The Pen is a Weakness at This Moment

After a rough beginning, the 2009 Yankees’ bullpen quickly became one of their biggest strengths.  Once they replaced guys such as Edwar Ramirez, Jose Veras, and Jonathan Albaladejo with David Robertson, Phil Hughes and Alfredo Aceves, it became a force to be reckon with.  With the exception of appearances by Brett Tomko, it was fairly young too.

But I’m a little afraid about it as of right now.

Mariano Rivera should have another dominant season in him; there is really no reason to believe otherwise, but elsewhere, I am concerned.

It is pretty much assumed that Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes will be in the rotation next year.  Brian Bruney was just traded to the Nationals today.  That means that (as of now) the only Yankee relievers with a decent amount of Major League experience going into next year will be Damaso Marte, Phil Coke, David Robertson, Chad Gaudin, and Alfredo Aceves.  With the exception of Robertson, can you consider any of these guys dominant or even consistent?  Marte had an excellent postseason, which is hopefully a sign that he is now healthy, but that’s no lock.  I would like to see Aceves in a more prominent role and Gaudin to have Aceves’ role from last year, but Aceves was inconsistent.  Coke is okay in a middle reliever role, but he is probably more suited to be a LOOGY.

I truly believe that they need to add a bullpen piece.  Whether it be a guy that is really not getting a lot of attention such as Kiko Calero or they swing a trade, I feel that right now they cannot trust the newest batch of minor leaguers.

Other pitchers currently on the 40-man roster are Albaladejo, Ramirez, Dunn, Wilkin de la Rosa, Chris Garcia, Ian Kennedy, Mark Melancon, Hector Noesi, Ivan Nova, and Romulo Sanchez.  The ones that even might be considered for a bullpen role are Melancon, Sanchez and Dunn. And to be frank, Sanchez and Dunn really are nothing special.

So what do you think, do the Yankees need to add a reliever?

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9 Responses to The Pen is a Weakness at This Moment

  1. Brandon says:

    Mark Feinsand is reporting that the trade is for the first pick in the rule 5 draft….if they pick correctly they can get one heck of a pitcher in the draft….even if not Bruney wasn't likely going to be used often anyway…..

  2. Brandon says:

    Now reports are coming out that the Yankees did the trade BECAUSE they felt they had enough bullpen depth

  3. <blockquote cite="comment-95">

    Brandon: Now reports are coming out that the Yankees did the trade BECAUSE they felt they had enough bullpen depth

    I'd be willing to bet that it was because they knew what they had in Bruney and didn't like it. I don't agree that they have enough depth, I doubt they really feel that way too. Romulo Sanchez has similar makeup and could possibly be better. You don't need both, especially when one is making $3 million per season.

  4. Matt Imbrogno says:

    I completely disagree. I think the bullpen is definitely a strength and Bruney was traded because he didn't have a spot there. The Yankees return Rivera, which is clearly a strength. They'll also be getting a full, healthy season out of Damaso Marte who showed us who he truly is in the playoffs.

    David Robertson is also much improved and will be in the bullpen all year, rather than shuttling back and forth between SWB and the Bronx. In Alfredo Aceves and Chad Gaudin (perhaps along with Ian Kennedy) the Yankees have multiple options to go multiple innings. The bullpen–and pitching staff in general–will be a big strength for the Yanks in '10.

  5. Brandon says:

    Completely agree with Matt

  6. Bruney was traded b/c he was gonna make almost 2 million, is an injury risk, and can't throw a strike. I only see one reliable set-up man in Robertson.

  7. Matt Imbrogno says:

    <blockquote cite="comment-105">

    Steven Schwartz: Bruney was traded b/c he was gonna make almost 2 million, is an injury risk, and can’t throw a strike.I only see one reliable set-up man in Robertson.

    What about Marte? His track record is great. There doesn't need to be a concrete set up man for the bullpen to be effective, either. You could platoon Marte and Robertson in the 8th if you wanted. What role was Bruney going to have, anyway? He wasn't going to be a set-up guy and he's definitely not ahead of Coke, Aceves, or even Gaudin at this point. The money issue also makes Melancon an upgrade over him. He was getting too expensive and was essentially dead weight. Enjoy the nation's capital, Brian.

  8. This also could be a sign that they are going to rely on Melancon more. He's ready. Use Marte/DRob as the 8th inning guy, Aceves/Kennedy in other roles, and work Melancon in until he's comfortable.

  9. Brandon says:

    I'm telling you guys, look out for Romulo Sanchez….has great stuff…..pick could be used to get a better RP and even if Bruney wasn't traded would that help the Yankees? He is not a set-up man in the AL East anymore