June 20, 2009

Yankees bullpen brilliant lately

It wasn’t so long ago that everyone was blaming losses on the bullpen, which even rekindled the Joba Chamberlain debate.  Now, I feel extremely confident in any pitcher taking over for a Yankees starter.  Yes, I said any.

For starters (no pun intended), let’s look at everyone’s numbers from the bullpen:

Pitcher ERA IP K
Alfredo Aceves 2.54 28.1 25
Brian Bruney 2.61 10.1 14
Phil Coke 3.45 28.2 21
Phil Hughes 2.35 7.2 10
Mariano Rivera 3.25 27.2 33
David Robertson 2.08 13 19
Brett Tomko 5.11 12.1 6

The only negative standout here is Tomko, but that ERA is really inflated by his one wretched outing against the Mets.  Anyway, if you think the rest of these numbers look good, they’re actually better if measured only in June.

A few weeks ago, I would have said that the Red Sox really only surpass the Yankees in the bullpen.  Now, I give the edge to the Yanks.

Guys like Edwar Ramirez, Jonathan Albaladejo and Jose Veras had no reliability whatsoever, and really brought the team down.  The Yankees have replaced all three, and impressively all from within the organization.  Maybe Edwar and Alba are doing well in triple-A, but why change what’s working?

A steady bullpen is vital for postseason success, and I think that’s what the Yankees are vying for this year.

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