Yesterday, I graded the Yankees starting rotation. Today, I will take a crack at grading the Yankees bullpen, including the newest Yankees closer. Let’s grade the pen!
David Robertson: David Robertson took over the closer role from Hall-of-Fame legend Mariano Rivera and to say he’s done a good job is an understatement. Sure, he had one bad outing against the Minnesota Twins, but Robertson has 59 K’s and 23 saves. Robertson is not Mariano Rivera, but he’s making the transition from the Mariano Rivera Era move just a little bit smoother.
Robertson’s Mid-Season Grade:
Dellin Betances: Dellin Betances has faced hurdles in his road to the big leagues. He wasn’t successful as a starter, so the Yankees decided to place him in the bullpen to begin the 2014 season. I’m pretty sure no one predicted Betances was going to be an All-Star in his rookie season, but Betances defied the odds and impressed everyone. In 40 games with the Yankees, he went 4-0 with a 1.46 ERA and he struck out 89 batters. If anything, Betances has proven he has the stuff to be a permanent fixture in the Yankees pen.
Betances Mid-Season Grade:
Adam Warren: I’m sure when Adam Warren envisioned joining the New York Yankees this season, he didn’t think he was going to be in the Yankees bullpen. He had auditioned for a spot in the starting rotation, but lost out to Michael Pineda and later David Phelps. In his first season in the Yankees bullpen, Warren has been effective, posting a 2.79 ERA and notching 46 K’s. He had lost some of his effectiveness at the end of the first half due to fatigue, but overall he has been impressive.
Warren’s Mid-Season Grade:
Matt Thornton: Say what you want about Matt Thornton, but overall he has had a good first half as the Yankees lefty-specialist. Although he has had his moments of letting games slip away, he came out of the first half with a 3.10 ERA in 20.1 innings. When Matt Thornton has his pitches, he’s dominant. When he doesn’t–he’s hit-able. It just depends which Matt Thornton comes out of the Yankees bullpen.
Thornton’s Mid-Season Grade:
Shawn Kelley: Shawn Kelley has had an up and down 2014 season like his fellow teammate Matt Thornton, but Kelley has also battled with injuries. Overall, Kelley has been solid with his 3.77 ERA and 36 K’s but while he has shown signs of brilliance this season, but he’s also shown signs of disappointment. Hopefully he has a consistent second half.
Kelley Mid-Season Grade:
Tomorrow: Tomorrow it’s the last of the mid-season report cards where I grade the bench players, Brian Cashman, manager Joe Girardi and the team as a whole!