For the Yankees, he’s a nice addition, though. Don’t be swayed by his ERA in the National League, which is driven by a high BABIP and a low LOB%, neither of which are particularly good predictors of future performance. Gaudin has a solid fastball/slider combination and is extremely tough on right-handed hitters. Unfortunately, his change-up kind of sucks, so lefties give him serious problems, which is why he’s never been able to hold down a job as a starting pitcher…..
Whatever role he ends up filling over the last two months, he’s certainly going to be a reliever in October if he makes the playoff roster, and he could be a pretty good one if the Yankees use right. As a right-handed specialist, he could be a real asset out of the pen. Look at him as Jeff Nelson 2.0, and use him accordingly, and New York will have added a nice piece. If they continue to force him to face lefties, though, it won’t be as pretty.
I think there is a decent chance that he ends up as the 5th starter in short order, but he sounds like a nice piece to have out of the bullpen in the postseason. I could see him being used to face a tough right-handed hitter like Youkilis or Miguel Cabrera in the latter innings of a playoff game. This would allow Joe Girardi to use Phil Coke more judiciously, possibly paring Gaudin and Coke to get through innings that have two lefties and a righty.
Assuming that Sergio Mitre does not make the postseason roster, the Yankees would have a rotation of CC, AJ, Joba, and Pettitte, and a bullpen of Gaudin, Melancon, Robertson, Bruney, Coke, Aceves, Hughes, and Rivera. That bullpen could probably use another lefty, so Damaso Marte may steal a spot should he prove himself ready to contribute over the next few weeks. Otherwise, it is a versatile pen, with Gaudin, Hughes, and Aceves able to give some length, Coke to match up with tough lefties, and Robertson/Melancon/Bruney able to notch some strikeouts with runners on earlier in the game.
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