 games of the regular season due to his domestic violence suspension, trotted in from the bullpen to begin the fifth inning with few cheers or boos from the home crowd of 8,706 at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Though he was scheduled to pitch a full inning, Chapman only lasted two-thirds of an inning after throwing just nine strikes in 26 pitches. Chapman hit two batters -- Jose Bautista and Ryan Goins -- and walked Troy Tulowitzki with the bases loaded.

Chapman exited the game with the bases loaded.

"I think it was normal," Chapman said through a translator. "I didn't have my control today. I feel great physically."

Chapman, who won't be eligible to pitch in a regular-season game until May 9, entered Thursday's game after his two setup men, Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances, worked in front of him. The Yankees believe that trio could be the key to the team's success this season.

Known for a fastball that can reach 105 mph, Chapman was clocked at a high of 98 on Thursday. Pitchers in the prime of their careers often work their velocity up during spring training.

"Throwing a fastball is easy for me," Chapman said. "That is why I need to work on breaking pitches and changeups. It takes more work."