July 19, 2010

Olney confirms Heyman’s report from 2 months ago: Bench and bullpen are priorities for Yankees at trade deadline

Buster Olney tweeted some “news” this morning about the Yankees’ plans for the trade deadline. But he really just reiterated what Jon Heyman said back on May 28. The Yankees’ focus at the deadline will be upgrading the bench and the bullpen — in that order — and not starting pitching.

This isn’t surprising, folks, and isn’t news. Olney’s main point in his tweets was the Yankees will not go after a starter even in the wake of Andy Pettitte’s injury.

What IS news is my opinion on the Yankees’ deadline priorities. I am now fully on board with the top focus being the bench opposed to the bullpen. Why the sudden change?

David Robertson.

Although his ERA is still hovering around 5.00, he’s been one of the most consistent relievers this season and has looked great in recent weeks.

D-Rob has helped restore the bullpen’s pizazz and has added the necessary pressure on Joba Chamberlain to help him pitch out of his funk.

The Yankees have a ton of pitchers internally they could call up, and relievers acquired at the deadline haven’t been so reliable in the past: Jeff Nelson & Octavio Dotel, to name a couple.

Meanwhile, the Yankees’ bench is incredibly weak with the absence of Nick Johnson and minor league hitters ready for the majors are few and far between.

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