Friday, January 16, 2009

Have the Yankees Done Enough For Their Bullpen?

Yesterday morning I analyzed the Yankee line-up in comparison with the Red Sox and the Rays. It certainly provoked some disagreement, though that's kind of what's supposed to happen with baseball discussion. Anyway, one of you asked me about the Yankees' bullpen, and since I've not got enough time to think of my own topic, I'm going to steal this one from Geim.


Much has been made over the Yankees' made-over starting rotation and their improved line up, but not a lot of thought has been given to their bullpen.

There's a good reason for this: they don't need to.

Right now, the Yankees have the following relievers ready to go:

Mariano Rivera
Dàmaso Marte
Brian Bruney
John Albaladejo
Josè Veras
Edwar Ramirez
David Robertson

Let's not forget that they also have Phil Coke and Alfredo Aceves in their system (they'll becoming to Spring Training as starters), and they have guys like Mark Melancon and Humberto Sanchez waiting in the wings, so to speak.

I don't need to tell you about Mariano Rivera and the numbers he posted last year, like 317 ERA+ and his 0.66 WHIP. We already know he's headed to Cooperstown.

The other guys did a pretty good job, too.

The team, as a total had a bullpen ERA of 3.79 and WHIP of 1.27, and this includes rather disastrous numbers from Scott Patterson, Billy Traber and LaTroy Hawkins.

The bullpen basically averaged a strikeout an inning, and, again, this includes the likes of Traber and Hawkins, among others.

Could the Yankees use another reliever? Every team can. However, the Yankees are lucky enough to have guys like Mark Melancon in the minor leagues, and while Melancon may not make the team out of Spring Training, if he keeps pitching like he's been pitching, we may very well see him at the New Stadium come September, if not sooner.

The 2009 Yankees have a lot of concerns right now--but the bullpen is not particularly high on that list.


If you haven't seen it, Curt Schilling wrote a tribute to Todd Drew.

Todd certainly managed to touch a lot of people. Here's hoping he finds his peace.


  1. The Yanks have a very good bullpen. I expect Marte to have an excellent bounce back year. Melancon will likely be up long before September. This should be a strength once again.

  2. Bullpens and relief pitchers are a tricky lot, but Joe Girardi proved to be adept at mixing things up, keeping people fresh and ready, not overworked, but not underworked. In short, he managed his bullpen really well. There's no reason to think that will change going forward and is a reason to be optimistic about 2009's Yankee bullpen.

    Now, we just have to pray for health and good fortune!

  3. The Yankees have a solid bullpen, but it wouldn't hurt to add another veteran reliever. The tandem of Marte and Bruney in the 8th inning scares me a little, since Marte struggled with the Yanks and Bruney has his days where he can't find the plate. Still, I think the bullpen has a lot of young talent that will carry the team in the late innings.

  4. Marte struggled because he was a bit overworked. He pitched through what shut Joba down. When his arm felt better, he pitched better.