An SOS from the bullpen

Yankees lose. Yankees lose.
Guest Post: Prospects due for improvement or regression

Anyone reading this post of mine should first read Joe’s very thorough and level-headed recap of last night’s Yankee disaster. While I was busy cursing at the TV and calling for Joe Girardi‘s head, Joe managed to talk me down.

That is, until Joe Girardi dared to rationalize his decision to have Mariano Rivera. Kim Jones asked him if he considered using Rivera, and Girardi replied: “I was going to if the situation arose, but the situation did not arise.” Rivera, by the way, is still sitting in the Fenway bullpen, waiting for the situation to arise.

Later, Girardi said that he would have used Rivera for four outs but not five or six. To me, that makes no sense. Rivera would have thrown an extra seven or eight pitches to get outs five and six. Once he enters the game for a save longer than one inning, he has to warm up twice anyway. So the Yanks should maximize the outs they get for him. (Related: I dread the day Mariano Rivera isn’t around. It’s coming up on us rather quickly.)

Anyway, after the game, my sister and I were having it out on G-Chat, and apparently, she too could manage the Yanks. Victoria said:

I wanted Rivera to pitch 6 outs immediately when there were two on and no out. Obviously, Rivera…It was SO. OBVIOUS. It really disturbs me that i keep thinking of the obvious things to do that aren’t done. I’m a stupid little girl. No one’s even telling me. I’m thinking of them all by myself. I really should manage the team!!!! Or, like, someone’s senile grandmother.

Someone’s senile grandmother indeed.

Our half-jokes aside, this problem stretches back beyond Joe Girardi’s unwillingness to learn from his previous high leverage mistakes. When push came to shove tonight, when CC Sabathia was at 120 pitches, when the game was on the line, the Yankees had no one in the bullpen outside of Mo upon whom they could rely to get outs. Gone are the days of Graeme Lloyd, Jeff Nelson, Mike Stanton or even Steve Karsay and, yes, Tom Gordon. If the starters don’t go eight, the Yankees have to hold their collective breaths and pray for the best.

Last night, the game was Al Aceves‘ to lose. He was tossed into a no-win situation and walked away with, well, no win. Phil Coke helped out as well. Tonight against the Mets, it might be Jose Veras’ turn to inherit some less-than-optimal situation or maybe David Robertson and Brett Tomko get the call. I’m not inspiring too much confidence, right?

The Yankees of course don’t want to be in this position. The best laid plans had Brian Bruney and Damaso Marte splitting the eighth inning/set-up duties. Both have missed most of the last six weeks. While Bruney should be back next week, Marte is still a few weeks away, and we don’t know how effective he’ll be. Even just getting back one would be enough. With Bruney, last night’s game takes on a completely different tone when Sabathia leaves.

But outside of Bruney, the Yankees need bullpen help. Last month, Joe pondered the potential relief help. He examined Chad Qualls, Jose Valverde, Huston Street and Russ Springer. Today, Ken Rosenthal says those are exactly the names under consideration by the Yankee brass, and officials have already expressed interest in Huston Street.

It never makes sense to give up much for a reliever. They break down; they lose their ability to get outs; they are replaceable. But the Yankees’ relief corps need some relief right now. With the draft behind us and the trade deadline seven weeks away, the Yankees will kick the tires on a whole bunch of relievers. Who wins Yankee Bullpen Roulette is anyone’s guess, but it better be someone who can throw strikes and get outs. For better or, in my opinion, for worse, Rivera won’t be in for those six-out saves the Yankees need so desperately.

Yankees lose. Yankees lose.
Guest Post: Prospects due for improvement or regression
  • UWS

    *coughJobacoughspit*

    Come on, you KNOW it’s bound to come up.

    [NOTE: I’m not a B-Jobber]

    • the artist formerly known as (sic)

      Then why even say it? God.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      Ugh. I was just thinking how no one last night on TV or on the other blogs had mentioned that.

      • UWS

        My bad.

  • the artist formerly known as (sic)

    Street is probably the best option of those listed. I fear the cost, however.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      I’m an unabashed Qualls fan. Strikeouts and ground balls.

      • UWS

        But what would be the haul Yanks will have to give up for him?

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

          For a 30-year-old with one more year left until free agency? Probably more than they should, but not as much as Street.

  • JobaWockeeZ

    I pretty much agree with Ben on our bullpen situation. Hopefully we don’t have to give up anyhting if Bruney and Marte are effective. Then we still have Melancon and hopefully if they call him up he can get outs. But if it fails, Huston Street seems like a good option for the all mgihty 8th.

  • UWS

    Why is the two-headed monster of Veras and Tomko in the bullpen while Melancon is wasting time in AAA? Seriously, bring him up, he can’t be worse than Jose at this point!

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      Melancon’s been a bit shaky since returning to AAA. I’d give him another few weeks, but yeah, that move probably needs to come at the ASB at the latest.

  • Reggie C.

    I mentioned Huston Street last night, and though many here will disagree with me based on the cost in prospects we’d endure, I still say that Huston Street and his 1.08 whip would be a terrific upgrade to the ‘pen. I like Robertson and Melancon, but Joe G. has clearly shown that he trusts vets. Huston Street is a veteran.

  • GG

    Well the good news is Marte is only signed through 2011.

  • crawdaddy

    I don’t know how you assume that Rivera would’ve only thrown another seven or eight pitches to get those extra two outs. Let’s face it, Rivera is going to turn 40 years old this year. His days of throwing 35-40 pitches in one game are over with.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      Here’s how I assume it:

      1. Rivera gets those two extra outs without giving up a hit.
      2. Rivera pitches to his 3.92 pitches per plate appearances total.
      3. Seven or eight extra pitches is all that it takes.

      I realize that the first assumption may be rosy, but it’s not an out-there prediction.

      • MattG

        Or, Rivera just gets a double-play. I am betting that Rivera’s DP vs Opp ratio is off the charts.

    • JP

      Scroll down. (Answer is, PITCH HIM IN THE FACKING 8TH INNING ANYWAY. LET ACEVES “CLOSE” IT AGAINST THE WEAKER PART OF THE LINEUP. MY HEAD IS GOING TO EXPLODE!)

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Bingo.

        Have Mo face Drew-Youk-Bay-Lowell in the 8th. Have Aceves face Ortiz-Varitek-Baldelli-Green in the 9th.

        • matthagggs

          But if Mo does his job well in the 8th, Lowell is coming up in the 9th. And if Lowell bats in the 8th chances are the Sox got at least a run off Mo.

          If Mo does his job very well in the 8th (like getting a DP), both Bay and Lowell are coming up in the 9th.

          Aceves and the other dopes in the 9th doesn’t sound very good at all.

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

            If Mo gets a DP in the 8th he essentially limits his pitch count, thus making him available to pitch the ninth.

            • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

              Aceves and the other dopes in the 9th doesn’t sound very good at all.

              You know what doesnt sound very good?

              Boston 4, Yankees 3

            • matthagggs

              But you and others have said several times that Rivera pitching two innings is not what you wanted. And I agree, that’s not the right answer.

              Since the Rivera in the 8th, Aceves in the 9th would scenario would never happen, I don’t see the point in bringing it up.

              To me the goal (besides winning) is to limit the amount of outs Rivera has to get. Especially with a two run lead.

              Nick Green whacked a line drive off CC. That was all I needed to see. I bring in a righty to pitch to Pedroia (Aceves I guess), and Coke to pitch to Drew. Why Coke wasn’t ready for Drew after a hit and a walk is a mystery to me.

              Assuming there is still a lead to protect, I go to Mo for Youkilis.

              I’d be more comfortable if it was Bruney instead of Aceves and to a lesser extent Marte over Coke, but still those two guys should be able to get one out each and get it to Mo with a lead intact.

    • MattG

      His days of throwing 35-40 pitches in one game are over with

      Why is that, exactly? Because he’s done so poorly in that role recently? You’re making assumptions for which you have no evidence.

  • pat

    We’re about to acquire a flame throwing lockdown reliever in about a week or two. let’s wait until then to decide if we should grossly overpay for huston street.

    • Reggie C.

      A great 43 innings run merits a “lockdown reliever” compliment??

      • pat

        Umm unless you were watching a different Brian Bruney, yes he looked pretty lockdown this year and last. He’s clearly not the same pudgy bastard he used to be.

        • Mike Pop

          Heh, I’ve had people tell me Bruney sucks and he’s not as good as Joba.

          I respond with – I know, that is why he’s an 8th inning man and not a starter.

          Boo-ya!

  • Jon W.

    Whether they make a trade or not, it became abundantly clear last night that the Yanks have to do something. When you only have 1 reliever you trust to get the job done in a highly leveraged situation, something is wrong. I know he struggled in his first stint, but I’d like to start by replacing Veras with Melancon, and then see what happens when Bruney comes back. If that doesn’t work, then they’ll have to make a deal.

  • Axl

    If you have any consistently decent arms in the pen…maybe it’s a different story. Our bullpen isn’t exactly the 98′ team. Perhaps if it was…there would be a little more confidence where he wouldn’t have been as aprehensive about the 9th inning…maybe due to having more confidence in his other guys. You can tell he has literally zero confidence most of these bullpenners and the one or two he has MORE respect for than the rest? Isn’t saying much…

    He was like the boy who saves the best part of his food for last…but finds out that he’s full come time to eat it…

    • JP

      I don’t care how many great arms you have in the bullpen. Saving your best one for “none on, none out, 9th” is wasting your resources. The more good arms you have, the MORE sense it makes to use your best in the high leverage situation.

      Great bullpen: 7th inning, high leverage, you use your A+ guy. 8th inning, none on none out, you use your B+ guy. Ninth inning, you use your A- guy.

      Lousy bullpen: 7th/8th, high leverage, you use your B+ or A- guy, because you don’t have an A or A+, and you don’t want your C+ guy on the hook to face the best hitter in the league.

      WHAT IS SO FRIGGIN’ HARD ABOUT THIS?

  • gxpanos

    If the Yanks got Street and Bruney comes back strong, that’s Ace/Robertson for the seventh, Street/Bruney in the eight, and Mo.

    I’d never looked at Street’s whip; 1.07 career. Daaaaamn. But he’s probably a luxury that’s not worth it, especially with Bruney close.

    Then again, Bruney’s very, very injury prone. Maybe we should stop counting on him.

    What happened to the Yanks great BP from February and March, with all its options and interchangeable parts?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      You know what? I honestly thought Veras was part of that interchanging at that point, and I thought they’d give Melancon a longer look. That’s the difference, I guess.

    • radnom


      What happened to the Yanks great BP from February and March, with all its options and interchangeable parts?

      Injuries to the only two non-Rivera guys who were not classified as “interchangeable parts”.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        That, and the fact that the odds of all three bullpen variables of Veras, Edwar, and Albaladejo all shitting the bed at the same time were low, but happened anyway.

        If just one of the three had pitched well, we’d be much better off thus far.

  • JP

    Why does it have to be 6 outs for Mo?

    Why can’t he pitch them out of the jam in the 8th. He starts the 9th if his pitch count is low enough. If not, you put in Aceves, but at least it’s against the weaker part of the order, with nobody on base.

    The “closer” mentality is stupid. It’s plain stupid. People gnash their teeth over the “8th inning guy,” when the answer is to just use the facking 9th inning guy in the 8th, when you need him.

    I couldn’t sleep for 2 hours last night I was so mad.

    Managers are brain dead. They are idiotic lemmings.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      Joe and I were talking about the same thing last night. Get the important outs and have some other reliever face the 6 and 7 hitters with one out in the 9th and the Yanks ideally up by two.

      • JP

        Yes, but you and Joe have more than 9 functioning neurons in your frontal cortex. We, on the other hand, have Patrick Star’s brain making late game bullpen decisions.

        • http://www.freewebs.com/ps3tf2/ Double-J

          IETC.

          Strangely, I could picture Girardi hanging out in Bikini Bottom and fitting right in.

          • Mike Pop

            I could picture Girardi hanging with Rachel Starr.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              I googled it, and I agree.

              • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

                Bullshit you had to Google her, Tommie.

                • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

                  ietc JP :)

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  Sarah Palin (Tina Fey): Please, stop calling me a MILF.
                  Hillary Clinton (Amy Poehler): And, please, stop calling me a FLIRJ. I googled it, and I do not like it, no.

  • Andy

    The worst mistake, even worse than not bringing in Rivera (which was the typical short-sighted my closer can only pitch the ninth), was not properly evaluating your talent. Aceves is pitching well, but if he’s an eight inning guy I am too. His stuff is incredibly average, and most importantly, HE CAN’T STRIKE ANYONE OUT!! He has no out pitch, he’s not even a ground ball pitcher, and you bring him in with two on and no one out in a one run game??

    Robertson is the CLEARLY superior pitcher. He has WAY better stuff, a WAY better track record of success overall, and is piching better this year (almost a full run lower ERA). But more importantly, HE IS A STRIKEOUT MACHINE!!! He had a 12+ K per 9 in college, close to that in the minors and 13 Ks in 9.2 this year with the Yanks, after 36 in 30 innings last year. In that situation, you needed a guy who could pick up a K. All they have to do is move one guy over, and an out ties the game. How do you avoid moving a guy over? A STRIKEOUT! How do you avoid a sac fly, like the one Aceves got?? A STRIKEOUT!!! So even if you somehow missed the boat on the fact that Robertson should be coming in during a close game before Aceves, you should at least have the common sense when the bases are loaded with no one out to pull the guy WHO JUST GAVE UP TWO BASE HITS, and put in the only guy you have in the pen WHO CAN DIAL UP A K!!!!

    Yeah, the guy is young and “unproven.” But Aceves is proven?? Give me a break already!!! Evaluate your f-ing talent correctly!!! Aceves and Coke are MIDDLE RELIEVERS, always will be. Veras has no business on a big league roster right now. Robertson is your most talented guy in the pen not named Rivera. USE HIM!!!

    • JP

      The mistake is the whole notion that you need a “closer.” You should use your best reliever in the most critical situation.

      The conventional use of the “closer” is like attacking your enemy’s army using pea shooters, and then dropping an atom bomb on their red cross volunteers.

      Even Robertson would have been a mistake.

      People see one instance where a relief pitcher blows a game in the 9th inning, and they latch on to that as “proof” that you need a closer.

      If all managers used their ace in the highest leverage situations, however, you’d find out that ordinary relievers can close out games just fine. Yes, you’d lose a few when your “B” reliever failed in the ninth, but this would be offset by preventing MORE losses by having the ace put out the fire in the 7th or 8th inning.

      • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

        I wonder if that would show up (easily) statistically…there wouldnt be ‘rough game’ opportunities to blow a save because we’d already be losing if the ‘closer’ lost the game in the 7th.

        does that make sense?

        so if Mo gives up an Ortiz dinger in round 7 with 2 on, Veras never has the chance to blow it in the ninth, but every time Veras gives up the same to Pedroia (patooey!), Mo doesnt take off his jacket, so no comparable stat.

        Any pitcher can lose it at any time, so why not use the best available pitcher when you need him the most? If Mo only had 40 pitches last night, throw him 40 pitches and see how many outs he gets. If its over two innings, knock off 8 pitches and let him get what he can with 32 pitches, and then bring in your best available pitcher for his limit. Repeat until NICK SWISHER pitches or the game is over.

    • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

      At this point, Aceves is better than Robertson. That’s not the spot to be testing Robertson when Aceves has been excellent thus far. Also, Aceves this season 24 innings, 24 K’s. So he is plenty likely to get a K.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      By every empirical and anecdotal analysis, Al Aceves has been one of the top 10 relief pitchers in all of baseball thus far. He strikes out about a guy an inning, doesn’t give up walks, doesn’t give up homers, and has a low hit rate.

      I like David Robertson too, but I have no problem at all with Girardi picking Aceves over Robertson there.

      I do quibble with Aceves over Mo, but that’s a separate issue.

  • dc1874

    Game on line..bring Mo in…get out of the 8th…bottom of order coming up in 9th…start fresh inning ..take chance with coke..veras etc…change the rule to make it 2 innings for a pitcher to earn a save…you can bet Mo is in there 8th inning!!!

  • MattG

    Obviously, Rivera…It was SO. OBVIOUS.

    My idea of a NFL-like bullpen coordinator is only a few minutes old, but the more you agree with this statement above, the more I like the idea. How can all baseball managers miss something so obvious? Maybe they really do need to delegate this authority. Girardi’s job really isn’t on the line for mis-managing the bullpen in any one game, especially when he has a cliche to offer up in the post-game, but maybe having a bullpen coordinator, who easily could be fired, would make these decisions a little less, erm, traditional.

    As for getting a reliever, unless you can trade for Mo, that’s a ridiculous spot for any short-reliever. Would Street/Qualls have done better? In a large sample size, they probably boost the winning percentage for that game 5-10%. I don’t think it’s significant.

    Too bad we can’t get a guy like Rivera to use there…oh, wait…

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Excellent point. We could have traded for Huston Street AND Chad Qualls right before the game, and I’d still want Mo in there in the 8th facing the heart of the order. Even if we improve the Bridge to Mowhere, we still need to stop this notion that Mo must be the last pitcher in the game. Mo should be used wherever he’s needed most.

      • matthagggs

        If they had both those guys, or anybody you could reasonably trust, they could have used that guy to start the 8th instead of CC, and then used Mo for 3,4,5 in the 9th, or 4,5,6 if someone got on, etc.

        Maybe Girardi lets CC start the 8th anyway. But if he has another trustworthy arm out there, he pulls CC after the Nick Green hit. You hope the guy he puts in can deal with Pedroia and Drew, and you save Mo for Youkilis Bay and Lowell, regardless of what inning they bat during.

  • Yanks99

    Why don’t they get bloggers to manage the team? That way there would never be a mistake made.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      That’s an utterly ridiculous comment. All we’re asking is for Girardi to learn from his past mistakes. How many times do we have to watch him use a bad reliever who blows the game while Rivera sits around for a “save situation” that never comes?

      The “save” was in the 8th last night, and the wrong relievers were pitching.

    • JP

      If you don’t like debate and criticism, don’t visit blogs.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      OAKTAG

  • YankeeScribe

    Having to go to the pen so early in the first 2 games of the series really left Girardi out of most of his options last night.

    His only option was Rivera. In hindsight, sending Mo to get 6 outs seems like the most logical decision but I can certainly understand the idea of leaving CC in to start the 8th since he’s thrown heat and nasty stuff while over 100 pitches in the past. He’s not a pitch count type of guy but he clearly was tired by the 8th.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      No, not really.

      He went to the pen early in the first game. He went to Hughes, the 6th starter, in the second game. That’s not really the same thing.

      The issue isn’t the overuse of the bullpen, per se, it’s that the bullpen is really only a 6 man pen and not a 7 man pen, because we’re carrying two starters for one slot in the rotation thanks to the Wang-Hughes two headed monster.

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

    I think the Yankees need to get Mike Gonzalez. He’s a set-up/closer-type pitcher, and he would be great against lefties. A nice back-up option would be Dan Meyer of FLA.

  • http://www.supertangas.com The man with 33 fingers

    It was all Dustins fault….seriously were was Phil Hughes? He didn’t pitch much the night before.

    • MattG

      Where was Austin Wood?

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      It was all Fenny from Argentina’s fault.

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

    Also, ponder this: in extra-inning games, Mo pitches two innings. So why couldn’t he pitch two yesterday?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      If Rivera was able to throw 2 innings in this game last month, he should have been able to throw two in arguably a more important game last night after having two games in a row off. The evidence really stacks up against Girardi’s decision both at the time and in hindsight.

      • JP

        He pitched him 3 straight games last series, and he sat for the first 2 games of this series. So is it that much more dangerous for him to throw to 4-5 batters than it is for him to pitch three days in a row?

        Anyway you slice it, the decision still comes up rotten.

    • dc1874

      Called overmanaging by Girardi….

  • Taylor

    I never thought I’d say this, but what about Pedro for a bullpen spot? Apparently the Cubs and Rays are looking at him.

    To whomever said Aceves doesn’t strike out enough batters, His K/9 is 8.8 and K/BB ratio is 4.0 out of the pen. He let up two singles, neither of which was all that well hit, and then got a short fly ball from Lowell that was just hit to two guys who can’t throw the ball.

    I wouldn’t advise making a bullpen deal right now, especially after this series. They should start giving Robertson more high leverage looks, continue giving Aceves high leverage looks, and hope Bruney comes back healthy before attempting to get raked over the coals by GM’s in a seller’s market.

    • JP

      Pedro Martinez as a relief pitcher is a very enticing option. He’s a squirrely guy, psychologically, and there is no guarantee that he would remain injury-free in a relief role.

      But yes, the idea of someone with superior stuff just revving himself up for 3-4 batters is enticing. If Pedro were willing to try it, I say it’d be worth the gamble.

      It would be odd seeing him in pinstripes.

    • Ace

      I agree. It’s a great idea. We can afford him and it’s worth a shot if he is willing to accept the role.

    • http://www.freewebs.com/ps3tf2/ Double-J

      I totally agree. I’d love to trot Pedro out there, even if it’s just for the lolz.

      • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

        against the sox :)

  • The one who signs his name -Scott a.k.a. BINNER

    The problem I have is leaving CC in for that extra batter. It puts extra pressure on Aceves, and he isn’t familiar with pitching the 8th as it is. I have no problem with who he brought in, it’s WHEN he brought them in.
    There is also the fact that Mo doesn’t do his best work vs the Sox. I always said Donnie Baseball would have been the better choice.

    -BINNER

    • dc1874

      Joe Girardi sounded sooooo smart as a tv announcer/analyst…too bad he cant apply that to the field…

  • JP

    It is amazing to me that managers will use 2, 3, sometimes 4 pitchers to get through a tough situation in the 7th or 8th inning, and then rely on a closer for the 9th.

    If you use the vastly superior closer and he prevents or at least limits the damage in the critical inning, you can still run through the rest of your bullpen in the rest of the game. When the pressure is off.

    I’m just repeating myself.

    1998 World Series, one of the only critical points of that WS, when one of the games was on the line, Torre brought in Rivera to pitch to Caminiti. I can still hear McCarver say “Caminiti is a fastball hitter. Joe wants him to hit his best fastball.”

    It’s ok for the WS, I guess.

  • stuart

    the bullpen solutions outside the organization will be to expesnive. bruney,marte, melancon, a more effective robertson, aceves, coke, etc that is the correct solution.

    they have enough good arms to figure thos out..no need to overpay for marginally better options who may crumble in the pressure… qualls is nothing special.

    street is a legit player but they will want to much.

    give melancon another chance, get bruney healthy, have the starters do better they will be fine….no trades…….this guys need to improve, develop, and get it done…….

  • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

    I’m all for Street–depending on the price. Reggie and I discussed this last night; I’d be hesitant to give up Z-Mac for street but I probably wouldn’t be devastated if they did.

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

      No way I give up Z-Mac. He’s found a way to strike out more guys this year (~7.5), and I think that he can end up as a #2/#3. Future #2/#3 > present reliever.

      • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

        Yeah, that was my reasoning. I’d gladly give up someone of the Kontos ilk, though.

        • Mike Pop

          Kontos and the Duncans ;)

          • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

            Sounds like a boy band!

            I’d listen.

      • Reggie C.

        Are you envisioning Z-Mac as Wang’s eventual replacement? That’s the ONLY reason i’d hold onto Z-Mac if trading him can land Street.

        Street’s potential value to this team in ’09 > Z-mac’s current pwning of AA hitters. And then there’s no reason we couldn’t hold onto Street beyond ’09.

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

          Pretty much.

  • MattG

    I notice something. A player’s name, absent from the conversation. Have we turned a corner? How refreshing!

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      SHUTUP, DUDE, YOU’LL BRING THEM OUT OF THE WOODWORK!!!!

      • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

        …too late…

        WANG TO TEH 8TH!!!1!!

  • Matty Ice

    It’s too bad Wang crapped the bad two nights ago, and we had to use Hughes…..I sure would’ve like to see him come into the 8th instead of Aceves.

  • Andy

    Hate to harp, but let me illistrate my point on Robertson:

    2008 in AAA:

    Robertson – 35 innings, 51 (51!!) K, 2.06 ERA
    Aceves – 43.2 innings, 42 K, 4.12 ERA
    Coke – 17 innings, 22 K, 4.67 ERA

    2009 in AAA:

    Robertson – 14.2 innings, 25 K (almost 2 per inning!), 1.84 ERA
    Aceves – 23.2 innings, 18 K, 3.80 ERA

    2009 for the Yankees:

    Robertson – 9.2 innings, 13 K, 1.86 ERA
    Aceves – 24.2 innings, 24 K, 2.55 ERA
    Coke – 24.2 innings, 16 K (ugh!), 4.01 ERA

    Total innings of Major League experience:

    Robertson – 40 innings
    Coke – 39 innings
    Aceves – 54 innings

    In other words, Robertson has been SIGNIFICANTLY better than Aceves and Coke at AAA for the past two years, significantly better in the Majors this year, and the difference in Major League experience between them is negligible. Even taking into account Aceves and Coke’s freakish September ’08 success (where they were significantly better in the Majors than in AAA) and Robertson’s couple of bad outings in the summer of ’08 as a 23 year old rookie, Robertson has still clearly out performed the other two. WHY ARE THEY AHEAD OF HIM ON THE DEPTH CHART??? Someone, tell me why, I just don’t understand!

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

      I get the feeling that Girardi, similarly to Torre, has a distrust for unproven, young players.

    • MattG

      Patience, grasshopper.

    • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

      Because everytime Robertson comes in to a big spot, he loses the strike zone. I agree that he needs more opportunities, but last night was certainly not the right time.

      • Bill

        Bingo! Its amazng that people actually think Robertson should’ve been used in that situation instead of Aceves. Aceves has been our second best reliever and has generally done a good job of coming in and limiting damage. Robertson has great stuff, but limited command. With the top of the Red Sox lineup coming up all of whom know how to take a pitch that would’ve been a horrible idea.

    • JP

      …and Rivera is significantly better than Robertson, by any measure.

      The thing that kills the mediocre relief pitchers is typically walks. Mo walks nobody. They put the ball in play, typically weakly, on the ground, or they strike out.

      There is nobody even as close to as good as Mo on the Yankees to have pitched to Boston’s top 3 or 2-4 hitters.

    • Abe

      Everyone agrees that Rivera is better than Robertson, that is not his point. He is saying that Robertson deserves more resopect based on his performance, and for some reason he is not getting it. Aceves, is having a pretty solid year, but i agree completely that Robertson is the better pitcher for that spot, if you aren’t going with Rivera of course. I love Robertson, I think he is a stud.

      • JP

        Fair enough. But I thought his original point was that Robertson should have been used in the 8th, and that that was the “bigger mistake” than not using Mo.

        • Abe

          Agreed

        • Andy

          I do agree Rivera was the best option, just got a little into hyperbole to make my point, which was that if you’re going to do the managers-101 move of using you closer only in the 9th, the man for that situation was Robertson…

  • Ace

    If Phil Hughes is only go to pitch a few innings here and there, why can’t he be our steady 8th inning guy? (Assuming of course Wang stays in the rotation)

    • MattG

      Because in that role, he would pitch 40 innings this year tops, and lose a significant amount of development time.

      • Mike Pop

        +5!

      • Ace

        He’s not starting though. If he’s not going to get his innings he should be helping the team in the pen.

        • Ace

          Also, where are you getting 40 innings? Joel Zumaya missed a significant amount of time and is already at 20 innings for the Tigers in the setup roll.

          • Mike Pop

            Well, obviously he was exaggerating but it is still a stupid idea. I believe Hughes needs 150-170 innings this year so he has no innings limit next year. So he could be the 5th starter for the MLB team, which is more vital to the success of the Yankees for the future rather than just 09. I think Wang is going to head to the pen if he doesn’t do anything in his next start and Hughes will be in the rotation.

            Has their been any talk through the MSM how Hughes can only make it as a reliever, yet?

            • Ace

              Listen, I agree with you – but he IS NOT starting. All I’m asking is, if he is going to stay with the club and continue to not start, why can’t he be our setup man?

              • Mike Pop

                Well, I think this is only temporary until one of two things happen:

                1. Wang shows he can be a starter, this is why Hughes is in the pen in my opinion cause if Wang goes limp after the 3rd inning or just can’t put it together than their roles would be reversed.

                2. Bruney/Marte come back and Hughes goes down to AAA and spot starts here and there.

                I think the most important thing for Hughes is to reach his innings, that involves starting because he is a starting pitcher.

                That is why he is not the Yankees set-up man.

              • Bill

                Well you want him stretched out right now because he may rejoin the rotation soon depending on Wang’s next start.

                Also the whole bullpen thing with him is temporary. He needs innings because he will be in our rotation next year. He also needs to stay stretched out because if Wang turns it around he is still our #6 starter and will be called upon in the event of an injury.

                My guess is he’ll only stay in the bullpen until either A) We feel good about Wang in the rotation or B) Wang loses his spot and he re-enters the rotation. If A) Hughes probably goes back to AAA to get some innings. If not we’ll probably want to use him for multiple inning stints to maximize his innings out of the bullpen.

                Also Bruney is back next week and will be the 8th inning man after he returns.

          • MattG

            I meant 40 more innings, over 3 2/3 months. That’s about average.

  • Mike Pop

    I said the same thing to my friend last night while watching, where the f is Mo right now. So silly, I don’t get how managers don’t realize this, seriously. It is the most obvious move in baseball, and it’s just hard to take in. I like Aceves as much as anyone, but with 2 on and no outs, you either stick with CC or go with Mo. I feel like Joe G chose the worst option between the 3.

    I like Girardi, and his bullpen management last year was great but this seems to happen an awful lot with him this year.
    Overall though, of course I’m dissapointed that the Yankees have not won a game against the Sox this season but I’m not taking it as hard as some people. The Yankees are 2 games back and have been playing great baseball of late. AJ and Wanger didn’t give the Yankees a chance to win, and last night was what it was.

    In my opinion, Yanks should be 3-5 against them instead of 0-8, but whatever. I’m not worried.

    In the words of tommie:

    Confidence level – 10.

    • Reggie C.

      you’re at a minus 10??? wow. i’m only at a minus 5.

      • Mike Pop

        WIthout Joba in the 8th, he gives the team nothing.

        Yanks can’t win without him there.

        WHO’S GONNA REPLACE MO WHEN HE’S GONE!?!?!?!?!?

        • JP

          Nobody. The closest thing to “Mo’s replacement” in terms of equal value pitches in Boston now. And let’s see if he lasts 14 years at hall of fame level.

          They will be ok without Mo.

          We have to get used to the idea that it’s not a given that we will have a lockdown, hall of fame caliber relief ace on the team at all times.

          • Abe

            preposturous! life will suck – i’m convinced the world will end

    • pat

      pops where you been brosef?

      • Mike Pop

        Went away for a week with some friends so I only checked RAB a few times a day, plus the Yanks started winning when I wasn’t on game threads.

        I decided to stay away.

        But I have to say this, without checking RAB 10 or more times everyday like I’m used to, I feel like my baseball intelligence has went down a notch.

        • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

          I feel like my baseball intelligence has went down a notch.

          That’s because you haven’t had the pleasure of reading the genius that flows from my mind, to my fingers, to the keyboard, and to RAB.

          • Mike Pop

            This could be true, Mateo.

        • pat

          Away? Friends?

          These things you speak of…. do not compute.

          • Mike Pop

            I’m not a machine. I’m Albert.

  • dc1874

    Gossage.. rolling his eyes..shaking head after last nights game…

  • ChrisS

    All relievers are volatile until they suck on the Yankees, at that point they’ll never have good innings again and they must be jettisoned for the latest flavor of the season.

    I can see an argument for Veras, Albaledejo is gone, Edwar is gone.

    The point is that relievers go through these stages, panicking and overpaying for a reliever from another team who either isn’t having a down season or isn’t that much better than a replacement reliever (Melancon, Kontos, etc.).

    Meh, it’s the bullpen. Shit happens.

    Nobody’s going to be lauding Girardi and Eiland when the bullpen goes on a hot streak (no, that was last month and the starters got the credit).

  • josh

    i am obviously feeling a bit emotional about the loss(es) but i dont think i would be upset if girardi and eiland were fired. there are a handful of games this year that have been lost by the coaching staff without a doubt. i was definately happy giradi got the job over mattingly and happy the torre era ( as awesome as it was) ended when it did. but one thing torre seemed to do was manage games with the idea that he was seeing what guys could perform in certain roles. i know rivera was younger and multiple inning saves helped torre tremendously but i remember watching many games thinking, “why is this guy pitching the 7th or 8th when the yanks need to win this game?” in june. he was doing it to see what certain guys were capable. almost like tryouts for later in the year. girardi has a shitty bullpen but what does he want to do pitch everybody 8 innings until november. wasnt a big worry about sabathia the tremendous workload? every fucking game girardi leaves him in just long enough to fail, and if he tires out later in the year – or loses a lot in a few years – he will have been set up for that failure too. we have this guy for like 7 or 8 years, why does he have to pitch 115+ pitches every game all year?

  • jsbrendog

    benjamin kabak quoted in amny? bigtime.

  • NJY

    Heath Bell?

    • Mike Pop

      Jimmy Key?

      • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

        What’s he? Like 45? I could hit him!

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Ron Burgundy?

  • Raf

    I have no problem making a move to help the pen but would hope they wait for Bruney and Marte to get back before making a desperation move

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      Ditto.

      • NJY

        marte is awful

        • Mike Pop

          Facepalm.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          http://riveraveblues.com/2009/06/fan-confidence-poll-june-8th-2009-12861/#comment-419755

          Damaso Marte, pre-NYY, career:
          2002 – 2.83 ERA in 60.1 IP, 159 ERA+, 1.028 WHIP
          2003 – 1.58 ERA in 79.2 IP, 292 ERA+, 1.054 WHIP
          2004 – 3.42 ERA in 73.2 IP, 138 ERA+, 1.222 WHIP
          2005 – 3.77 ERA in 45.1 IP, 119 ERA+, 1.721 WHIP
          2006 – 3.70 ERA in 58.1 IP, 120 ERA+, 1.406 WHIP
          2007 – 2.38 ERA in 45.1 IP, 183 ERA+, 1.103 WHIP
          2008 – 3.47 ERA in 46.2 IP, 119 ERA+, 1.157 WHIP

          Damaso Marte, NYY, career:
          2008 – 5.40 ERA in 18.1 IP, 82 ERA+, 1.309 WHIP
          2009 – 15.19 ERA in 5.1 IP, 30 ERA+, 2.250 WHIP

          Now, which dataset looks like the outlier and which looks like the norm, the first 409.1 innings of quality relief work with ERA’s in the 2’s and 3’s and WHIP’s around a single baserunner an inning, or the last 23.2 innings here where he went through an adjustment period, had one bad game where he got shelled that skewed his small sample size results, and has been pitching injured for the last 22% of that small sample size?

  • ChrisS

    So, I’ve seen posts and a ton of comments about the Yankees going out and trading for bullpen help.

    Who are the Yankees giving up?

    • Mike Pop

      Z-Mac, Kontos, and maybe even Jairo Heredia or Brandon Laird could be useful trade bait.

      I’m not a big fan of giving up Z but who knows what the Yankees are fans of doing.

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

        I made my point on Z-Mac above, but Heredia and Laird are close to worthless at this point seeing as the former hasn’t t yet pitched for Tampa, and the latter is playing poorly.

        • Mike Pop

          Damn. I didn’t know that Heredia hasn’t pitched yet. I thought maybe a team would gamble on the upside of a young pitcher like him.

        • Bill

          Yea unfortunately after Z-Mac we don’t have much to deal. As much as I’d like to dream up a scenario where Kontos+ is enough for someone like Street, its really not even close.

          Our best bet is to wait for teams to get desperate to shed some salary and take a mediocre package for a good reliever. Street is far from a salary dump, so I’m skeptical that we’d be able to pull that off. Although he’d be perfect for our team right now.

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

            It’s unfortunate but true. Z-Mac’s GB tendencies would make him a good fit in COL, too. That said, it’s tough to justify trading him for a reliever who will soon be a FA.

  • E-ROC

    What made Girardi great last year was that he would use any reliever in any situation. He seem to be doing that this year for some odd reason. Hopefully, that changes soon.

    I think those relievers will cost the moon, except for maybe Jose Valverde. I like Tony Pena and Huston Street but Colorado is winning right now.

    • NJY

      Not a street fan, gimme Bell or Qualls

      • E-ROC

        The Padres aren’t going to trade Heath Bell.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Street’s 5 years younger than both of them, with better stuff, better results, better peripherals.

        The only reason to pick either Qualls or Bell over Street would be price concerns.

  • ChrisS

    I hear Larry Anderson might be available.

  • rmel

    Fact of the matter is that Joe does not like Robertson, which is a shame…He has been a strikeout machine every step of the way….maybe this weekend Joe lets him in a game…because he will be sent down when Bruney comes back on tuesday…..Berroa and Veras will still be on the team

    • kunaldo

      did anyone else find it comical that veras was warming up when aceves(or was it coke?) was in trouble? i mean, really? HE’S going to clean up the mess?

      i know girardi is doing what every other manager does…but i dont care, the hope was that he wouldnt…and it’s annoying

  • Jeff

    Bill is right; after Z-Mac there isn’t much to deal. What a disaster this year has been in the minors! All the pitching depth is gone through injuries or poor performances.

    I wouldn’t give up a lot for another NL reliever. We have tried that a number of times and it has always been a disaster – from Jay Witasik on…Just look at what LaTroy Hawkins is doing for Houston (2.70 ERA, 8 saves) and he was absolutely brutal on the Yankees.

    One guy that I might try would be Dotel of the White Sox. He is making $6m so I think that they would give him away very cheaply if his salary is picked up and he would not have to change leagues.

    But the best bet is probably Mark Melancon, although he has not been lights out since they sent him back down. They should really call him back up soon and see what they have.

  • Bo

    And now they finally come around to the fact that this team needs bullpen help and the tryouts thing doesn’t work.

    Who knows who the teams covet in the Yankees system. But hearing we shouldn’t give up player a for a guy like street is naive. We have no idea how much the yankees value their own guys.

  • JP

    Salt-in-the-wound department:

    Cano: 1 for 4, strands 3 runners in scoring position with 2 outs.
    Nick Green: 1 for 3, scores tying run.

  • Double T

    Wow it took me most of the morning to go through these posts and there are so many good points brought up as to how that situation could be handled. If Marte/Bruney can bring back some of the solidity that we had earlier in the year we are going to be a scary baseball team for the second half and through the playoffs.

  • Robert Richards

    Girardi’s situation is ridiculous. He constantly is going against the books and every single time he is getting burned. If you choose to bring Mariano in the game in the 8th innings with 2 outs he better get the job done. He trying to be a hero by using unorthadox moves, and its not working.