Unmemorable Memorial Day for the bullpen

Bombs away in Scranton
NYC facing cost overruns for Yankee Stadium replacement parks

While the final score – 6-1 – of the Yanks’ first loss since Tuesday makes the game sound like a lopsided Baltimore victory, for six innings, this afternoon’s game had all the makings of a pitcher’s duel. Darrell Rasner, throwing a few too many pitches early on, had another outstanding start, and Garrett Olson overcame last week’s outing to flash the stuff that has everyone raving this year.

This game got out of hand when the bullpen took over. Clinging to a 1-0 lead, the Orioles beat up on LaTroy Hawkins and Jose Veras. While Mike advocated for getting rid of Billy Traber, I have to believe that LaTroy wouldn’t be too far behind. He’s been spectacularly ineffective this year, and the Yanks will soon have two high-ceiling relievers in Mark Melancon and J.B. Cox knocking on the Yanks’ bullpen door.

In the end, though, I can’t really complain tonight. While this loss drops the Yanks under .500 and back into last place, if they’ve won five out of six games, and I’d always take that.

Bombs away in Scranton
NYC facing cost overruns for Yankee Stadium replacement parks
  • http://yankeesfuture.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos

    Hate to say “I told you so”, but I called Hawkins to be out by mid-June. Seems like we’re on that path.

  • E-ROC

    Great Britton can easily take LaTroy Hawkins spot.

    • http://yankeesfuture.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos

      I wish. He doesn’t seem like a bad guy, but you have better arms in Robertson and Cox at AAA, so he gets shafted again. I have a hard time finding a spot for him in this organization–I think he’s best served by a change of scenery.

      • A.D.

        Depending how things go next year he could have a spot at the bottom of the pen with Hawkins & Farns not with the Yanks and Joba not in the pen full year.

        • http://yankeesfuture.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos

          three spots, but they go to Melancon, Cox, and Robertson (I’d think, at least)

  • http://yankeesfuture.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos

    On Veras, it’s a miracle he hasn’t had TJ yet–check out his elbow relative to shoulder:


    • http://yankeesfuture.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos

      not to mention the inverted L/W

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

        That whole inverted L/W stuff is a bunch of garbage. Made up terms to make the person who wrote them sound smart. Forget that junk even exists.

        • http://yankeesfuture.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos

          It may be, but when I try pitching that way just for kicks my arm feels more stress than otherwise. I can’t say because I’m no scientist.

  • Haggs

    I’m no Hawkins fan, but let’s be fair.

    After a horrendous start, he hadn’t given up a run in over a month (4/24 in Chicago), which covered eight appearances and more than 10 IP.

    Having said that, the sooner Girardi stops using him in one run games, the better off the Yanks will be. Just wanted to point out that LH had been on a roll as of late.

    • http://yankeesfuture.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos

      Girardi seems to like his Chicago guys…get over it Joe!!

  • A.D.

    Hawkins does appear to be fairly unnecessary with the way the other pen guys have pitched both at the major & minor league level, figure Cox, Robertson, Melancon, Patterson, White, Britton could all do what Hawkins has shown thus far, Hawkins isn’t a type A or B free agent so there is no underlying reason to keep him, Yanks are probably hoping to shop him to a team in need of arms.

    While the pen didn’t do well today, they have done pretty well this season, so it happens. At least we didn’t loose it cause the pen blew a lead, game more comes down to the fact the offense didn’t do anything against a guy they pounded last week

  • Rich

    S Dunc isn’t showing a whole lot to this point.

    • A.D.

      Yeah, Duncan isn’t showing much offesnively or defensively, at this point with Giambi hitting fairly well I don’t really want to see Duncan taking his at bats regardelss of the handedness of the starting pitcher

      • whozat

        ‘strue. I dunno whether the guy can’t figure out how to be a bench/platoon guy or just turned out to be a AAAA player, but they need to lose him and Ensberg in favor of SOMEONE who can mash lefties in a platoon role in either corner OF or at 1B.

      • whozat

        Kendry Morales? I know he’s a heinous defensive 1B, but…
        Juan Rivera? He’s having a hideous year, but he’s also not getting much playing time. He might not have come back from that injury at all, but he also might just not be adjusting to the sporadic playing time. Then again, that could be a problem here as well.

        • A.D.

          Rivera came back and hit .270s in very limited sample last year coming off the surgery, so Its probably more the playing time/getting back into it, would probably be a nice, low cost option.

          I’ve been interested in getting Morales, and why he is blocked the Angles are still high on him and probably want quality prospects, the only deal I heard him in was Morales for Aramis Ramirez straight up, which is hard to gauge how much pitching the Yanks would have to give up.

  • Chip

    Can we send Shelley down and/or DFA Ensberg and give Lane a shot? I’d rather Edwar Gonzalez (who leads the organization in doubles) gets a shot to see what he can do (yes I know he started this year in A but Shelley is batting like .160!). Either way, Tex is looking more and more interesting

    • Brandon

      whoa Edwar does need AAA first, I admit I want to see Gonzalez get a chance but he has to earn it. As for Duncan as soon as a team calls I’m listening. He is Kevin Maas version 2008

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594331910 Jamal G.

    The process has started…


    You just know everyone but Tyler Kepner, John Harper and Kevin Kernan (if he was there) blew a load when that bloop single landed off of LaTroy Hawkins for the go-ahead RBI.

    • Brandon

      you knew King III wouldn’t let this go untouched. Just wait till Lupica writes his column :)

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      This is why we have a tabloid ban in place.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594331910 Jamal G.

        Oh right, sorry about that.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

          Oh, you can still talk about ’em and link to ’em in the comments. But that’s why we don’t validate their opinions. It’s stupid and reactionary.

          • http://2009 Haggs

            Not really.

            While King is a doofus, pointing out that a better pitcher would have started yesterday’s 7th inning pre-Joba decision is not stupid.

            • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

              And not seeing the forrest for the trees is an example of short-sighted thinking. The Yanks should have Joba pitch the 8th every few days to keep close games closer instead of having him start to give the team the overwhelming chance to win. You just don’t have your best pitcher throw 5 percent of your innings and most in low-leverage situations. That’s all there is to it.

              • http://2009 Haggs

                I’m not taking King’s side, he’s an idiot.

                But converting Joba in the middle of the season makes the Yankees a weaker team in the short-term.

                There is one less very good pitcher available to Joe Girardi. If he had Joba, he could have used Farnsworth yesterday. Everyone has moved up a slot, and guys who stink are going to be asked to get more important outs.

                I don’t trust Farnsworth, and I sure as hell don’t trust Hawkins. I would have preferred for the Yankees to wait until someone a bit more reliable stepped up to help to fill the void.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594331910 Jamal G.

    Bartolo Colon topped out at 96-MPH and was 90-94MPH with his Two-Seam heat.

    I still don’t think he will last into August.

    • Joltin’ Joe

      Yeah, he could be shelved due to another injury, or gastric bypass.

  • Z1m

    Hawkins stinks. When he was on the other teams the Yanks use to beat him up. If Cox, Robertson and Melancon are that good bring them up now.

    The reason we can’t get a lefty out of the pen is because all the other teams in the American league have them to pitch to the Yankees.

    What Right handed first baseman/DH could be on the trade market?

    • A.D.

      Willy Aybar is coming back for the Rays but Longoria is up now, younger guy with off the field issues that is a swtich hitter, been a 3B but they’re giving him reps at 1st.

      Garrett Akins is supposedly available, why hes a 3B he can play 1st, could be a longer term solution.

      bringing back an Andy Phillips type

      Else Betemit will be healthy again soon, and we’ll see his bat (which I believe is better right handed)

  • Todd

    “He’s been spectacularly ineffective this year.”

    Ben, it seems that you are guilty of the Tabloid BS that you seem to despise. Hawkins has not been “spectacularly ineffective” and that statement is not only fiction (or a gross overstatement at best), but typical of the pack media tabloids. There is an obvious bias against Hawkins on this board and seemingly among Yankee fans. I have posed the question before and will pose it again: Why? Up until yesterday, the guy was on a roll. His contract is actually not outrageous. And reports from the reporters and young players out of spring training is that he is a good guy. If you watched the game, he actually didn’t pitch that poorly. He was squeezed and the hit that knocked him out was a great piece of hitting on a good pitch. Also, even though the offense scored one run and had like 5 hits, the story of the game is the Bullpen? Shelley Duncan has been terrible and Melky, Jeter, and Damon are slumping. But the story is the bullpen? Considering that the bullpen has been pretty good of late, piling on Hawkins for his first bad game in 9 games is BS and reaks of bias. I love following Yankee prospects too, but to have such bitterness towards one guy is unfair–particualrly when he has been producing of late.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      Should be inconsistent. He’s been spectacularly inconsistent.

      The offense was shut down by a good pitcher. That’s not much of a story. The bullpen’s inability to get out of an inning with two outs is a story.

      • Todd

        I am not saying it is not a story. But one bad outing and the superlatives start flying? A clear bias. Even “spectacularly inconsistent” (whatever that means) is an overstatement reaking of bias. Steve’s stats that he presented seem to directly contradict you, and the Yankee fan base, opinion and apparant bias against the guy. But what do facts have to do with anything? Oh, and what if it was Ohlendorf who gave up the big inning. The bad outing would undoubtedly be blamed on Girardi’s use of him. Please do not even try to dispute this.

        And again, if you watched the game, he actually did not make too many bad pitches. Things happen in baseball. But that would not support blind hatred for this guy.

    • steve (different one)

      thank you Todd.

      it’s amazing the vendetta yankee fans have for this guy.

      he had a disastrous inning in TB. there is no denying that.

      that was April 4th.

      from April 4th until May 26th, he pitched 21 innings with a 2.57 ERA.

      does that sound like someone who has been “spectacularly ineffective”? not really.

      it sounds like a typical average to above average middle reliever. he’s had a few bad outings, but on the whole, he has been OK.

      which is exactly what was expected and exactly what you get for about $3.75M these days (sadly, but it is what it is).

      i realize you can’t just ignore those bad innings, but there just aren’t too many relievers out there who never have bad outings. those guys are closers.

      • A.D.

        Well he’s somewhat of a victim that essentially all of the other relievers have performed this year, and ppl rather see Cox/Melancon/Robertson/Britton for pennies on the dollar & at the beginning of their careers, Hawkins made sense in the off season with a bullpen of maybes, but as players cement themselves, and Hawkins isn’t doing anything special its better to see the younger guys with high celings to get a shot

        • Todd

          Personally, I think it is better that guys returning from TJS should build arm strength and get ready to pitch on the minor league level. And let’s not forget, Robertson is still a very young player. I am rooting for these guys as much as anyone, but Hawkins is taking the brunt of frustration from Yankee fans unfairly. What about Ohlendorf? He has been much worse and spectacularly inconsistent/ineffective. And people were hot and heavy over Patterson two months ago. And it turns out he did need more time in the minors. So again, I ask why do people hate Hawkins?

  • eddie s.

    has anyone been watvhing melky-a 4th outfielder-at best

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      We’ve been thinking that for a long time.

      • A.D.

        He’s defenintly plummeted down to reality recently

  • bebop

    I CAN complain about the Yankee’s general awful offense against lefties

  • nick blasioli

    the yankees need to do something now to rectify the problems they have…first a lefty out of the bull pen and getting rid of ensberg and duncan..then there will be a better team all the way around..cashman is the idiot who screwed up this season….