The fans couldn’t agree on how confident they were in the Yankees bullpen. And I don’t blame them.
After Mariano Rivera and Joba Chamberlain/Phil Hughes, the Yankees aren’t very deep with major league experience but have a lot of young players competing for a few spots.
Marte and Robertson: Lefty Damaso Marte and righty David Robertson figure to be the next options out of the pen. Marte’s been very inconsistent in the past, but was great in the postseason and down the stretch. Robertson was too, but how do we know he’s not the next Brian Bruney? I think he’ll be fine, but he’s not a sure thing.
Ace’s spot: Nobody knows where Alfredo Aceves is fitting in, yet he might be the most reliable of the bunch. He’s done everything the Yankees asked, and he has exceeded expectations. I’d like to see him start the year as a multi-inning pitcher and then possibly pitch in later innings if Marte and Robertson don’t work out.
Melancon: Everyone seems to like Melancon. I do too. He’s a true reliever. He’s not a minor league starter called up to relieve. He was an absolute stud at every level of the minors, and finally got his chance to show off his electric stuff in pinstripes last year. In the majors he was mostly great, but had a few appearances where he was yanked after losing control of his pitches. I hope to see him develop this year like Robertson did last year.
The rest: Melancon isn’t a sure thing to open the year with the Yankees, but if he is, that leaves one spot left for Chad Gaudin, Sergio Mitre, Wilkin De La Rosa, Boone Logan, Edwar Ramirez, Jon Albaladejo and Romulo Sanchez. Gaudin and Logan filed for arbitration, and might be the top competitors for the final spot. Gaudin’s a long guy/spot starter and Logan is a lefty specialist. The decision is up to the Yankees
Overall: This bullpen has the potential to be great — mainly because of their strong closer-setup man combo. It might be the strongest in the majors, as both Hughes and Chamberlain have proven they can be elite relievers.
Next poll: When will Mark Melancon be with the Yankees?