August 21, 2009

Damaso Marte recalled, Pena demoted

Ken Davidoff is reporting through twitter that the rehabbing Damaso Marte is finally ready to rejoin the Yankees’ bullpen. Instead of demoting a pitcher, the Yankees will use 13 pitchers and send down *backup* utility infielder Ramiro Pena.

I used the asterisks to emphasize the unimportance of Pena to this team right now. So yes, the Yankees finally made a move that I agree with.

Pena is a solid defender and provides some speed off the bench, but he isn’t as versatile or as good as Jerry Hairston Jr. I like having a surplus of pitchers too because the new Joba rules suggested that the Yankees would have to use more pitchers.

As for Marte’s helpfulness to the club, that is to be determined. He pitched well in Scranton in 11 appearances: 11 innings, 10 hits, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 9 K. That is a little too many base runners for my liking, but at least he is escaping the jams. Time will tell if he can keep that pace up in the majors.

I hope Joe Girardi works him up from low leverage to high leverage appearances, as he is most definitely not a trusted reliever right now.

So why is he up, you might ask. He is being paid $4 million a season for the next three years. It would be a waste to see him in the minors. If he is fully healthy and can perform at a moderate level in the majors, he’s better than nothing.

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