Bruney: I finally realized this was a full-time job

Open Thread: The Five Musketeers
Joba, offense dominate Philly

One thing we noticed last year in Spring Training was the weight loss of Brian Bruney. He’d been scorned in 2007, sent down to AAA in August after the team got fed up with his inability to throw strikes. He responded in quite the immature manner, tossing a chair on his way out of the clubhouse (bonus if someone can find the ESPN report on that). After the season it was uncertain whether the Yanks would offer him arbitration. They did, and Bruney showed up leaner and apparently more willing to put his work in. He had fans quite optimistic before injuring his foot early on. After missing a few months he returned late last season to post quite stellar results. He talks about his transformation over at YES (opens in a new window, and it looks like you’ll have to click the top link for it to play). The biggest overall change: treating it like a full-time job. I’m pretty optimistic about Bruney this season, and this only adds to it.

Open Thread: The Five Musketeers
Joba, offense dominate Philly
  • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

    “So it was interesting to observe the reactions of Brian Bruney and Miguel Cairo today when they were taken off the roster. Bruney quickly packed his bags and stormed out of the room. “No I don’t,” he said when I asked him if he had a minute to speak.

    Bruney then knocked over a chair on his way out of the room.

    But at least he has a team to play for. Cairo was designated for assignment and could well be released. But he walked around, embraced all his teammates and then stood at his locker and said what it meant to him to play for the Yankees.”

    http://yankees.lhblogs.com/2007/08/08/today-in-the-journal-news-112/

    So what do I win?

    • Steve H

      You get to drink from the firehose!!!

  • A.D.

    All good news, to go with that sub-2.00 ERA last year

  • A.D.

    At first I thought Hernandez was somehow oddly showing up (or something) the PR pitcher by sprinting around the bases…and then I realized they played the ball

    • A.D.

      Oops wrong thread, sorry.

  • Rich

    If he continues to progress, at some point during the season, they should consider attempting to buy out some of his FA years.

    • Steve H

      Not for a middle reliever. They are way too unpredictable, and he’s not going to get big $ in arbitration anyway as a middle reliever.

      • Rich

        If his command continues to improve (and remains consistent), he has closer stuff.

        • whozat

          So? There’s one thing the Yanks have huge amounts of: live arms. There is really no need to think about locking up Bruney when Melancon or Veras or Horne or Kontos or any one of a number of other guys will be able to equal or better his production for pennies on the dollar.

          If he has a great year and there’s interest…flip him. He’s always been hit-or-miss (that works on so many levels!), and pitchers really don’t change all that much at age 27 or so. Even with his “good command,” he’s still walking more than 4 per nine. His K:BB still hasn’t hit 2:1. Could he be a solid middle reliever or set up guy? Yeah, but he does not strike me as the kind of guy to be counting on year in and year out.

          • Rich

            Then why did they lock up an older and possibly inferior reliever going forward (given his age and potential fragility) in Marte?

            Apart from Melancon, I’m not sure that Bruney isn’t a superior reliever to Veras (and what Horne and Kontos will be is an open question), especially if his newly found focus and personal discipline are enduring.

            Given the Yankees’ dearth of near ML ready position prospects, they are going to have trade from a position of strength to compensate for that deficit. If Bruney can bring back something valuable, I’m fine with that, but if his improvement is real (his K/BB was 2.06 last season), he may be worth keeping.

            • A.D.

              Bruney is already under team control, so he’s under contract for the next few years, its just if they guarantee him the money…which there is no reason for them to do.

              Marte is left handed, much more established, and was going to be a FA

              • Rich

                I thought he was a potential FA after this season because he has been in the MLs since 2004. If not, my bad.

                Handedness is secondary to ability, and Marte hasn’t impressed me. I hated the Nady/Marte trade, and I think they made a mistake giving Marte three years.

  • http://www.retire21.org Mike R. – Retire 21

    I hate K-Rod! That is all.

    • Tom Zig

      Joe Morgan: K-rod should win the Cy Young over Cliff Lee
      John Heyman: K-rod deserves the MVP because of his record setting 62 saves.

      • Alan

        You can never compare k-rod’s saves and save opportunities to mariano’s. Those will prove how overrated Frankie is. (Joe Morgan?) Man that is too old to be an analyst.

  • Drew

    I wonder how much money gouriell would get if he flew to DR and claimed residency.

    • Alan

      I wish Gouriell replaces Cano

  • Rich

    This is an interesting split:

    Based on the statistics, Bruney could benefit by alternating days he pitches. On zero days rest, he has a career 4.94 ERA, but with a day off between appearances, he’s 2.78. Last year, the comparisons were more staggering – 8.31 and 1.54.

    • jsbrendog

      good find, interesting stuff

    • A.D.

      While it does appear that Bruney likes the day off, most relievers do, the issue is he doesn’t really have a good sample size in any season to really put this together & his seasons have been erratic to take the whole. That 8.31 ERA in 0 days rest came in 4.1 innings