While the Yankees improved their team yesterday by shipping out Kyle Farnsworth and landing themselves Ivan Rodriguez in return, the end of the Farnsworth Era provides us with yet another chance to ask our favorite question: Who will pitch the 8th inning?
Farnsworth, hurler in 30 8th innings this year, had emerged recently as the Yanks’ set-up man, to a point. He was yanked in Boston when he nearly coughed up a tight game, and he’s always just one misstep away from completely imploding. But he had his role on the Yankees, and now the team has to fill a bullpen hole.
While the team has yet to announce a corresponding roster move, you have to believe that Chad Moeller will be DFA’d and Brian Bruney will activated from the DL. With that move, the Yanks will have a plethora of candidates to set up for Mariano. Damaso Marte, long the setup man in Pittsburgh, seems likely to inherit the role, but Edwar Ramirez, Jose Veras and Bruney should all be considered candidates. None of these players are less reliable than Farnsworth was, and three of them — Marte, Ramirez, Bruney — should be better than Krazy Kyle.
When Brian Cashman pulled the trigger on this deal, he pulled something of a coup. The Yanks instantly improved behind the plate. But he also fully committed himself to his new approach toward building the bullpen. He’s now content to throw young arms out there in an effort to see what sticks. We’ve long endorsed this approach. Why pay $5 million for a Kyle Farnsworth when Edwar Ramirez can be had for the league minimum? Now we’ll get to see how well this works, and how good Joe Girardi is at handling it. Who will emerge to pitch the 8th is a question entirely up for grabs.