Here’s a look at the Yankees bullpen work, this season to date, sans Joba Chamberlain’s contribution (as he’s a starter now) – with stats via the Complete Baseball Encyclopedia:
PITCHER RSAA G BR/9 IP SO/BB IP Kyle Farnsworth 3 40 12.38 2.5 40.0 Mariano Rivera 16 38 6.17 12.5 42.1 LaTroy Hawkins -6 29 13.62 1.1 36.1 Edwar Ramirez 6 28 10.13 2.7 32.0 Jose Veras 6 28 10.43 2.8 29.1 Ross Ohlendorf -10 25 15.75 1.9 40.0 Billy Traber -1 15 16.03 1.2 10.2 Brian Bruney 3 9 11.12 2.0 11.1 Dan Giese 4 8 8.87 2.7 22.1 Jon Albaladejo 1 7 13.83 2.2 13.2 Chris Britton 2 4 9.00 0.5 7.0 David Robertson 1 4 12.00 2.5 6.0 Scott Patterson 0 1 20.25 1.0 1.1
Mo Rivera has been, well, Mo Rivera – and then some. He’s really off-the-charts good, so far, this season. The bulk of the heavy lifting, around Mo, has been done by five guys (to date):
Kyle Farnsworth, LaTroy Hawkins, Edwar Ramirez, Jose Veras and Ross Ohlendorf
Ohlendorf, albeit due to the way he was used or something else, didn’t work out and has since been replaced by David Robertson. (And, for what it’s worth, so far, Robertson doesn’t appear to be afraid to pitch in the big leagues.)
LaTroy Hawkins has been terrible and needs to be replaced. (And, if Brian Bruney comes back soon, that could be it for Hawkins.)
Kyle Farnsworth still allows too many baserunners. But, to his credit, on the whole, he has not been terrible during the first half of the season.
The real gems in the Yankees pen, during the first half of 2008, have been Edwar Ramirez and Jose Veras. Check out their numbers (in the above chart). In terms of workload, controlling the strikezone, and preventing baserunners/runs, they’ve been equally great.
Veras was a Texas Rangers cast-off who the Yankees picked up in November of 2005. Ramirez was a Los Angeles Angels cast-off who the Yankees picked up in July of 2006. It took two years for these two to pay-off in Yankeeland…but it’s happening now. Brian Cashman deserves a gold star for finding these two on the scrap heap, picking them up, and being patient…waiting for what we’re seeing from them now.
Many people had concerns about the Yankees bullpen prior to this season. Edwar Ramirez and Jose Veras have quelled those concerns – again, for now.
Then again, we are talking about (ballpark) 30 innings worth of work from each of them.
Let’s not forget 2005 – when the Yankees had Tanyon Sturtze in their pen…and we were all crediting Brian Cashman for finding him on the scrap heap and bringing him to New York, etc., just about this time that season.
Yes, by June 28, 2005, Sturtze had thrown 42 innings in 30 games for the Yankees with an ERA of 3.43 (and an OOBP of .277). But, from June 28, 2005 through the end of the 2005 season, Sturtze threw 36 innings in 34 games for the Yankees with an ERA of 6.25 (and an OOBP of .382).
You never know when the clock will strike midnight with these scrap heap guys. So, we have to be careful before we say that Edwar Ramirez and Jose Veras are money in the bank.