Tom Boorstein, over at SNY.tv, takes a look at the Yankees bullpen, among other things, in his latest feature (on the state of the Yankees pitching). Here’s a snip:
Brian Bruney, just off the disabled list, has more elbow pain. Phil Coke has had back problems and a propensity to go from bad to good and back in the blink of an eye. Mariano Rivera has already allowed more home runs (five) than he has in any season since 2001, when he also allowed five. Damaso Marte is on the DL with a shoulder injury and is a distant memory.
Gone from the Opening Day bullpen are Edwar Ramirez and Jonathan Albaladejo, both sent to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Steven Jackson (designated for assignment and claimed off waivers by the Pirates) didn’t even pitch for the team despite being on the roster for a week. David Roberston has been up and down, as has Anthony Claggett. The Yankees have even been desperate enough to call up — and keep (!) — Brett Tomko.
Some of the worst bullpens in Yankees history include the squads from 2004, 2005 and 2008.
Yes, I know that many liked last year’s pen. However, LaTroy Hawkins, David Robertson, Damaso Marte and Ross Ohlendorf were all sore spots, to an extent last season. (In 2004, Felix Heredia, Tanyon Sturtze, Scott Proctor and Gabe White were the warts of the Yanks’ pen. And, in 2005, Felix Rodriguez, Scott Proctor, Mike Stanton, Alan Embree and Paul Quantrill were not pretty.)
So, when you factor in the mess of this year’s bullpen, that’s four of the last six seasons where Brian Cashman has had issues putting together an effective and deep pen.
And, for the record, the Yankees starting staffs in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 were a mess too. See:
Carl Pavano, Al Leiter, Kevin Brown and Jaret Wright in 2005.
Randy Johnson, Shawn Chacon, Cory Lidle and Sidney Ponson in 2006.
Mike Mussina, Kei Igawa, Matt DeSalvo and Tyler Clippard in 2007.
Darrell Rasner, Sidney Ponson, Ian Kennedy, Philip Hughes and Carl Pavano in 2008.
Last time I checked, being able to put together a solid pitching staff was something you wanted out of your G.M., no?