While injuries have not been kind to the Yankees thus far in the 2010 season, they’ve still managed to score a lot of runs (5.76 per game) despite only having their Opening Day lineup intact for 20 of 38 games.
The real culprit behind the majority of the Yankees’ losses this year has been the bullpen (unsurprisingly I’m not the only one focused on this component of the team today — I randomly checked RAB right after completing this post to see they already beat me to the punch), which has basically been downright deplorable outside of Mariano Rivera and Joba Chamberlain, and the latter reminded everyone on Sunday that even He is not invincible.
Of the Yankees’ 13 losses this season, 5 were games in which a reliever was handed a lead or a tie. And those numbers should be 14 and 6 (nearly 50%), were it not for an astonishing, wonderful comeback walkoff win against Jonathan Papelbon and the Red Sox last night.
Let’s look at the individual numbers:
Outside of Joba and Mo (Sanchez and Nova haven’t pitched enough to have meaningful stats yet) those are some scary bullpen FIPs. I’m not going to rip Chan Ho Park too badly for last night, only because he was on the shelf for a month, but an 8.10 ERA, 9.99 FIP, 5.40 HR/9 and .347 BAA are the definition of not getting the job done. I expect Park will improve, but the NL East this is not.
K/9 rate aside, D-Rob’s also been pretty bad, featuring both the highest walk rate and worst Batting Average Against in the entire ‘pen. Damaso Marte’s been mostly brutal and even the currently unavailable Alfredo Aceves has some ugly peripherals. And don’t even get me started on Boone Logan.
As you’ll recall, the Yankee bullpen was an asset for much of the last two seasons, although the unit struggled in the early going of the 2009 campaign, and didn’t truly stabilize into a lockdown force until Phil Hughes was sent to the ‘pen and Jose Veras was finally DFA’d.
Hopefully Brian Cashman recognizes his team’s shortcomings sooner rather than later a la last season and jettisons the dead weight. Logan in particular is screaming for a demotion, Marte — outside of the 2009 postseason — has seemingly never met a fire he couldn’t dump more gasoline on, and as much as I love David Robertson he still hasn’t looked 100% right.
I know they haven’t exactly pitched high leverage frames, but at this point Mark Melancon, Ivan Nova or Romulo Sanchez has to be a better bet than Boone Logan at the very least.
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