The interchangeable bullpen

The Pettitte problem
2009 Futures Game Thread

One point we harped on for much of the spring and then through April is that the Yankees had and still have a decently flexible bullpen. When the likes of Edwar, Albaladejo, and to an extent Jose Veras dropped the ball, the Yanks had options to pick them back up. That worked out smashingly as the team worked through May and June. Recently, though, they’ve run into another wall.

Part of the solution could be getting Aceves back into the pen, depending on how the team decides to use Chien-Ming Wang‘s rotation spot. There are other spots that might need a replacement as well. The Yankees continue to hold Brett Tomko, who is decent in mop-up duty and little else. We’ve also seen David Robertson‘s flaws exposed. He’s had some good stretches for the team, but his recent penchant for allowing inherited runners won’t help his case to stay in the majors.

To whom could the Yankees turn in the second half to take these spots? Here are just a few names.

Mark Melancon: Yes, he’s up with the team already, but he’s technically in Wang’s spot. The Yanks could opt to keep the more promising Melancon over Robertson or Tomko. Chances are, though, that he’ll have to provide a few good innings before the Yanks decide to keep him.

Jon Alabaladejo: After starting the season in the bigs, Albaladejo faltered a bit and the Yanks optioned him to AAA. He flourished there, pitching to an ERA under 2. He did pitch well in his brief stint back, but the Yankees had to option him to get another relief arm up.

Sergio Mitre: Whether as a starter or reliever, chances are Mitre will see the Bronx this year.

Ivan Nova: After years of scouts raving about his potential, he appears to be putting it together. It’s been just a few starts in AAA, so they’ll let him incubate a bit longer. Still, the Yanks could bring him up for starting or relief duty in August.

Zach Kroenke: A 1.17 ERA at AAA will get you noticed. Throwing with your left arm will probably get you a call-up at some point. Then again, the Marlins did return him after selecting him in the Rule 5 draft.

Anthony Claggett: Unfortunately, we all remember the Claggett experiment. He’s pitched well at AAA, but the walks are a bit high for a bullpen arm.

Mike Dunn: 76 strikeouts in 53.1 AA innings. He’s on the 40-man, making things easier. But his walks are way, way too high to bring him up right now.

Wilkin De La Rosa: Another guy on the 40-man. He’s pitched well in 10 AA starts this year, but again the walks are just a bit too high.

Kanekoa Texeira: Has recovered well after a rough start, but again walks too many guys.

Those are the most likely guys for promotion. It’s not a totally promising group of guys, but there could be a few winners in there. Just for fun, I listed them in rank — as in, who has the best chance of making the bullpen. We can keep this one open for thought while we wait for the game to start.

The Pettitte problem
2009 Futures Game Thread
  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

    Aceves in bullpen >> Bullpen problems solved. Coke/Hughes/Robertson/Tomko/whomever I’m forgetting used as short relief and thus not over extended.

  • Accent Shallow

    No mention of Edwar? Not only has he been pitching well in Scranton, but he apparently wasn’t prepared for the start of the year: http://community.thetimes-tribune.com/blogs/yankees/archive/2009/07/06/july-6-postgame-notes.aspx

    I’d certainly rather see him than Claggett, Kroenke, or WDLR.

    • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

      He got killed in Scranton the other day.

      • pat

        Damn, The Office doesn’t make it seem like Scranton is a dangerous place.

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

          well played

    • Charlie

      Edwar and his 87 mph batting practice fastball should probably stay in AAA for now.

  • Zach

    Kroenke has a 4.5 BB/9 in AAA this year, and 4.0 BB/9 for his minor league career.

    dont want to see that in the majors, regardless of what his ERA is in AAA. We already have that with DRob, and Kroenke has like 1/2 the K9 numbers

  • http://pinstripealley.com Edwantsacracker

    I actually don’t remember the Claggett experiment.

  • http://yankeesmtom.blogspot.com Steve S

    His name is “Wilkin” and it’s “Ivan” not “Ian.”

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

      Ian just sounds so much cooler, doesn’t it?

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

      Actually, come to think of it, Ivan Nova sounds like Ivanovna, daughter of Ivan.

      • Riddering

        Or Ivanova from Bab 5.

        /geekery

  • Slu

    Melancon needs to show me something before I consider him part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

  • JeffG

    What is Ian Nova’s stuff like?

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

      IIRC above-average/plues low-90s sinker, potentially plus changeup, average curveball

      • JeffG

        Thanks – He, Sergio, or dare I say Igawa should probably be starting after the all star break.
        I wouldn’t be opposed to moving Phil into the rotation but we’d have to sign a legitimate reliever like Street or Qualls unfortunately it seems unlikely they move.
        It’s really a shame that Kennedy went down.

  • Brian Cashman’s brother

    My brother and Girardi have no idea what they are doing. Eliminating Aceves from the Angels series was ridiculous. Sending Albaladejo down instead of Robertson was ridiculous. Signing Igawa instead of Lilly was ridiculous. Thank God the Pirates are dumber and refused Coke.

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

      How funny would it be if you actually were Brian Cashman’s brother…

    • pat

      Third best record in baseball.

  • neil

    -I wanna see Tomko gone.
    -Also D-Rob needs to be in AAA for a bit more seasoning.
    -Its time they gave Melancon a real shot to stay in the bigs.
    -Mitre needs to be called up or the long-man role.
    -Call up Kronke as a LOGGY or if they dont wanna do that then recall Albaladejo or Edwar and give then a 2nd shot.
    -Aceves has pitched well enough in the bullpen to earn a few starts so keep him in the rotation for now.
    -Keep Hughes as the 8th inning man for the next 2-3 weeks while giving Bruney and Melancon a chance to take over teh 8th innign role. If neither one of then takes over the role then package Robertson with a prospect or two to aquire a suitable 8th inning reliever.
    -When Hughes goes to the rotation, Aceves goes back to the pen.

    Bullpen in July:
    CP Rivera
    SU Hughes
    SU Coke
    MRP Bruney
    MRP Melancon
    MRP Kronke/Albaladejo/Edwar
    LRP Mitre

    Bullpen in Augest:
    CP Rivera
    SU Bruney/Melancon/(SU MAN THRU TRADE)
    SU Coke
    MRP Melancon/Bruney
    MRP Marte/Kronke/Albaladejo/Edwar
    MRP Aceves
    LRP Mitre

    -I dont wanna see Hughes in the bullpen on Augest 1st.
    -I also dont wanna see Joba in the bullpen as he is approching his innings limit. He needs to be in the rotation and then needs to be sent down when he was reached his limit.

    WILDCARD: Pettite to the bullpen.
    If Andy cannot seem to handle the workload, then he could be sent to the bullpen for middle/ set up relief, with a rotation of CC, AJ, and 3 of Joba, Wang, Hughes, Mitre, Nova, McAllistor, Aceves

    • Slu

      Because 8th inning setup are out there for anyone to get.

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

      spelling is your friend ;)

    • Zach

      “-I also dont wanna see Joba in the bullpen as he is approching his innings limit. He needs to be in the rotation and then needs to be sent down when he was reached his limit. ”

      so you’d rather have absolutely no Joba in Sept-Oct than a little Joba?

  • Brian Cashman’s brother

    Please stop with this third best record in baseball crap. The Yankees always do things wrong except obvious moves like signing Teixeria, Sabbathia, and Burnett. Can you name another GM who would not make those moves? Lilly would have been a great move- not made. Nick Green over Cody Ransom would have been a good move. Starting Mitre and keeping Aceves for a series with an actual wild card contender would have been a good move. Not playing Cody Ransom against the Angels two days before the team will get 4 days off would have been a good move. Did Jeter need to DH with all these days off coming up? Sitting Matsui for two days when he is red hot. Not a good move.

    • pat

      Learn to use the respond button and people will take you more seriously.

      Third best record in baseball. Cody Ransom is the reason we have given up 24 runs the past 2 games. Get real.

      • Brian Cashman’s brother

        Cody Ransom should not be playing. Not when you have better players like Pena. 170 and bad defense is not good.

      • Brian Cashman’s brother

        Maybe if they had Aceves and Albaladejo for this series they would not have given up 24 runs. Why after the Twins game when they threw the same amount of pitches would you keep the guy who walked the ballpark(as well as he did his previous game with the Jays) over the guy who came in and saved him. It is because Cashman does not know baseball. Ransom taking a 88 mph fastball down the middle after they intentionally walk Melky did not help. He has no confidence.

    • Zach

      “Nick Green over Cody Ransom would have been a good move”

      wow thats the biggest second guessing of all time. batted .233 in AAA for Yankees last year dude, and he sucks at SS

      • Brian Cashman’s brother

        No it is not second guessing. I said it at the time. Green has some ability. He hit a big homer against the Mets. Obviously Theo Epstein saw something in him. Now Epstein is reaping the rewards. Ransom sucks at Shortstop, 3B, and everywhere else.

        • Brian Cashman’s brother

          I am not killing Cashman on obvious moves that did not work out like Vazquez, Johnson, Pavano, etc… He cannot make the little moves that win. Lilly was the guy we needed. Instead Igawa? He needs to be a better talent evaluator than that.

        • Zach

          what the hell did nick green ever show? give me a freakin break.

          eric hinske, aaron small, shawn chacon, getting alby for tyler clipper, Nick Swisher for nothing, Abreu/Lidle for nothing, getting prospects for a 45year old Johnson with a bad back then later spinning those prospects for Nady/Damaso.

          Theo Epstein let Eric Hinske slip away- what a horrible GM he is

    • Riddering

      So Exhibit #1, being the Yankees season record, is not allowed in the argument because it doesn’t line up with your belief that the Yanks do everything wrong?

      That’s a great way to persuade people to your line of thinking.

      Whether or not every other GM would have signed those three free agents if monetarily possible, Cashman was the one who did. Not one of those three players was a shoo-in to join the Yanks in the post-season but they are here now.

      You claim that you were for Nick Green from the beginning. Okay. Were you also arguing for Aceves to stay in the bullpen? And, regardless of who the substitute was, not to rest Jeter? Who, btw, is only getting one day off before playing as the starting shortstop for the ASG. Why not give the man a day off so he can help the Yankees win home field advantage in the WS this year?

      Hindsight is great. Too bad managers and GMs don’t have the ability of reading the future.

  • Brian Cashman’s brother

    Ramiro Pena learning to play the outfield in the offseason and rewarding good relief work by Albaladejo would be good moves.

    • Zach

      Albaladejo wasnt available for a few days and they needed a fresh arm thats why he was sent down. know the situation before you complain

      • Brian Cashman’s brother

        He threw 23 pitches the day before and D-rob threw 28- why was Albaladejo the guy who needed to be sent down. Maybe you should know the situation before you type on the computer. You fans are whats wrong with the Yankees. Cashman can do no wrong. Thats why we sit here with no world championships in a decade despite spending more money than Obama. Championships are what the Yankees are about.

        • http://www.facebook.com/dougchu Doug

          “despite spending more money than Obama”

          I’m not sure that you’ll want to use that comparison in the future.

        • Zach

          “You fans are whats wrong with the Yankees.”

          yes rational fans are why Yankee fans have a bad rep. not fans like you who bitch about everything. you’re bithcing about nick fucking green and the 11th arm in the bullpen

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