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?