Last night in their loss to the Yankees, manager Joe Girardi brought in a relief pitcher making his debut with the Yankees. Left hander, Royce Ring had pitched this season in Triple-A.
Ring was very effective and efficient. This got me thinking. Should Girardi include Ring on the postseason roster?
All three of the teams the Yankees could potentially face in the playoffs – Tampa Bay, Texas, Minnesota – have big name left handed batters. The Yankees currently have just one lefty specialist in the bullpen, Boone Logan. In his first season on the Yankees, Logan has pitched well particularly against lefties.
Logan has given up 15 hits in 19.2 innings against lefties and sports a 1.83 ERA. He has struck out 29 batters while walking just nine. Sure that’s all fine and good but the Yankees will need more than one pitcher to face the tough lefties late in games.
It may not matter to much as it appears the combination of Kerry Wood, Joba Chamerlain, and Mariano Rivera will control the seventh inning on. It would be safer though to have a second lefty specialist available.
Ring had a terrific season in Triple-A. In 52 appearances, the lefty pitched 42 innings, giving up just 35 hits while walking 11 and striking out 39. He had an overall ERA of 1.93 this season for Scranton. Against left handers, Ring allowed just 18 hits and struck out 26. Left handed batters hit just .202 against him.
Some of the left handed hitters the Yankees will face in the postseason are the likes of; Dan Johnson, Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena, and Brad Hawpe from Tampa Bay, Josh Hamilton, Chris Davis, and David Murphy of Texas, and Joe Mauer, Jim Thome, and Jason Kubel from Minnesota.
Who’s spot could Ring take on the roster? Well two names come to mind, Chad Gaudin and Dustin Moseley.
Gaudin has spent time with the Yankees and A’s this year after being a key member of New York’s staff last year. The 2010 season has not gone as smoothly for Gaudin who sports an overall ERA of 5.54 this season, 4.30 with the Yankees.
In 63.1 innings, Gaudin has given up 69 hits including 14 home runs. To many times we have seen Gaudin give up the long ball. Six of the home runs have been hit by left handed batters. Can you give one good reason Gaudin should be on the postseason roster? I can’t.
You would have to feel bad for Dustin Moseley if he is left off the roster considering all he has done for the Yankees this year. After working back from injury, Moseley filled in both in the bullpen as well as the starting rotation.
Moseley has had his moments this season but overall he is 4-3 with a 4.94 ERA. In 58.1 innings of work, Moseley has given up 60 hits, including 11 home runs.
While Moseley may give the Yankees some flexibility on the pitching staff, Gaudin seems expendable. The Yankees and manager Joe Girardi should use this final week to see just what Royce Ring can provide them. He could very well be a nice addition to the bullpen once the postseason begins.