With the Yanks up 10-3 in the ninth inning last night, Joe Girardi turned the ball over to Jose Veras for the final three outs of the game. Veras, as Mike said, pitched to the score, and it was ugly.
The first batter, Shin-Soo Choo, homered. Then, Jose Veras hit Mark DeRosa with a pitch. After a ground-out, Ben Francisco plated DeRosa with a double. All of a sudden, the Yankees were a Cleveland home run away from a save situation.
For Veras, his appearance capped off a May to forget. After beginning the season with a 5.73 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP in April, Veras has been utterly terrible. This month, he has thrown 8.2 innings and has allowed 11 hits and 8 walks. He has a 7.27 ERA to go with that 2.31 WHIP. Jose Veras is now so bad that the Yanks can’t even trust him in a seven-run game.
Meanwhile, also making an appearance last night was Angel Berroa. The Yanks’ 25th man pinch ran for Matsui and never made it past second base. In his last pinch-running cameo, Berroa was thrown out at the plate by about 15 feet on a foul ball down the line. He earned himself a whopping four at-bats this month and hasn’t done anything.
Finally we arrive at Brett Tomko. Since being called up by the Yanks during the first week of May, Tomko has made five appearances for the team. His last outing was a one-inning effort against the Phillies last Sunday when he gave up a hit and two walks in the 11th. He got the loss and threw just 14 of 30 pitches for strikes.
With these three players rarely used or underperforming to an extreme degree, the Yankees are playing at a peak level with a 22-man roster. At AAA, they have Shelley Duncan, the International League’s leading home run hitter who would give the bench far more pop than Berroa provides. They have Mark Melancon and George Kontos throwing well and throwing strikes for Scranton.
At this point, we don’t even need to offer up more analysis. The Yankees have three dead spots on their roster. They owe nothing to these players, and we’ve seen enough — sometimes by simply seeing nothing at all — to know that they don’t belong anymore. It’s time for the Yankees and Brian Cashman to pull the trigger on these three players. With a full 25-man roster, the first-place Yankees, 16-5 over their last 21 games, could be that much better.