Mike Silva's New York Baseball Digest » Blog Archive » Yanks Have the Advantage in the Bullpen

Yanks Have the Advantage in the Bullpen



By Mike Silva ~ January 29th, 2012. Filed under: New York Yankees.

Ken Rosenthal broke down what he calls the “Super Six” in the American League on Fox Sports. After an offseason of spending, the Angels and Tigers join the Yankees, Red Sox, Rays, and Rangers as the elite teams in all of baseball.

This year, the American League appears to have the potential to be even more top heavy than ever.

Only four of the “Super Six” can make the playoffs.

Only 2 of the 3 AL East powers can make it.

So what will be the deciding factor?

Rosenthal goes through the strengths and weaknesses of each, but when you have elite teams it usually comes down to one thing: the bullpen.

Assuming all stay healthy and perform up to expectations, there is little difference between the Yankees and the other five elite teams. Most games today are decided in the 7th inning or later. Look at Boston, they couldn’t get the final three outs the last day of the season and that’s why they went home early. The Tigers bullpen was able to shut down the Yankees in the ALDS.

This is where I believe the Yankees have a distinct advantage. They have the best closer of all six teams. They arguably have the best setup man in David Robertson. The depth of the bullpen is a real advantage as you can bring in Rafael Soriano, a closer for all intents and purposes, in the 7th inning. There is also the possibility that Phil Hughes loses out on the last rotation spot and becomes a middle reliever. If Joba Chamberlain returns healthy in June, it’s conceivable the Yankees could trot out four pitchers with “closer-type stuff” after the fifth inning.

Of course, middle-relievers are always unpredictable. But the consistency that Rivera brings to the ninth inning at least gives Joe Girardi some piece of mind for 3 of the 9 late inning outs he needs to navigate. The last 3 outs are always the toughest.

With an improved rotation of that includes new comers Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda, they might not need to navigate as many bullpen outs as they did in 2011.

That will make the bullpen that much more effective.

Advantage Yankees.

Post to Twitter Post to Yahoo Buzz Post to Delicious Post to Digg Post to Facebook

The following two tabs change content below.
Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

Latest posts by Mike Silva (see all)

3 Responses to Yanks Have the Advantage in the Bullpen

  1. Steve S.

    They arguably have the best setup man in David Robertson. The depth of the bullpen is a real advantage as you can bring in Rafael Soriano, a closer for all intents and purposes, in the 7th inning. There is also the possibility that Phil Hughes loses out on the last rotation spot and becomes a middle reliever. If Joba Chamberlain returns healthy in June, it’s conceivable the Yankees could trot out four pitchers with “closer-type stuff” after the fifth inning.

    …(drools uncontrollably)

  2. dan p

    Honestly the Yankees were lucky in the 6th inning last year and sucked in the 7th.

    Soriano hardly pitched in the 7th inning during his career and when he did he gave up a lot of runs.

    I am not thrilled with this pen at all.

    If all pitchers are healthy and pitching equally without any trades being made then this is may be the pen starting the season.

    Mo
    Robertson
    Soriano
    Logan
    Cabral
    Meyers
    Freddie

    With Hughes being sent to the minors where he belongs.

  3. Stu B

    This is the kind of over-analysis that proves nothing and begs the old saw, “that’s why they play the games.”

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.