Who is LaTroy Hawkins?

When Bernie Williams nearly left New York
Cameo at Pending Pinstripes

Well, he’s a media-hating, 35-year-old, mediocre middle reliever, says Emma Span at Eephus Pitch. While the virtual free agent trade involving Luis Vizcaino and LaTroy Hawkins netted the Yanks a draft pick, I’m not too optimistic about Hawkins. Maybe that new delivery really will work.

When Bernie Williams nearly left New York
Cameo at Pending Pinstripes
  • NYFan50

    “It might happen. Yeah, and monkeys might fly out of my butt.”

  • steve (different one)

    yes, he is a mediocre (which means average, right?) middle reliever. but given that he is PREDICTABLY mediocre, i don’t see the problem.

    Hawkins is a better reliever than people give him credit for. he has a 3.35 career ERA out of the bullpen. ERA+ above 100 in 7 out of the last 8 seasons.

    he was signed to add a little stability to the bullpen. eat about 60 innings with an ERA around 4. he doesn’t have the gaudy strikeout numbers, but he is ok at limiting walks and he keeps the ball in the park.

    Cashman has clearly said that Hawkins was signed as an option in the 6th/7th inning, not to set-up. so as long as people remember he is not supposed to be an elite setup man, but a decent middle reliever, he should be fine.

  • jsbrendog

    yeah but that’s because he says farnsworth-less is their setup man….thats even more frightening……its hard to see any team shaking in the playoffs with the prospect of facing hawkins/farnsworth-less in front of mariano

  • Bo

    They still havent addressed the bullpen problem. Hawkins is a 6th/7th inning guy. They are still 2 quality relievers short. I hope the faith in the young guys Veras, Ohlendorf, etc pays off.

    Lets keep in mind the bullpen that walks out of camp isnt the bullpen that will walk into the clubhouse on Sept 1.

    • steve (different one)

      is there a “bullpen problem”?

      everyone keeps saying that there is, but didn’t the RAB guys post something a few weeks back how the Yankees were 81-4 last year when they went into the 8th inning with a lead?

      the bullpen will get better by virtue of the starting rotation getting better.

      a lot of the bullpen “problems” last year stemmed from the obscene overuse that happened in April with starters going 5 innings every night because of the insane rash of hamstring pulls.

      more of the “problems” stemmed from Torre using the top tier of the bullpen in games with 5-8 run leads. Viz was used so inefficiently in unwarranted situations that he eventually burned out.

      there seems to be this idea, and i believe it stems from Torre’s insistence on relegating certain relievers to certain innings, that the Yankees need 2-3 “closer quality” relievers. that’s the model Torre employed for the last 3-4 years of his tenure. but you don’t HAVE to follow that model.

      what is better?:
      1. a bullpen with 2 relievers with ERA’s around 2.5 (Mo and an “8th inning” guy i.e. Tom Gordon) that pitch EVERY TIME there is a lead, plus 4 more guys with ERA’s around 4.5-5 fighting for the scraps, or

      2. a bullpen with a closer (Mo) and 4-6 other guys with ERA’s around 3.75 who all share the rest of the innings based on their workload and game situation?

      i think the Yankees CAN have #2. Britton, Albadalejo, Veras, Bruney, Ohlendorf, Hawkins, Ramirez, Farnsworth….i think these guys can all be average to above average relievers when used properly.

      i disagree with this notion that the Yankees have a “bullpen problem”. better starters and better bullpen management. those are the solutions.

      • TurnTwo

        absolutely agree.

      • Count Zero


  • gianthinker

    Hawkins had a better year last year than Vizciano.

  • jsbrendog

    in the national league. granted at coors but pitching to the american league teams is like pitching in coors all the time,….well, not really, but enough to skew the numbers

  • TurnTwo

    i really think all this discussion wont be necessary when LaTroy and Farnsy fill the 7th, Joba fills the 8th, and Mo closes it out.

  • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    The problem with Viz was that he was a streaky mofo. Crap for 2 months, lights out of the next 2 months, then crap at the end. All Hawkins has to do is be consistently mediocre.

    A full year of a 4.50 ERA is better than 2 months of a 1.00 ERA and 4 of a 7.00 ERA.

  • E-ROC

    LaTroy Hawkins will be fine, or at least available day in, day out, unlike Farnsdearth. Hawkins stuff has gotten better because he has more of downward plane on his stuff, causing the groundballs. I wonder if the K/9 will be a problem for him. Nonetheless, he is a professional through and through.

    Hey, maybe we’ll see a motivated Farnsdearth this season because of Girardi……and being in a contract year.

  • ceciguante

    couldn’t disagree more. bullpen #2 is a loser’s bullpen that will get smacked around in the playoffs under the pressure when facing elite lineups (not that you could assemble a group of guys all just above average like that). that team will lose confidence, press at the plate, and fail. see NYY, ~2002-2007.

    RAB cited the “81-4 after 8 innings” statistic, which surprised me too. and i credit your point that there was lots of BP overuse by torre, and a freakish injury total (but you omit that vizcaino was horrible in the first half well before he burnt out, if that’s even what happened).

    talk about 81-4, but when push came to shove against CLE, their BP defeated ours in game 2 and the series was effectively finished. that game doesn’t show up in the 81-4 stat, but there went the season. i don’t want a string of 3.75 guys there. i want as many 2.5 guys as possible, and SUPPLEMENT with young arms and back end starters for the playoffs. you don’t enter a season w/ a $200M payroll and one quality reliever. we keep doing it, and it keeps costing us in october. and i reject the idea that RPs are often erratic, so therefore it’s a bad idea to pay for them. we pay millions for bench players, we should do our best to find guys who excel to pitch the 7th and 8th.

    • ceciguante

      sorry, above cmt was intended as reply to steve(different one) @ 1/29, 11:24am

    • steve (different one)

      ok, except the guy that blew the lead in game 2 WAS the guy with the ERA under 1.

      so that example doesn’t really prove your point.

      just like Tom Gordon and Mariano Rivera were the guys who blew the game in the 2004 ALCS.

      you are just spouting a bunch of nonsense. “i want as many 2.5 guys as possible”? no shit. who doesn’t?

      but that just isn’t very realistic. those guys don’t grow on trees. who are these guys that put up ERAs around 2.50 every year and are willing to take setup roles? how do you get these guys?

      “i reject the idea that RP are often erratic”. what does that mean? you reject reality?

      who did you want the Yankees to sign?

  • Bo

    You can say the young kids and the unknowns will be good but you really dont know that. So, yea, thats a problem on paper on Feb 1.

    Tough to have tryouts and auditions thru the yr for key pen roles.

    • steve (different one)

      Tough to have tryouts and auditions thru the yr for key pen roles.

      why? it happens all the time.

      who were these relievers the Sox had on Feb 1?

      they had Piniero, Donnelly, JC Romero…

      and who were the guys that emerged? DelCarmen, Lopez, Snyder, Okajima.

      in other words, none of the guys they were really counting on were the ones who carried the load. those were guys who were more or less inexperienced.

      all of the “veterans” they signed all crapped the bed and were injured or released.

      • dan

        And don’t forget, they were prepared to go into the season with Piniero as the closer.

  • Bo

    Lets be real here.

    Viz was god awful early. Good middle. Terrible late.

    We had 2 relievers we could count on by October and you cannot win in the playoffs like that.

    • jeff

      “We had 2 relievers we could count on by October and you cannot win in the playoffs like that.”

      Of course you can. The Yankees lost this year because of starting pitching, not the bullpen. Good starting pitching and a good closer will hide most bullpen problems.

  • Realist

    How I wish for the Latroy Hawkins of yesteryear…..like 3 or 4 years ago. Then I would feel better about the pick up.

    Cash has said he is going to be a middle reliever , which means he will eat innings while barely pitching with the game on the line? Or at least something to that effect?

    The setup man comes down to Farnsy ( can Girardi and being in his walk year kick start him? ) and a bunch of unknowns like Patterson , Britton , Bruney , Albadalejo, Veras, Ohlendorf, Ramirez? This worries me as I can see Joba going back to the role he was in last year , if one of these guys can’t get it done. I don’t want to see that and truly hope one of the aforementioned can grab the set up job…or possibly Humberto or Cox later in the year?