Sep
23

Little chance Bruney makes the postseason roster

By

It’s no wonder the Yankees have shown so much patience with Brian Bruney. Dominant relief pitchers don’t come around that often, and in 2008 and early 2009 Bruney appeared to be just that. He pitched well both before and after a lisfranc injury last season, and opened 2009 with a bang. Two injuries later and he’s just not the same. The Yankees continue to give Bruney chances, but each one is a reminder that this is not the guy who struck out five straight Rays over two games.

Even in August, when he had a 0.87 ERA, Bruney still didn’t look reliable. He only allowed one run over 10.1 innings, but that might have been a string of reliever’s luck. He struck out only five in that span and walked seven. Opponents reached base 37.5 percent of the time. He threw 201 pitches, almost 20 per inning. With peripherals like that, it’s no wonder he’s struggled in September.

This month Bruney has appeared in nine games, the same number as August, though has pitched 4.2 fewer innings. He’s throwing fewer pitches, but not many, around 19 per inning. Opponents get on base 41.4 percent of the time. His strikeout to walks ratio sits at 4:5. The difference is that teams have gotten to him this time around, going deep twice for a .583 slugging percentage.

Over the course of 2009, Bruney has gone from lights out setup man to questionable postseason roster candidate. The Yankees will take only 10 pitchers to the ALDS, and Bruney doesn’t appear to be one of the 10 best on the roster. Can they trust him in a playoff appearance? Certainly not the way he’s pitching now. He’ll have to show considerable improvement in the season’s last 10 games, and even that might not be enough to convince the Yankees to take the chance.

Bryan Hoch examines Bruney’s woes which, the Yankees think, relate to a mechanical issue. There are plenty “I feel good” quotes in the article, but perhaps the most interesting paragraph reads

The question is if the Yankees have enough time to allow Bruney to continue ironing out what he said have been season-long mechanical problems — bad habits on the mound that have plagued him relating to his hip rotation.

That doesn’t sound like an easy problem to fix. Bruney will have a maximum five games to work it out, and even then he’ll likely only get into three or four more before the regular season ends. Some improvement would be encouraging, but would it be enough to put him on the postseason roster? Not quite, I would think. There are certainly 10 more deserving candidates, especially with David Robertson slated to return this weekend.

It’s a shame what happened to Bruney this season. It appeared he was coming into his own, and then we found out he was unavailable for the first game of the first Boston series. It’s been downhill from there. There’s a chance Bruney could recover, but he probably won’t get a real chance again until 2010.

Categories : Death by Bullpen
  • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

    Gee. What a loss. I’m so disappointed I won’t get to watch Brian Bruney put two runners on base and record only two outs in a blowout in October.

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

      He changed to #99 for you, Ben. He only wanted to please you…

      • Tom Zig

        He also shaved too. He is trying really hard to impress you

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

          WHY WON’T YOU LOVE ME, BEN? I JUST WANT YOU TO LOVE ME!

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

            I want Bruney to do well. He has good stuff. He just has no idea what to do with it, and right now, any trust Girardi places in him is misguided.

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

              I’m just teasin’ ya, Kabak. I agree totally. I want Bruney to succeed; he has the tools; he’s just not right at the moment. I hope he works with Nardi or someone in the offseason and comes back in 2010 born again hard.

              • Evan NYC

                Rumor has it his agent has a meeting scheduled with Tim Tebow.

      • A.D.

        Perhaps channeling his inner Turk Wendell wasn’t the best plan

  • pat

    I don’t blame Girardi for giving him a long leash but sometimes you gotta call a spade a spade.

  • Tom Zig

    Will Bruney be a Yankee in 2010?

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

      I think so, but I’m not sure if he makes it through 2010 or beyond in Pinstripes.

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

      That’s the $64,000 question.

      /datedreference’d

    • Zack

      Is he blocking anyone?

      You can Melancon but with Hughes back to the rotation that leaves a spot open for him (or someone else) to win in ST

      • Tom Zig

        I like the idea of giving him a chance to try and win a spot in ST. Maybe leaving him off the PSR will give him extra incentive to get his ass in gear and work on his mechanics. Maybe whip him into a little more shape too.

        • Zack

          Well he did lose 20lbs this past offseason and talked about the different mindset he’s in now compared to the past.
          Maybe he just needs an offseason to get his mechanics corrected, but his whole career has been hot and cold streaks, or maybe his mechanics just cant be consistant over 162 games.

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

    When do the Yankees reach the end of the line with Bruney? They obviously can’t cut ties with him after this season, but I’d say if 2009 repeats itself in 2010, Bruney’s gonna hit that dusty trail.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      This is now the third full season of inconsistency and time lost due to injury. He’s going to make over $2MM in arbitration. He’s not worth it at all, just non-tender him.

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

        Hm, didn’t realize he was going to get that much in arb. Yeah, bye Brian.

  • Mister Delaware

    I don’t understand the logic of 10 pitchers; 11 seems logical and even 12 would make a lot more sense than 10. Does that mean the bench is Gardner, Hinske, Hairston, Pena plus the 2 catchers? What role does Pena even play; none of the IFs are going to be lifted for a PH or defensive replacement and Hairston is sufficient injury insurance if Cano/Jeter/Rodriguez have to miss a game.

    • Ed

      I’m assuming they’re going with a 3 man rotation for the first round. At that point, you’re debating between an 8th reliever and a 5th bench player. If either one of those guys being important is pretty low.

      • Ed

        Err, botched that in the editing. Should end with:

        The odds of either one of those guys being important is pretty low.

    • Tom Zig

      Maybe we’ll just take 24 players and then have Bruney, Melancon, and a bench player sitting outside the ballpark in case a need arises

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

      Here’s the bench breakdown, by priority:
      1.) Backup C: A must. Either Molina or Cervelli (probably Molina on experience).
      2.) Lefty PH: A must. Hinske.
      3.) Righty PH: A must. Hairston.
      4.) LIDR OF: A must, with both Damon and Swisher capable of an error. Gardner.
      5.) LIDR IF: Valuable, but not super necessary, since all four of our infielders are good defenders. Still, though, an elite UTI would be a nice security blanket. Either Hairston or Peña.
      6.) Pinchrunner: Valuable, probably more valuable than the LIDR IF, given the makeup of our starting lineup. Either Gardner or Guzman, but Guzman is better.

      Now, you can fill some roles with more than one guy, but the more guys you have the better, because it lets you do things like pinchrun twice in a close game, or use a pinch-hitter, pinch-runner, and then two LIDRs while still keeping players in reserve.

      I’d say, if we go with 10 pitchers and a 6 man bench, it’s Molina-Hinske-Hairston-Gardner-Guzman-Peña. If it’s only the 5 man bench, lop off Peña (since Hairston can do his job and of the 6 roles, the one least likely to be needed twice is the LIDR IF.

      • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

        Guzman is better.

        i was with you right up to that comment.

        can you show me the light here?

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

          Better as a basestealer. Not as an all-around player, just better as a designated pinch-running basestealer.

          http://riveraveblues.com/2009/.....ent-580993

          In twice as many games, Guzman has about three times as many stolen bases (although he also has about three times as many times caught). Gardner’s a great basestealer, but Guzman is more prolific.

          • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

            how much of that prolifery is commander’s guidance?

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

      The Yanks need only 10 pitchers in the first round because they will have three starters and seven relievers. You don’t need more than that, and the Yanks will have a very deep bench.

      • Mister Delaware

        I guess I’m failing to see the need for an extremely deep bench. 6 guys aren’t coming out unless injured, Posada would only come out in the 9th for a PR, Matsui maybe an inning or two earlier. The CF slot could see some real movement and I guess the Guzman logic does make sense given that burning Gardner means Melky can’t be hit for, but I still don’t understand why Pena would be included. He’d only be used in a tragedy so Gardner, Hinske, Hairston, Molina and Guzman would suffice as the bench. The extra pitcher, even if it is an 8th pen guy, would have a far better shot of contributing than a 3rd pinch runner (which is what Pena or Guzman would be).

        (When Pena scores the winning run as Matsui’s PR in the 12th inning versus Detroit, I promise to say I was wrong.)

  • Makavelli

    The fact that there is even “little chance” he DOES make the postseason roster is concerning…

    At this point he’s not even a mop up guy as he’s almost a guarantee to give up hits, walks, runs, and whatever else he’s being paid NOT to do…

    He should be packaged together with Edwar Ramirez and sold to the China in exchange for a pu pu platter for 2.

    • Makavelli

      Yes. I said “the China”…so what? lol

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

        Yeah, it probably would’ve been funnier if you didn’t call attention to it.

        • Tom Zig

          Don’t you hate it when you ruin an unintentionally funny event?

          Just playin around Mak

        • Makavelli

          Haha well it wasn’t on purpose so I figured I’d call attention to it before several posts went up with grammatical webpage hyperlinks attached…

      • LivefromNewYork

        shoulda said “TEH CHINA!!1!!1″

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

          Protestors: Free Tibet! Free Tibet!
          Peter Griffin: I’ll take it!
          [He runs to a nearby phone booth]
          Peter Griffin: Hello, China? I have something you may want. But it’s gonna cost ya…

          That’s right. All the tea.

          • JStreet

            Yes, Family Guy reference…Awesome.

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

      The fact that there is even “little chance” he DOES make the postseason roster is concerning…

      Here we go…

      • Makavelli

        Where are we going?

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside
          • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

            i was thinking mulberry bush…or it would be a .wav that plays the circus song…

  • MatyRuggz

    Brian Bruney makes Mark Melancon look like Mariano Rivera.

    • Tom Zig

      That’s a pretty impressive talent to have. It isn’t everyday that you come across someone who can make a big pale white dude look like an old skinny spanish dude.

      There is hope for him yet

      • http://martelli.mlblogs.com/melky%20c.jpg Drew

        Spanish!!???

        Oh my Mo.

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

          Kei Igawa: Oriental.

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

    “Little chance Bruney makes the postseason roster”

    Huh, fancy that. Well, I hope this “Little chance Bruney” guy pitches better than Brian Bruney, now that he’s made the postseason roster.

    • MatyRuggz

      “Little chance Bruney” sounds like a name for George Steinbrenner’s next thoroughbred race horse.

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

        “Pie-O-My”

    • pat

      Little chance Bruney is second cousins with this guy

      http://cdn.videogum.com/img/th.....gelman.jpg

      • Tom Zig

        Michael Kay?

      • jsbrendog

        well played sir

      • Andy In Sunny Daytona

        Dustin Pedroia?

  • Dela G

    Bruney should be shipped onto a plane to siberia

    • Tom Zig

      So he can train like Rocky in Rocky IV?

      Sounds good to me, Bruney will come back throwing 103

      • Klemy

        Meh, he still won’t have any control! lol

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

      No, but he should be flying a cargo plane full of rubber dog shit out of Hong Kong.

      • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

        Hey, got Bruney on the phone right now…wants to know if any of you have that match book with the truck driving school phone number?

  • Dela G

    Unrelated, but this is the roster for today

    How the heck is Alex not playing as he owns the angels?

    *per YES NETWORK

    Derek Jeter SS
    Jerry Hairston 3B
    Mark Teixeira 1B
    Hideki Matsui DH
    Shelley Duncan RF
    Robinson Cano 2B
    Melky Cabrera LF
    Brett Gardner CF
    Jose Molina C

    Pitching: A.J. Burnett (11-9, 4.22)

    • Tom Zig

      more confusingly is why Shelley Duncan is batting 5th and not 8th

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

        We’re getting in a fight today. It’s gonna be AWESOME.

        • Tom Zig

          Shelley Duncan is going to pwn the Los Angeles, California Angels of Anaheim

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

              Actually, no, not safe. Profanity. DO NOT CLICK

      • http://martelli.mlblogs.com/melky%20c.jpg Drew

        +1.

        Why Not Robbie or Melk?

        Another thing, why does it seem like my boy Melk never gets a day off. He’s been playing arguably the most demanding position all year and gets less rest than any regular. His legs have got be be tired at this point in the year.

    • pat

      And Hairston in the 2 hole?

      /Checks career #’s vs. Kazmir..

      Arod- 3/24 6bb 7k .125/.300/.125
      Hairston- 1/2 0k 0bb .500/.500/.500

      Eh, Arod sucks vs Kaz and must really need a day off. Otherwise it’s very puzzling.

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

      Come on, man. Guidelines.

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

        What did I just say about ethnic slurs?

      • Andy In Sunny Daytona

        He goes to to Texas A&M.

      • Slu

        Wow. Nice to see this. To me, it seems certain posters are allowed to make off topic posts all the time.

    • http://www.teamnerdrage.com leokitty

      Probably so that he can get his day off and it’s not against the Red Sox?

      • Andy In Sunny Daytona

        What’s happening tomorrow?

        • Tom Zig

          RAB RADIO SHOW

          /false rumor

        • jsbrendog

          nothing…………

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

        That.

        Also, it’s a day-game-after-night-game.

        We’re 96-56, our divisional lead is now 6.0, we only have 10 games left to play, we just clinched a playoff spot, our magic number is down to 6, and it’s the last game of a West Coast road trip with a dark day on the calendar tomorrow.

        This game had “put a stamp on it and mail this shit in” written on it a month ago. You shouldn’t be asking “Why aren’t ARod, Swisher, and Posada playing?”, you should be asking “Why are Jeter, Cano, Melky, and Hazmat playing?”

        I’m surprised the lineup isn’t:

        Ramiro Peña SS
        Jerry Hairston 2B
        Juan Miranda 1B
        Shelley Duncan RF
        Eric Hinske 3B
        Freddie Guzman LF
        Brett Gardner CF
        Jose Molina C
        Francisco Cervelli DH

    • Makavelli

      In other news…

      Bill R just sent me a picture of “his boy” signing him an autograph in front of the Yankees dugout. He’s been to every game this series…bastard.

      • Makavelli

        Whoops. “his boy”

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

          Where’s the picture? Come on, linkage, man!

          • Makavelli

            It’s on my phone…both Edwar Ramirez AND Ramiro Pena signing autographs for him lol. I don’t know how to get them on here though.

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

      I’m not quite happy here. Even after I pointed out the off-topic nature of this, people still continued on it. Thanks guys, for respecting our guidelines.

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

        My bad.

        Shoulda deleted it. We started doing improv standup.

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      Not only is it unrelated (and hence against the guidelines), but it is the line-up for today, not the roster.

      If you are going to intentionally disregard the commenting guidelines, at least get your terminology right.

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

        No, that’s the roster. We DFA’d the other 30 guys on our 40-man. AJ is pitching all the rest of the year, ironman style.

      • Makavelli

        If you are going to intentionally disregard the commenting guidelines, at least get your terminology right.

        Actually, if there ever is a time to get things wrong it would probably be when it’s irrelevant…nobody wants to get relevant on-topic things wrong…lol