Another kind of Wild Card

Yanks rally falls short, drop third in a row
Thomson not thinking about Blue Jays' managerial opening

While the Andrew Brackman call-up story has been all over the map, it was confirmed on Thursday that Brackman has indeed been activated.  We still have no idea if Brackman will throw his first major league pitch this year (Thursday would have been an ideal time).  If he does, and he’s a success, could we see Brackman on the postseason roster?

The pitching roster for the playoffs is far from set and the possibilities are being debated all over the place and I’m sure within the Yankees organization.  If Brackman gets some garbage time innings in and dominates, I could see him replacing whoever is currently penciled in for the last spot on the roster.  While it sounds crazy, Brackman has upside that Moseley, Vazquez, Gaudin and Mitre just don’t have.  If he comes in and dominates for 5-10 innings over the next 10 days, why not?

This idea all stems from how valuable Francisco Rodriguez was for the Angels in 2002.  He wasn’t called up until September and didn’t throw his first major league pitch until September 18th.  He was 20 years old with 317.2 minor league innings, Brackman is 24 with 247.1 innings, so it’s not like Rodriguez had a huge advantage in experience, especially considering Brackman went to college. K-Rod established himself quickly and despite just 5.2 major league innings, there was no way the Angels could leave him off their playoff roster.  They were rewarded when Rodriguez’ domination continued into the playoffs and helped the Angels to the title.  I don’t think Brackman has it in him to dominate like K-Rod did, but he could also pitch 5 or 6 innings if needed in an extra inning or a bad AJ kind of game.  He could truly be a wild card.

I will say that I don’t expect this to happen, but I would love for Brackman to get his feet wet in the majors and pitch well enough for him to even be in the discussion.  While the last spot on a playoff bullpen may not matter much, if he pitches well enough to get real innings in, he could be extremely valuable.  The value of relievers is greatly overrated in the regular season, but dominating performances out of the pen can go a long way in a tight postseason series.  We’ve seen enough of Mariano Rivera over the past decade and half to know how valuable a shutdown reliever can be, but he hasn’t been alone.  He’s the only one who has done it consistently, but there’s no way the Angels win in 2002 without Rodriguez, or the Sox in 2004 without Foulke, or the Cardinals in 2006 without Wainwright all dominating out of the pen.  What do you think, if Brackman pitches and dominates over the next 10 days, would you want to see him on the mound in October?

Yanks rally falls short, drop third in a row
Thomson not thinking about Blue Jays' managerial opening
  • icebird753

    He won’t be there in October. If he wasn’t even going to pitch yesterday, I doubt he’s going to have enough opportunities to establish himself enough in the next 8 games

  • T-Dubs

    I’m confused Steve. Do you have any reason to believe that Brackman pisses vinegar and farts propane? Without confirmation I simply cannot support your bullpen idea. It takes a different type of mentality to succeed in late innings.

    • pat

      I do believe he possesses that “giraffe in a department store” mentality, so take from that what you will.

  • mustang

    “What do you think, if Brackman pitches and dominates over the next 10 days, would you want to see him on the mound in October?”

    HELL NO!

    and WOW!

    • Pete

      really? If he pitches and dominates over the next 10 days, I absolutely would want him available in the playoffs. But he won’t.

      • mustang

        Please Pete be serious.

        Your going to give a guy who hasn’t pitched pass AA a playoff spot because be dominated a bunch of September call-ups for 10 days?
        With that small simple your then going to let him pitch against the top teams in the league in the playoffs????

        Dude, minor league stats and prospect thing taken WAY TOO far.

        • JobaWockeeZ

          That’s what the Angels did and it paid off for them.

          • mustang

            JobaWockeeZ says:
            September 25, 2010 at 12:25 pm

            Difference is that K-Rod was 20 when called up and was great in AAA.
            Brackman is 24 who had his first good season at both A+ and AA.

        • Pete

          If he gets in 4-5 appearances wherein he dominates with a 95+ fastball and good breaking ball and good command, yes. Because that’s quite literally all you need to succeed in the bullpen. If the yanks wanted Brackman to be a reliever, they could have thrown him in the AA bullpen to start the year and I guarantee you he’d have been pitching in the bigs by August.

          In other words, if he’s hot, yes I want him in the bullpen. If he isn’t, then obviously I don’t.

        • Pete

          I think the whole playoff experience thing gets taken way too far.

          • mustang

            Forget playoff experience how about minor league or MLB experience?

            I don’t know but i think it might be a little different pitching in September when the team is locked into a playoff spot as compared to the playoffs.

            But since the minors and MLB playoff baseball are basically the same I guess not.

            • Steve H

              But since the minors and MLB playoff baseball are basically the same I guess not.

              Productive discussion FTW.

              • mustang

                Dude the productive discussion end the minute you came up with this theory.

                • bexarama

                  mustang, I’m mostly on your side as to that it’s highly unlikely (and I’m not killing Steve for writing this, it’s something interesting to talk about). But damn, you are being totally obnoxious about it, man.

                  • mustang

                    Your right, a bit to strong.

                    I’m sorry.

    • Steve H

      What if the Angels hadn’t put Rodriguez on the roster after his 5.2 dominating innings?

      • mustang

        Andrew Brackman minors:

        Francisco Rodriguez minors before call-up:

        Even if it’s just the minors at least Rodriguez had a larger sample to justify the move.

        • Steve H

          If you’re going on minor league stats alone you could say that Colter Bean belongs on the roster. As Pete said “If he gets in 4-5 appearances wherein he dominates with a 95+ fastball and good breaking ball and good command” isn’t that upside a lot better than what Mitre/Moseley/Javy/Gaudin can bring at this point?

          • mustang


            Because your basing it on a small sample against a bunch of no names in September vs. the best hitters in the league in the playoffs.

            What can Joe Mauer due to a 95+ fastball vs. Joe Blow September call-up?

            • Steve H

              But what can Sergio Mitre or Dustin Moseley do against Joe Mauer?

              • mustang

                Don’t know, but when your throwing names out like Rodriguez and Foulke your not talking about mop up type pitchers in mop type situations.
                I think the Yanks have the Rodriguez and Foulke situations covered.
                We both know that neither Mitre nor Moseley will see a playoff spot.

                Come on Steve H I know your A LOT smarter then this theory. I’m talking the whole thread.

            • Pete

              It doesn’t matter whose hand the 95+ fastball to the black comes out of. The question is, can Brackman do that? And I think most of us would agree that chances are, he can’t spot a 95+ fastball and quality curveball with precision right now, even out of the bullpen.

              In other words, I don’t expect Brackman to show enough to warrant a playoff roster spot. But I don’t think it’s impossible for him to do so.

  • Basil F.

    Doen’t he have to be on the active roster prior to Sept. 1st to be eligible for the post season?

    • Slugger27

      he was already on the 40man… i think thats all that matters

      • JobaWockeeZ

        No that’s not it. TSJC explained this but we get two roster spots due to injuries from Marte and NJ I believe.

        • Dirty Pena

          …and Aceves. When you have guys on the 60-day DL, you apply for an exemption, and you can use any guy that was in your organization at any level (I believe on August 31st) in those spots, but they have to play a similar position (you can’t put Montero in Marte’s spot, for example.)

  • wifi guy

    Why didnt you mention Nova as that potential person ?

    • Steve H

      I’m assuming Nova is already on the playoff roster.

  • Steve not Austin Jackson

    1. Let’s see him pitch in a ML game first.

    2. Does it, or would it, make sense to carry 2 zero/low experience pitchers (Nova + Brackman) into the post-season?

    3. Is Nova’s spot (which I’m hoping is a lock) on the post season roster more important than the spot Brackman would/could take and if so, does that negate the low/no experience issue?

    Just curious…

    • Steve H

      I definitely want to see him get some MLB innings in, and I think he would have to dominate to have any chance of being considered, ala K-Rod.

      I think it makes sense to carry 2 low experience guys if it’s at the expense of Mitre/Gaudin/Vasquez/Moseley, who we are pretty sure won’t get it done. Nova and Brackman might get it done, they might not. If they were both to make it, it would be at the back end of the bullpen and for it to come down to the last guy, it would likely be an extra inning type of game.

      Nova’s spot is definitely more important than a spot for Brackman. He’s already proven he is very capable of getting MLB hitters out in short spurts.

      • mustang

        “carry 2 low experience guys”

        Nova low experience.
        Brackman NO experience.

  • Captain Jack

    He could be to the Yankees what K-Rod was to the 2002 Angels.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      Difference is that K-Rod was 20 when called up and was great in AAA.
      Brackman is 24 who had his first good season at both A+ and AA.

      • Steve H

        In 2001 he had a 5.38 ERA in Single A, so it’s not like K-Rod was dominating the minors for years either.

        • Corey

          Ya, except K-Rod was starting in 2001

          • mustang


            • Steve H

              I don’t get how K-Rod failing as a starter in Single A helps your case.

              • mustang

                Because your using his bad numbers AS A STARTER to help your case when his dominance came as reliever.

                • Pete

                  Pitchers who have good stuff and control can be very good relievers. Period. No ifs, ands, or buts.

                  • mustang

                    Yes but there are many pitchers with good stuff and control that can’t start.

                    • Dirty Pena

                      And this post is about a potential reliever.

                    • mustang

                      Read above.

  • JobaWockeeZ

    I highly doubt Girardi will even give Brackman 5 innings to pitch until the season ends.

    • Steve H

      I agree. He’s had two great chances to give him some low stress innings and hasn’t.

  • First TIme Poster

    If Brackamn does not make the poster-season roster –or pitch a major league inning– and the Yanks win the WS… does that mean he gets a ring?

    • JobaWockeeZ

      I don’t think so.

    • Andy In Sunny Daytona

      He gets a ring. He’s been on the active roster.

      • Kiersten

        Don’t the players vote on who gets a ring? I don’t think he’d get one.

        • 24fan

          They vote on playoff shares, not rings. That is an organizational decision I believe.

  • mike

    no way, I seriously doubt he’ll even get playing time in the last 8 games. The only player that wasn’t on the roster til Sept that has a remote chance of making the postseason roster is Royce Ring since he’s a lefty

    oh and btw forgot to post in the other thread but keep up the mailbags I like em.

  • Craig

    I can see why someone might be against this, but I’m not sure why a few people are so emphatic. First of all, he would be replacing Chad Gaudin or Sergio Mitre – two guys that we don’t want to see in a game under any circumstance. No matter the scenario – long relief, short relief, bases loaded – I would rather see Brackman on the bump over Mitre or Gaudin. If it comes to that scenario we are likely going to lose anyway so might as well roll the dice. Secondly, while Gaudin and Mitre have more experience, coaches and managers will almost always tell you that they would prefer talent. Brackman’s talent is head, shoulders, torso and legs above the aforementioned vets.

    • bexarama

      I agree that Brackman has a much, much higher ceiling of talent than Gaudin and Mitre. But assuming he’s automatically gonna be better than them right now is a huge leap.

      • mustang

        “But assuming he’s automatically gonna be better than them right now is a huge leap.”

        THANK YOU so much!

        (tear running down my face)

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          To both Mustang and bexarama:

          Nobody — and I repeat nobody — is “assuming he’s automatically going to be better than Gaudin/Mitre/etc. right now”.

          Reread Steve H’s post. It’s full of “If”.

          IF Brackman gets into game action
          IF Brackman looks good
          IF Brackman is dominant
          IF he looks like an upgrade


          I agree with Craig’s point. Mustang, you’re correct to be skeptical (as Steve is himself, when he said “I don’t expect this to happen), but you’re going way too overboard with your vitriolic disgust of the idea. It’s not the most unfathomable or unpredictable thing in the world for a kid like Brackman who has gobs of talent to come up and outpitch some journeymen like Gaudin/Mitre, and IF he does, he absolutely should be considered for the final bullpen spot.

          • bexarama

            I wasn’t responding to Steve’s point, but Craig’s. Which, to me, read like he was assuming Brackman would come up and be better than Mitre/Gaudin right off the bat.

            Could it happen? Yeah. But… as much as I think Brackman is extremely talented, yeah, it would be pretty surprising for him to come up, with no ML experience, and outpitch Mitre/Gaudin right now, at this point, this year. To me, at least.

            Agreed that mustang is overreacting.

          • mustang

            Ok maybe I did go over the top a bit and if I came off too hard on Steve H I apologize.
            I like this site, but the one thing that bothers me is how quickly people take talented prospects and raise them up to unrealistic levels.
            The Yankees bull pen depth is so that they are not just going to hand over something as valuable as a playoff spot to a kid who has had a good 10 days in late September. As we have seen with young Mr. Nova they are careful with unproven talent at the MLB level.

  • AndrewYF

    Remember when everyone said the Yankee’s 2007 draft was a huge bust?

    It’s now produced two top-100 prospects, one of whom is on the verge of the majors, and a potentially valuable bench bat/trade chip.

    I wonder what Boston’s ‘historically deep’ haul from 2007 has produced? Oh right, Anthony Rizzo – a poor man’s Ike Davis.

    This is why post-draft rankings are absurdly stupid. No one has nearly enough information.

  • beer boy

    redsox like to draft gay guys

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      Oh, shutup, you homophobic neanderthal. Gay is not a pejorative insult.

    • bexarama

      a. this is off-topic
      b. Who cares if they’re gay, that’s not something you should use as an insult.

      • beer boy

        okay but its true.

  • Evil Hubie

    This is pretty wishful thinking.

    It’s pretty clear that Girardi’s going to be leaning on Robertson / Logan / Chamberlain / Wood / Rivera for all the high-leverage innings. For the final slot, he’s just looking for pitcher who can reliably soak up innings and preserve the high-leverage pitchers. They don’t have to pitch great; they just have to play the role of sacrificial lamb.

    Vazquez, Gaudin, Mitre, Moseley, and Nova all fit the bill. Brackman’s too likely to flame out and leave the pitching staff in a bind.

    Let’s see if Brackman can have any sustained level of success in the minors before we talk about meaningful major league innings, much less postseason innings. K-Rod had great stuff AND 120 Ks in 83 innings before they brought him up. Brackman is still a couple of years away.