• For Second Year In A Row, Yanks Pen Screams May Day

    Posted by on April 25th, 2008 · Comments (4)

    To me, it seems like Joe Girardi is really working his bullpen hard this season, to date. Granted, there’s good cause for this – as his starting pitchers, outside of Wang or Pettitte, have not always provided many innings in their games. So, I checked the numbers. As of this morning, Girardi has brought a relief pitcher into a game 65 times this season. And, with 6 more games this month, this pro-rates to 82 “calls to the bullpen” before May 1st.

    How does this rank to other recent Yankees teams? It’s pretty bad.

    Here are the Yankees “Calls To The Bullpen Before May 1st” since 1996. Note that 2008 is to date – and, as mentioned before, that number pro-rates out to 82.

    Year	RP Used
    2008	  65       
    2007	  96       
    2006	  64       
    2005	  61       
    2004	  61       
    2003	  55       
    2002	  55       
    2001	  62       
    2000	  59       
    1999	  47       
    1998	  58       
    1997	  75       
    1996	  56       

    As you can see, somewhere around 55 to 60 seems to be the “norm” here – in terms of “calls to the pen” before May 1st. Last season was a disaster with 96 “calls to the pen” – and the pro-rated number of 82 for this season is not far behind that terrible mark.

    Based on this, it’s somewhat safe to say that this season’s Yankees starting staff, in terms of their April performance, has killed the Yankees bullpen just as much as last season’s starting staff did before May 1st.

    Comments on For Second Year In A Row, Yanks Pen Screams May Day

    1. MJ
      April 25th, 2008 | 9:26 am

      A related point is that I can’t figure out Brian Cashman’s reluctance to use the DL. Brian Bruney has been hurt for two days. Common sense dictates that he’ll be placed on the DL with the type of injury he has. Why wait? Why not bring up a replacement? Why didn’t they DL Giambi/Posada/Jeter when they had the chance? This is a team that desperately needs a couple of fresh arms in the bullpen and Shelley Duncan’s RH bat on the bench.

    2. hopbitters
      April 25th, 2008 | 10:59 am

      It’s still early and Girardi is still figuring out who can do what out of the pen. They also lack a true long man so far, so when a starter goes out early (for whatever reason), it’s been 2 innings at a time for the most part. If there were a true long man, those calls would be reduced.

    3. baileywalk
      April 25th, 2008 | 12:30 pm

      I agree, MJ. Bruney clearly needed to be DL’d and a fresh arm (probably Ramirez, who still hasn’t given up a run in AAA) needed to be brought up.

      It really bit them in the ass last night. Hughes can’t go back out because of the rain delay. Ohlendorf got bombed in two innings. And then they had to empty out the ‘pen.

      On a semi-related topic… I know Joe Girardi is scared to death of rain delays and pitchers after what happened with Josh Johnson, but would it really have been a big deal to send Hughes back out? I’m all for protecting his arm, but he couldn’t stay warm and loose for fifty minutes?

      That short outing (though it wasn’t his fault) really killed the bullpen.

      But they need to get the roster in shape: Chad back to AAA, Bruney to the DL, and Shelley and Edwar back to the Bronx.

    4. MJ
      April 25th, 2008 | 2:10 pm

      Chad back to AAA
      I think Pete Abe said that Chad’s out of minor league options and they’d risk losing him. Granted it’s not the world’s biggest loss but they need to have that emergency catcher at AAA and Moeller — sadly — might be the best available right now.

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