The Yankees bullpen had once been the team’s bright spot. And how could it not, especially when the Yankees once possessed dominant arms such as Mariano Rivera, David Robertson and Dellin Betances? However, the bullpen slowly lost it’s consistency when Rivera retired and Robertson went to the Chicago White Sox, leaving the Yankees with only two pitchers who were sure-fire dominant relievers: Andrew Miller and Betances.
Guys like Justin Wilson, Chris Capuano, Chasen Shreve and Chris Martin actually appeared promising in the beginning of the year, but in the months of August and September, the relievers have been inconsistent, which is costing the Yankees games and causing them to lose ground in the American League East division race. Let’s look at how some of the Yankees relievers who were on the team as of August have done out of the pen. For this exercise, we’re going to include Adam Warren‘s numbers, considering he was a part of the Yankees bullpen prior to re-joining the rotation to replace the injured Nathan Eovaldi.
August: 0-1, 1.40 ERA, 12.2 IP, 19K
September: 0-0, 2.70 ERA, 6.2 IP,11K
August: 0-0, 13.50 ERA, 4.0 IP, 2K
September: 0-0, 9.82 ERA, 3.2 IP, 3K
August: 0-0, 18.00 ERA, 2.0 IP, 1K
September: 1-0, 3.86 ERA, 3.2 IP, 3K
August: 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 2.0 IP, 1K
September: 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.1 IP, 0K
September: 0-0, 9.00 ERA, 2.0 IP, 1K
August: 2-0. 2.38 ERA, 11.1 IP, 16K
September: 0-0, 1.72 ERA, 7.2 IP, 16K
August: 0-1, 4.50 ERA, 14.0 IP, 13K
September: 0-1, 31.50 ERA, 2.0 IP, 3K
August: 0-2, 2.45 ERA, 11.0 IP, 11K
September: 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 3.0 IP, 6K
August: 1-0, 2.84 ERA, 6.1 IP, 4K
September: 1-1, 6.75 ERA, 4.0 IP, 3K
August: 0-0, 2.31 ERA, 11.2 IP, 16K
September: 0-1, 9.00 ERA, 4.0 IP, 4K
August: 0-0, 1.42 ERA, 12.2 IP, 15K
September: 0-1, 4.15 ERA, 8.2 IP, 8K
August: 1-0, 5.40 ERA, 10.0 IP, 14K
September: 1-0, 3.18 ERA, 5.2 IP, 6K
As was the case during the month of August, Betances and Miller have been overused in September, and there hasn’t been a clear bridge to get the Yankees to their top two relievers. Justin Wilson has had a better September, but his numbers are too small of a sample size to determine whether he can continue pitching with dominance. Branden Pinder has been close to a reliable reliever, but other than that the bullpen has been highly inconsistent which has resulted in the Yankees losing six of their last eight games.
If the Yankees have any interest in making the postseason, they’re going to have to find some consistency in the pen. And in order for Miller and Betances to continue being effective, other pitchers in the pen are going to have to pitch better. As of right now, it just doesn’t seem as if the bullpen is going to get any better than they’ve been, which could be a problem for the Yankees during the month of September.