All of the following facts are “to-date”:
Only Rivera, Myers and Vizcaino have pitched in more games this spring for the Yankees than Colter Bean. Further, in terms of the non-starting-pitchers, only Vizcaino, Rasner, and Rivera have pitched more Yankees innings this spring than Bean. Lastly, of all Yankees hurlers this spring with more than 6 IP, only Pettitte and Rivera match Bean in terms of having an ERA of zero.
So, the Yankees are using Colter Bean a lot this spring – and he is responding.
Me? I’ve never been one of those Colter Bean groupies. The fact of the matter is that his Major League Equivalency (MLE) stats, over the last two seasons, say Bean is good for an ERA of 3.70-ish (which is fine) in the bigs – however it comes along with a WHIP in the ballpark of 1.60-ish (which is very bad). Bean just walks too many batters – or at least his MLE’s say that he’ll walk around 6 batters per every 9 innings pitched at the major league level.
So, what’s the deal with the Yankees and the heavy use of Bean this spring? Are they trying to showcase him? Or, are they blind to what the projections say about him and they’re actually giving him a chance to prove his ability to pitch at the next level?
My money is on a trade or a release for Bean, some place over the next ten days. Bean has already logged four seasons at Triple-A – therefore there’s nothing left for him to prove there. Sending him back down again would be flat out cruel. Bean probably could make the major league roster of a team like the Royals, Nationals, or Devil Rays now – why not let him try?
Then again, maybe the Yankees are worried that the Red Sox will grab Bean and develop him into their next closer? Guys like Jose Valverde and Tyler Walker are closing games with high WHIP totals. Hey, you never know, right?
Boy, if the Yankees let Bean walk, and he ended up closing for the Sox, would that sting, or what?