Meet the new guys: Dan McCutchen and Ross Ohlendorf

Two good stories today in the New York papers about some of the lesser-known names vying for spots in the Yankees pen. Peter Abraham takes a look at Dan McCutchen, the pitcher who handed Joba Chamberlain his first college loss. Abraham’s story details McCutchen’s 50-game suspension that came about as a result of a paperwork snafu over an Adderall prescription. Mark Feinsand sat down with Ross Ohlendorf.

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They’re bringin’ sexy back

Via Pinstripes PA, Getty Images has the “photo day” pics available. You should definitely check ‘em out, but here are the highlights:

Make sure you take a look at all the photos. Good stuff. Some of ‘em remind me of yearbook picture day.

Anatomy of an effective bullpen

In 2007, the Padres and the Red Sox topped their respective leagues in bullpen ERA and batting average against. Thing is, entering the season, neither team had much to boast about in that department. In fact, the Sox pen was in such shambles that Jonathan Papelbon told Tony Francona that he wanted to move back to the closer role (or at least that’s how Boston tells the story). So how did these two teams come out ahead?

Skilled closer

Obviously, the first step in building a bullpen is creating a viable endgame. Both Trevor Hoffman and Jonathan Papelbon qualify as such. They keep things relatively stable at the end — Papelbon more than Hoffman, though, as he blew just three saves last year (and we remember a couple of ‘em), while Hoffman was the goat in seven games, including the most important one for the Padres.

There’s not much else to say about this. We have it in Mo, who I think we all can agree is better than Hoffman at this stage of his career.
[Read more…]

Ohlendorf perfect in relief

AFL Javelinas (7-6 loss to the Scottsdale Scorpions in 10 innings)

Brett Gardner: 1-5, 1 R, 3 K’s. Beat the pitcher to 1B for an infield single
Juan Miranda: 1-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K. Picked off second base.
Steven Jackson: 1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K’s. His grandfather, Scott Jackson, was a three-year letter winner at Clemson in the 1950’s
Ross Ohlendorf: 1 IP, zeros. 3-0 GB/FB ratio. Say goodbye to the taxi squad.

Remember when I said that outfielders don’t get errors if the sun was in their eye. Well that goes for the moon as well. Miranda’s double was a sinking line drive but the left fielder got a terrible jump and the ball skipped under his glove when he tried to make a diving catch. It was originally ruled an error but later changed to a hit. [Read more…]

Villone out of ALDS; Ohlendorf, Veras in

It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for: Time for the unveiling of the post-season roster.

As you may have guessed, Ron Villone is not on the roster. The gods are rejoicing. The Yanks, however, are going with no lefties in the pen. Filling the last spots are Jose Veras and, more impressively, Ross Ohlendorf. Torre really liked what he saw from Ohlendorf down the stretch. I did too. I see big things for this kid next year.

Meanwhile, as we noted yesterday, Bronson Sardinha is on the roster, but Chris Britton, contrary to what The Post reported, is not.

Here’s your Game 1 roster and line up courtesy of Peter Abraham. All of you Melky lovers will be happy to see he’s playing. Shelley Duncan, however, is on the bench and not in the lineup against a tough left. I wish Torre had gone with Duncan:

Johnny Damon LF
Derek Jeter SS
Bobby Abreu RF
Alex Rodriguez 3B – MVP! MVP!
Jorge Posada C
Hideki Matsui DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Melky Cabrera CF
Doug Mientkiewicz 1B

Chien-Ming Wang P

The Bench
Wilson Betemit
Jason GiambiMost expensive bench player ever.
Shelley Duncan – He’s gotta come up big at some point this October, right?
Jose Molina – .318/.333/.439 in 71 Bronx PAs. Remember Wil Nieves?
Bronson Sardinha

Starting Pitchers
Andy PettitteOnly lefty on the ALDS roster
Roger Clemens
Mike Mussina
Phil HughesShould be starting game 4. No word on that yet.

Bullpen
Mariano Rivera
Joba Chamberlain
Luis Vizcaino
Kyle Farnsworth
Ross Ohlendorf
Jose Veras

Just in case you missed the news on Ohlendorf

There has been some talk in the comments about the change Ross Ohlendorf has undergone since moving to the bullpen. Chad Jennings has some info on his must-read blog:

Today, I asked Newman whether the team told Ohlendorf to let it all loose in his relief appearance. Newman said that the team actually just told him to be agreesive and that he was only going to be pitching an inning or two. The results were different than they expected. Ohlendorf added about five mph to his fastball and he was grunting with nearly every pitch, something out of character for the normally reserved Princeton kid.

I remember saying back in April (though I’m not searching through the archives right now) that the Yanks could have a backup bullpen for the second half. The Yanks could conceivably add three arms in the very near future: Ohlendorf, Joba, and Karstens — and that’s not even counting the currently-injured Britton and the never-used Edwar.

This has to mean Kyle will be packing, right?