May
02

Have you seen this man?

By

The Forgotten Reliever

That is Damaso Marte, the second highest paid player in the Yankees’ bullpen. In his ten big league seasons he has put up a 1.26 WHIP, 132 ERA+ and 9.70 Kper9. He last pitched in a game on April 25th, 2009, seven full days ago.

Amazingly, we’ve seen Joe Girardi manage his bullpen eerily similar to his predecessor Joe Torre: using the same two or three relievers day after day while the rest of the bullpen corps rot. The team is currently carrying eight relievers. Eight. Yet it seems like we’re always having Jose Veras (awful) or Jon Albaladejo (he’s had his moments) shoved down our throats.

Come on Girardi, you’re better than this.

Photo Credit: Julie Jacobson, AP

Categories : Death by Bullpen

57 Comments»

  1. Drew says:

    What’s odd is, Joe T went with guys he had faith and trust in. How the hell does Joe G have faith and trust in Veras. Makes no sense to me.

    • Jeremy says:

      I generally agree, with the exception that Girardi trusted Farnsworth much more than I ever would have, and was rewarded with some very good performances.

    • Tony says:

      Since his bullpen management has been questionable he’s down to… doing nothing well. At least Torre didn’t say dumb things to media on a regular basis.

      Hey guys, we WILL NOT DL WANG. Stop asking me.

  2. Tom Zig says:

    How are people going to expect Marte to be good if he never gets any work in?

  3. Jeremy says:

    Amen. The similarity to Torre’s approach is uncanny.

    The last thing we need is for Albaladejo/Veras to become our Proctor/Sturtze.

  4. Accent Shallow says:

    I buy Marte’s stuff, but since becoming a Yankee:

    23.2 IP, 23 hits, 20 runs, 4 HR, 13BB, 30K.

    Ugly.

    Sooner or later he’s gotta snap out of it, right?

    • The 30 K in 23.2 innings is stellar. The home runs and walks less so. Either way, the man needs some work just so the Yankees know if they have a viable reliever or not. He got a huge contract this off-season, and if the Yanks’ manager wasn’t going to employ him in games, the Yanks’ Front Office shouldn’t have retained his services.

      • Drew says:

        While a 10/9 k rate is great. Nothing about that line comes out as stellar to me. When you have little control (14 BB) you’ll get some K’s.

        • Drew says:

          Whoops 13BB*

        • The only thing I said was stellar was the K rate. You know a lot of relievers that put up a 10 K/9 IP? He doesn’t do that by luck, which is what you’re trying to claim.

          • Drew says:

            No, I’m not saying its luck. I’m saying when you throw a lot of balls you get a lot of swings and misses.

            • That doesn’t really follow. If you get a lot of balls, you would be getting a lot of players not swinging.

              • Drew says:

                Yeah sometimes, but most teams aren’t as patient as the Yanks.
                Hey, I think Veras is a quality pitcher. He’s had a 1.5ish whip since he’s been a Yankee, which isn’t what he’s capable of. Since he’s been here, he’s also had a slightly higher K rate than he’s shown for his long career. I think that it’s due to his control, or lack there of in his first 23 innings here, that’s just my opinion.

          • andrew says:

            Ben, there are currently 53 relievers with a K/9 above 10. It’s not exactly an elite group of guys.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      He was actually pretty good last year after that debacle in Texas:

      http://tinyurl.com/df9gcm

  5. John says:

    Who the hell is Damaso Marte?

  6. Nady Nation says:

    A-freekin-men

  7. Jeremy says:

    Don’t panic everyone. The Yankees have signed CASEY FOSSUM.

    • They signed Fossum purely to fill a hole in AAA. With IPK and Jason Johnson out and Hughes in the Bigs, someone had to start today. There’s probably about a 0.05 % chance Fossum sees the Bronx.

  8. CB says:

    Not just Marte. When was the last time Robertson pitched before today’s game? Not surprising that he lost feel for his stuff in the middle of that inning.

    They were carrying 8 pitchers in the pen and a short bench when Jackson was up. Jackson never pitched his last stint in the bigs.

    Last year people anointed Girardi as the anti-torre mostly based on his brilliant bull pen management. That was the thing cited about him over and over – his strength was bull pen management. He spread out the load “trusted” everyone and didn’t really on the same guys over and over.

    We haven’t see that this year at all. Bruney had 9 appearances in the first 15 games. Veras continues to get used rather than giving younger guys a shot in situations where they can succeed.

    They’re caught in a vicious circle now in the pen and that’s best demonstrated with Marte. Pitches badly and fall out of the circle of trust. Once out of the vaunted circle he never gets used. When he does appear he’ll be bad from rust and be cast out again. Same thing for Robertson.

    • Jeremy says:

      You put this very well.

      Torre’s use of Edwar exemplified the vicious cycle problem. Torre sat Edwar for weeks, put him in, watched him get bombed, and sat him again. Girardi gave Edwar regular work and surprise, he became a decent contributor.

      I can’t explain why Girardi is treating Robertson and Marte like Torre treated Edwar. The Yankee pen really isn’t that bad, even with Bruney out. But no one in it (besides Bruney, maybe) is good enough to qualify as a guaranteed 7th or 8th inning guy. Girardi has to be creative if he wants the pen to be any good. It’s still early and we saw so many good things from him last year, so I’m optimistic he’s in a creative funk and will turn things around soon.

  9. Yankee1010 says:

    The odd part is that Girardi was great at getting everyone work last year without overworking anyone. And it worked great and everyone performed well. This year, he’s going to Albaladejo and Veras all the time. And Veras is such a nightmare. It makes no damn sense.

  10. Jake H says:

    What has happened to the guy who managed the BP very well last year?

    • I’ve been wondering the same thing for a few weeks now. Maybe he didn’t manage the pen well last year but just looked good doing it because his relievers were getting outs. Who knows.

    • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops says:

      Maybe not only relievers show big volatility from year to year, but the work managers do with bullpens, too. Sometimes bullpen moves work out, sometimes not. Sure some moves this year seem dubious, maybe some dubious moves last year just didn’t backfire.

    • cult of basebaal says:

      he got a LHP.

      then he got 2.

      now he manages like Tony LaRussa with his pants on fire.

      never make a move when you can make 3.

      • Tom Kotlowski says:

        LMAO! That’s exactly what I was thinking. Except Tony LaRussa’s moves seem to work more often then not and Girardi loves to let Sabathia and Burnett throw 120 pitches in sub-par outings…

  11. Andrew says:

    lol…

    Yeah, bring in Marte to face Kendrick or Hunter!

    So your main complaint is that Damaso Marte isn’t getting enough work in? Marte is a situational lefty. Emphasis on situational. When the situation calls for him – he’ll be in there, and it’s his job to be ready. I think this team’s problems extend a lot further than Damaso Marte’s workload, or lack thereof.

    Keep up the good work, though!

    • Marte is a situational lefty.

      Except he’s not. While not as effective against righties, he’s very good against them. He’s been used a full inning guy for much of his career, and the Yanks signed him with the intention of using him as part of the Bridge to Mo. So far, all he’s done is keep the bullpen bench warm.

      Your sarcasm is decidedly not appreciated.

      • Jeremy says:

        The Yankees must have followed that line of thought when they signed Marte for 3 years, $12 million. That is not lefty specialist money.

        Marte SHOULD be a high leverage 7th or 8th inning guy. The questions are why he’s struggling and why he’s not getting a chance to right himself.

    • jonathan c. says:

      He’s done well against righties in his career, so he’s more than just a situational lefty.

  12. Matt ACTY says:

    It could be worse. We could have Oliver Perez who just walked Jamie Moyer with the bases loaded.

  13. Yankee1010 says:

    Hey, just remember, things could be worse. We could have Oliver Perez. He has walked 4 guys in the 3rd, including walking in a run. Who was the guy that Perez walked to force in the run? Yep, 88 year-old pitcher, Jamie Moyer.

  14. Accent Shallow says:

    I know that true talent-wise, they’re not this bad, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating to watch.

  15. miketotheg says:

    At least we have last night’s game, that was just out of control!!

  16. Kevin M. says:

    I read somewhere a while back that Marte was either injured or had a tired arm from the WBC. It’s possible that Joe G. is merely trying to rest him until he’s better.

    It’s really the most logical explanation for not pitching him in even blowout games lately.

    • Trapped In El Duque's Glove says:

      That doesn’t make logical sense though – surely you would DL him if that was the case and bring up another reliever or a bench outfield player? He serves no purpose at all being rested on the active roster.

  17. Trapped In El Duque's Glove says:

    I’m trying hard to believe that Joe is putting the guys in when he believes their stuff is right for the situation – actually showing his faith in them (Veras) when they aren’t performing well.

    But I don’t understand the use of Marte though. 6 relievers have appeared in more games than he has, and all of those have pitched at least 2.2 innings more. In fact, if you take out the injured Bruney (who would have pitched more innings by now) it’s at least 4.1 innings more!

    He isn’t meant to be a situational lefty, and this lack of innings is surely not helping him. At his best he’s one of the premier LH relievers in the game – he’s not going to get back to that without pitching in games.

  18. “Amazingly, we’ve seen Joe Girardi manage his bullpen eerily similar to his predecessor Joe Torre: using the same two or three relievers day after day while the rest of the bullpen corps rot.”

    Mike, you’re better than this. Look at the IP for all the relievers.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/.....8;type=std

    6 guys between 8-12 IP, one of whom (Bruney) is on the DL or he would have certainly picked up a few and spread it out even more evenly. A Joe Torre bullpen would have 3 guys with 16 IP and the other 3 guys with 3-4 IP.

    Girardi spreads out the workload, and gets criticized for pulling pitchers too soon. Girardi uses and few guys who’ve been effective recently and all of a sudden he’s Joe Torre part 2.

    Maybe one of these days someone will put the blame where it belongs. On the guys, who when called on, didn’t do their jobs.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      You’re right, maybe that was too broad of a statement.

      • Don’t worry about it. We all do that from time to time.

        I’ve been just as frustrated as you and everyone else has been watching this bullpen, but there’s no 1-2 lock down, go-to guys who Joe is failing to call on. He’s mixing and matching, and nothing’s been working. Maybe when Bruney gets back next week, he will stabilize things.

      • Moshe Mandel says:

        I’ve gotta agree with Steve overall. Girardi has really done a nice job spreading the work around. If you look back at this week, Monday thru Thrusday, there were only 3 and 2/3 innings for relievers not named Rivera and the red hot Phil Coke, all in blowouts, so it wasnt a big deal that Marte didnt get in.

        That being said, the premise you started this post with is correct, in that it is quite surprising that Marte didnt appear in either of the last two games. I’ll bet they pitched Veras today to see if he can get his head on straight before they send him down, bc he is out of options and they dont want to risk losing him if he can help. But Marte should have pitched over Veras last night. I wonder if he is hurt.

  19. BigBlueAL says:

    Girardi sucks. He supposedly managed the bullpen great last season when he still blew a bunch of games and the bullpen’s great numbers last season were all basically due to Mo’s phenomenal season as well as Bruney although in far less innings.

    Although to be fair Im sorry but his bullpen is full of crap. Nobody ever criticized the way Torre managed his bullpen from 1996-2001 because he had very good relievers who had specific roles. Once his bullpen was filled with crap, he managed the bullpen poorly. If Girardi had Jeff Nelson to get out righties, Stanton and Grame Lloyd to get out lefties and Ramiro Mendoza as his long man/due everything guy he would look alot better than he does this season. Although he would probably find a way to mess that bullpen up too.

    • Moshe Mandel says:

      He got good numbers from Edwar, Veras, Bruney, Aceves, and Giese. The first three struggled under Torre. He also got some solid showings from Farnsy before he got traded. Quite frankly, you complain about every move, no matter what the merits, so it is hard to take your complaints seriously.

      • BigBlueAL says:

        I complain too much so it is hard to take my complaints seriously???? WOW.

        Unlike the real people here who do bitch and whine about everything and have no real clue since to them the season is over already, I am not going to retaliate by throwing insults and such. Plus I have barely been able to watch many games since opening week so I havent been commenting much recently at all and actually I am happy that the Yankees are somehow 13-11 right now.

        Im just tired with all the people here who whenever Girardi is criticized for his in-game managing gets jumped on and has to listen to Torre bashing. The fact that lately even Mike, Ben and Joseph have been critical of Girardi is proof to me that I am not wrong in my opinion of Girardi although I have been against him since last season from the get go so my criticism of him has been and will be alot stronger than most.

        Like Ive said many times almost everyone here couldnt wait to get rid of Torre, so my point is if you are going to be critical of a manager who won 4 WS then how in the world can we not be critical of someone who has never won anything yet. I hope the Yankees win it all this season and every season under Girardi but Ive been very disappointed with Girardi so far.

        I appreciate the time the guys at RAB take to run this site and do all their research and I know by your link on your name that you Mandel do the same and I give you alot of credit for that. But again I am not nowhere near as bad as alot of people hear so dont go treating me like them. ALOT of my comments are made with sarcasm and jest too. Im sorry if I “complain” too much, but again complaining doesnt mean I shouldnt be taken seriously or that I dont know what Im talking about.

        In the end like I mentioned, I hope Girardi wins as many, heck even more WS titles than Torre. But the honeymoon, if there even was one, for Girardi is over and presiding over a bullpen that is 29th in MLB in ERA and has 8 pitchers every game out there should open him up for alot of criticism. Never mind the fact that he has actually had Gardner bat leadoff this season a couple of times….

        • BigBlueAL says:

          Oh and also sorry to comment again but I have never wanted Joba to go back to the bullpen if he can handle starting which so far he has proven he obviously can and I have never ripped Arod like many Yankees fans/writers do so I am not that bad!!!!

          I just dont like Girardi as manager and I dont think there is anything wrong with me expressing that.

          • Moshe Mandel says:

            Your right. I lumped you in with some other people and I apologize for that, it was uncalled for. I just think the Girardi bashing based on the bullpen, when the evidence is just not there, is silly. The only thing he can really be blamed for is his underuse of Marte, who apparently is injured.

  20. [...] A over at RAB thinks Girardi’s been falling into Torre-like habits, but I don’t think that’s the case. While he’s right that Marte has been buried [...]

  21. daneptizl says:

    For realz.

  22. [...] that explains it. The Yanks have placed lefty reliever Damaso Marte on the DL with a bum shoulder, according to [...]

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