New York Yankees Bullpen Frightens Me

It’s a good thing the New York Yankees starting pitchers have been able to go deep into ballgames most of the season. It is however a long season, and the bullpen will need to step up and win some games for this club.

Do you feel confident they can? I sure don’t. Outside of Mariano Rivera who is having another excellent season, the Yankees bullpen is full of question marks.

Rivera holds own the ninth inning. That’s not a problem. The veteran is 0-1 this season with a 1.11 ERA in 24.1 innings. He has converted 16 of 17 save chances while giving up just nine hits all year to this point.

The problem is, if a starter only goes five or six innings, how do we get to Rivera. Sure Joba Chamberlain is out there for the eighth, but can you even trust him anymore?

Chamberlain is the guy many believe will be groomed to replace Rivera whenever baseball greatest closer decides to retire. However, at 1-3 and a 5.34 ERA, I’m not sure he is ready for that. Chamberlain has lost something. He has lost his fire, his dominance. Sure he has struck out 35 batters in 30.1 innings, but he has also given up 32 hits and 18 earned runs.

David Robertson was a guy expected to carry the load in the bullpen. Last season he was dominant at times. The Yankees hoped he could carry that over into this season. He has pitched a little better of late, but still not the Robertson we saw last season.

This year, Robertson is 0-2 with a 5.64 ERA. In 22.1 innings, he has given up 29 hits and 11 walks. Not the numbers of someone you can count on to win games out of the bullpen.

Sergio Mitre and Alfredo Aceves are two pitchers the Yankees need to get healthy. These two guys could be the answers, but coming back from injury is never a sure thing.

Chan Ho Park and Chad Gaudin just need to go. Get rid of these two guys. Park is a disaster. After a great season for the Phillies last year, the Yankees thought they were getting a solid bullpen guy. NOT!

Park has been bombed time and time again this year. He currently stands at 1-1 with a 6.86 ERA. He has given up 28 hits in 21 innings this season, including six home runs.

Gaudin is in his second stint with the Yankees this season. He was already released once. Gaudin is simply not getting the job done. He is 0-3 with a 6.89 ERA. Yes there is someone with a worse ERA than Park. Park has given up eight home runs and 41 hits in just 31.1 innings.

The lefty specialists have been up and down. Boone Logan has split time between the Majors and Triple-A. His first stint was not pretty. He has done much better of late but he is still not a guy I trust. His control needs to be better as he has walked ten batters in 15 innings.

Damaso Marte for the most part has gotten the job done. He generally comes into games to get one or two batters out. He currently sports a 3.65 ERA however, a little high for a specialist.

Basically, the conclusion to all of this is that Mariano Rivera is the only pitcher in the Yankees bullpen that I trust at this point. The problem is, where does help come from?

Mark Melancon is in Triple-A right now and has made a few appearances with the Yankees. He is to inconsistent to be trusted in big spots.

Another Triple-A pitcher, Romulo Sanchez made a one game appearance for the Yankees and was impressive. He pitched 3.2 innings, giving up just one hit and striking out three. Sanchez however is a starter for Scranton-Wilkes Barre and the Yankees likely want him to stay in that role. He could however help out later in the year in the Yankees bullpen.

The only two true options I see on the Yankees Triple-A roster are Royce Ring and Jonathan Albaladejo. Both pitchers have been dominant this season in the minors. Ring is a veteran lefty that could help. My question is though, why hasn’t he been brought up instead of Boone Logan? Ring is 1-0 this season with a 1.48 ERA. He has pitched 24.1 innings, giving up just 15 hits while striking out 22 batters.

We have seen Albaladejo up with the Yankees the past couple years and it has not been a pretty sight. He is currently the Triple-A closer and having an All-Star type season. He is 2-1 with a 1.31 ERA and 23 saves so far. Albaladejo has given up just 19 hits in 34.1 innings. Always strike out type pitcher, the big right has struck out 45 batters already.

Luckily for manager Joe Girardi and the Yankees, the starting pitchers have been able to go deep into games this season. At some point however, the bullpen will need to get them out of jams or win them some games. I just don’t know how confident you can be in this group when that time comes.

How long can we wait for Aceves and Mitre to return? Do we go to the minors and bring up some new faces? Should they go out and trade for bullpen help? What are you thoughts on this?