I logged on tonight to write about the bullpen, and the overreaction of some people to a few bad outings from people such as Jose Veras and Damaso Marte. I noticed that Joe P. from RAB made the point I wanted to make, so I will just post his thoughts and then expound upon them:
Damaso Marte and Jose Veras generated plenty of complaints, and with good reason. But to make sweeping statements about them based on one appearance is a bit much. We know what Veras is at this point: a guy with an electric fastball and a devastating curveball. There are going to be days when he can’t hit the strike zone with the fastball, rendering the curveball moot. Does that mean he sucks? No. He has his flaws, just as pretty much every reliever in the bigs has flaws. That’s why they’re relievers and not starters. Marte had a tough outing, too, reminiscent of his stinker in Texas last August. Yet to make proclamations about how he stinks is to ignore years of quality work — not to mention the quality work he’s done for the Yanks outside of a few appearances which stand out in fans’ minds.
The portion that I bolded is a point that I think is fairly important. Relieers as a group are generally streaky and flawed. Marte and Veras have had a rough start to the season. However, Marte has had a long, successful career, and there were periods last season where Veras was untouchable. It is too early to give up on these guys.
Are you allowed to be worried? Certainly. Bullpens are volatile, and players who perform well one season may be awful the following year. Depth is vital in finding an effective mix of pitchers. Thankfully, the Yankees are loaded with relievers in the minor leagues, and should be able to fill holes should certain pitchers continue to perform poorly. Pitchers such as Jackson, Dunn, Claggett, Aceves, Melancon, and Robertson are ready to contribute at the major league, giving the Yankees the depth necessary to piece together an effective bullpen.
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