With Brian Bruney returning, the Yankees have a decision to make as to their relief corps. They need to open up a spot on the 25 man roster, with Jose Veras, Edwar Ramirez, and Jonathan Albaladejo the likely choices to be axed. Veras is out of options and would need to pass through waivers, while the other two have options and can be sent down. I think most of us can agree that Albie has been a bit better than the other two, and he seems like he might be able to be a solid back of the bullpen option. In regard to the other two, the Yankees really have no choice at all: they should get rid of both.
This is not a kneejerk reaction to some shaky performances over the last few days. Regular readers will note that I have been preaching patience with these two for a while, and have been one of the strongest advocates for Jose Veras you will ever find. That said, the inability of these two guys to throw strikes on a consistent basis makes them ill suited to remain in the bullpen until they can figure it out. A reliever who walks batters has no margin for error, and essentially does not have the luxury of making even a single mistake lest he allow his baserunners to score. These two need to find the plate in the minors. If the Yankees lose Veras, it would not be the worst thing in the world. Bruney and David Robertson should replace them, as it is time for the Yankees to give D-Rob a chance to earn a spot. He needs to be thrown out there with the frequency that Veras was, so the Yankees can determine whether he is part of the solution for 2009.
If the Yankees choose to only remove one of the two pitchers from the 25 man roster, I would send Edwar down. As I mentioned in the comments yesterday, rallies against Veras generally move slowly, as they are largely built upon walks. This gives Joe Girardi time to determine whether Jose has anything and the opportunity to replace him. Edwar, on the other hand, quickly gives up runs in bunches if he is without his best stuff. It is time for him to go.
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