Six and a half weeks ago, I wrote:
This all said, it would be wishful thinking to expect more than 70 wins from the Yankees starters in 2006. Where are the other 25-30 wins (probably needed to win) coming from? The bullpen? Do we even know who is in the bullpen yet for 2006?
Well, we know a lot more about the Yankees bullpen for 2006 now than we did then. So, it’s a good time to try and find those 25-30 wins.
Between Mo, Farnsworth, Villone and Myers, the 2006 Yankees should get around 20 wins. Probably just a tad less – but, close to twenty.
This means the Yankees will need solid seasons from the rest of their pen next year: Sturtze, Small, Wright and Dotel.
Here’s the rub: One or two of those above four will not be in the bullpen for the full season next year.
If I had to guess, I would pick, right now, Sturtze and Small to be the ones out of the gate to be in the pen (for sure) and there for most of the season. (And, if the Yankees go with 12 pitchers, then Wright makes the team as a long-man – unless he’s needed in the rotation due to an injury.) I just think that Dotel will not be a factor until June-ish.
What does this mean? It means the Yankees are going to need good seasons from Sturtze and Small in 2006 – or from whoever fills out the pen after Mo, Kyle, and the two lefties. If they don’t get it, even with the extra offense of Damon, New York could be looking at closer to 90 wins than closer to 100 wins in 2006.