Waiting for — and needing — DRob

MLB will not punish A-Rod
Game 143: Rookie No. 2

We didn’t have a chance to talk too much about last night’s game. The Yanks and Orioles suffered through a late-night rain delay after Damaso Marte and Edwar Ramirez* gave up any shot the Yanks had at making Derek Jeter‘s record-setting night a victory. Yet, we should talk for a few minutes about the Yankee bullpen’s effort last night.

*If anyone is worried about a spot on the 40-man roster, worry no longer. Edwar Ramirez is dead weight at this point, and if the Yanks need to clear a space for, say, Chien-Ming Wang over the winter, Edwar can just be released.

With Andy Pettitte scuffling through a five innings, the Yanks had to fashion a four-inning effort by the bullpen. In the 8th, Phil Hughes and then Mariano could be summoned, but the six outs in the sixth and seventh would prove to be elusive. One game after no-hitting the Rays for 8.2 innings, the Yanks’ pen was a disaster. Damaso Marte gave up four runs in 0.1 innings, and while Jonathan Albaladejo held the game at 7-4, Edwar Ramirez gave up three in the 7th.

The runs Ramirez gave up don’t matter in the long run. It’s far more alarming for the Yanks’ post-season chances that Marte couldn’t get anyone out in the 6th. But that’s been Marte’s M.O. while on the Yanks. He’s either unhittable or horrendously awful. We saw the latter Marte last night, and the Yanks will still be hesitant to use him for more than a lefty or two come October.

What last night’s game shows us though is the importance of David Robertson. Had D-Rob been available, the sixth inning would have been his last night. Joe Girardi would have employed Robertson followed by some combination of Brian Bruney and Phil Coke before going to Hughes and Rivera in the later innings. While Bruney and Coke aren’t as consistent as we would hope, those five pitchers have provided the Yanks with a winning bullpen formula more often than not.

Robertson returned to the Yankees yesterday afternoon after a trip down to Florida to visit with Dr. James Andrews. MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo checked in with Robertson, and we now have a sense of the right-hander’s timetable. Robertson will rest for another four to six days before beginning a throwing program. He’ll strengthen his right forearm and bicep and make five or six more warm-up throws in the bullpen.

The Yankees expect Robertson back before the end of the season and will be relying on him to carry some of the postseason load. As we saw last night, the bullpen needs him, perhaps more than we realized.

MLB will not punish A-Rod
Game 143: Rookie No. 2
  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

    Again with Marte. There was one ball hit hard that inning.

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

      But in the end: Robertson’s strike outs are more valuable than Marte allowing balls in play. I realize Marte wasn’t awful and witnessed his fair share of bad luck, but those strike outs from D-Rob are key.

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

        Of course. My comment was more out of frustration caused by the Marte shitstorm that ensued in the game thread last night.

        • Zack

          OMGz a rift between Mike and Ben, how can RAB survive

    • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      As overblown as the Marte-hate has been, we also can’t sweep his bad outings under the rug. The guy was brought in here to be an important cog in this bullpen and he hasn’t filled that role so far. I agree that he has a nice track-record and has had some bad luck since coming to the Yanks, and I think people who get on his case and act like he’s a big problem are more than a bit myopic, but going too far in the opposite direction and blindly defending him doesn’t do us much good, either.

      • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        I don’t like my wording in that last sentence… I didn’t mean to accuse you of some sort of blind faith in Marte, as if you just have a kneejerk reaction to defend him without thinking about anything. I know why you argue with the detractors, I’m on the same side of that argument.

        Anyway, I’m sure you know what I meant. I just didn’t like the tone of that part of my comment, my bad.

      • Zack

        “also can’t sweep his bad outings under the rug”

        they were his first hits given up since his return from the DL. if you’re going to throw in his early season crapness into this discussion thats one thing, but he only has 1 bad outing to sweep under the rug since his return

        • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          Look, I’m not one of the crazy Marte haters who think his presence on the roster is an affront to all the is holy in True Yankeetopia. But the guy had pitched 4.2 innings over the course of 6 outings in relatively low-leverage situations before last night and since his return from the DL (with only two of those outings separated by less than 4 days). That’s his all-important and impressive hitless innings streak, so let’s not act like he’s been on some lights-out streak lately. That’s all I’m saying. The criticism certainly shouldn’t rise to the level of the bile spewed by many people, but we can also be objective about this and admit (a) when the guy has a rough outing and (b) that he hasn’t yet been the pitcher the Yanks thought they were acquiring.

          • Zack

            no one said he didnt have a bad outing. but looking at the box score tells you nothing about his pitching last night. a questionable walk and 2 weak hits, i dont flip out over that.

            you can make 4.2 IP into a small sample size if you want, but last night is 1/4 the small sample size

            • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              Dude, I’m not saying anyone should freak out over last night or that Marte is a bad pitcher or anything like that. Don’t make me into some sort of proxy for the crazies who come around here screaming about how Marte is the root of all evil, I’m not in that camp and I’m not saying anything of the sort.

              Do you agree or disagree with the following statement:

              Damaso Marte hasn’t yet been the pitcher the Yanks thought they were acquiring.

              • Zack

                Yes I do agree with that statement.
                He’s also been hurt for 90% of his time here, (elbow last year and shoulder this year).

                • Jeffrey

                  Exactly, but I guess we can’t fault Marte or the Yankees for his lack of availability. I don’t know if the Yankees didn’t pay enough attention to medical reports or the injury this year just popped up. This thing is, these two successive injury plagued years lead to doubts about Marte’s durability.

  • JeffG

    I just got back from a week vacation, so I’ve got to ask, what about Aceves? Is he injured?

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

      Aceves had thrown 44 pitches on Thursday. The Yanks like to give him full rest after that long an outing.

      • Mike bk

        which hopefully when the playoffs actually come and joba will hopefully pitch like a starter Ace will give us another bullpen arm in the 6th and 7th to get to hughes and mo.

  • http://twitter.com/Hopjake Jake H

    D-Rob has been awesome. Those K’s are amazing and I think he will lower his walk rate with more experience.

    • Jeffrey

      If Robertson can lower his walk rate he could slide in as the primary set up man for Mariano next year.

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

    I have real high hopes for this dude. He definitely has the 1-2 pitch combo to be a solid closer, he just needs to work on the control which will come with experience.

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  • bg90027

    The only real bone I can pick with your post is that I don’t think the team needs to play as if each win is critical right now. I think getting Marte innings both to try to get him on track and see what we can expect from him in the playoffs is important as well just as it was with Bruney when he was stinking it up. Would they have gone to D Rob and then Bruney, Coke, Hughes, & Rivera? Maybe, just because it would have been nice to win the game that Jeter set the record in but I’m still not sure.

  • Jeffrey

    David Robertson has been really good this year. He is one of the keys to the successful bullpen the Yankees have.

    An effective bullpen is one that strikes out a lot of batters and keeps balls out of play. Strikeouts can always negate base runners as a result of walks or hits. The best relievers strike out batters, don’t give up many walks and don’t allow many hits. Sounds like common sense, but there are few relievers that put all three together.

    The Yankees are blessed to have Mo and Hughes who have succeeded in those three areas. Robertson has stepped up in games to effectively get the Yankees to Hughes and Mo, but he is not quite at their level yet.

    Robertson has an amazing K-rate of 1.488/IP, the best of any reliever on the team. His BB-rate of 0.537/IP could be improved upon, but it is better than Bruney’s rate of 0.619/IP. It would also be great Robertson can lower his Hit-rate of 0.826/IP, also better than Bruney’s rate of 0.897/IP. I’ll be happy if he can lower either of the two since it will drop his overall WHIP.

    I agree that this Yankee team desperately needs his help to be successful down the stretch run and in the playoffs. In the meantime Bruney, Marte, Albaladejo, Melancon, Gaudin, or Dunn need to step up. Otherwise there could be too much room for error from those other arms in the pen.