• Bullpen Could Be Ideal Spot For Aceves

    Posted by on March 19th, 2010 · Comments (5)

    We’re now well into spring training and the candidates for the final slot in the rotation are separating themselves from the pack. Logic dictates that a youngster like Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain will open the season as a starter, but if the Yankees opt to evaluate the candidates based on their spring training performance, Alfredo Aceves is the clear winner and Sergio Mitre is still in the mix. If you are one of the fans that think Alfredo Aceves should be named the fifth starter, I recommend you stop reading this post. Then again, you probably did not read it based on the title.

    The final spot in the rotation should be occupied by Hughes or Chamberlain. At this point, Hughes looks like the better option, but the spring is still young. Upside is something the front office will take into account, but there are other reasons why Ace should be sent to the pen. Joe Girardi will have to evaluate what would help the team more: a solid back-of-the-rotation pitcher who will make 25-32 starts or a stud reliever that will help preserve wins in 40-50 games. I’m inclined to go with the later. When you take upside into account, it becomes a no-brainer. As good as Aceves has been, Hughes and Chamberlain both have more potential. There is an excellent chance that one of them could finally realize that potential this year as a starter.

    Plenty of teams have found success with a league-average fifth starter, especially when they have an extremely sturdy bullpen. If Hughes or Chamberlain performs above the league average lines, the Yanks will be in even better shape. Especially considering that one of them will probably also be joining Aceves in the pen. A relief corps anchored by Mariano Rivera, David Robertson, Chamberlain/Hughes and Aceves is just way too strong to pass up. Especially if Chan Ho Park, Damaso Marte and Mark Melancon exceed expectations.

    Comments on Bullpen Could Be Ideal Spot For Aceves

    1. clintfsu813
      March 19th, 2010 | 2:21 pm

      I agree. Our BP is one of our strongest areas as of now. Strong BP equals Playoffs more times than not.

    2. K-V-C
      March 19th, 2010 | 3:04 pm

      If the fifth spot was to be decided on spring performance, then it should be Ace. I think the Yanks really want Joba to get it though. Will they send one of them down to AAA (Hughes/Chamberlain)?

    3. Corey Italiano
      March 19th, 2010 | 3:51 pm

      I’m of the group that the best pitcher should be the 5th starter. That said, I wouldn’t mind seeing Aceves in the 5th starter role because I feel like his arsenal (he’ll invent pitches) plays out better when you’re seeing a hitter multiple times. This skill set does, however, make him a great swing man.

      Also, should be noted that Hughes’ last outing was made against mostly minor leaguers, whereas Joba’s last appearance was against a mostly packed Phillies lineup. And I’m sure that both of them (for example Hughes with his change-up), are not pitching like they would a regular season game, but are currently working on things to enhance their regular season game.

      No matter what, we shouldn’t judge anything solely on spring statistics.

    4. 77yankees
      March 19th, 2010 | 8:47 pm

      Things change so much between spring training and the course of a season. Remember our bullpen breaking camp last year featured Edwar Ramirez & Jose Veras in set-up roles. And Wang as a rock solid #3 starter.

      If I were to take a guess, I’d say during the season Robertson elevates to Mo’s set up man, Joba becomes the 7th inning guy, and both Aceves & Hughes will see some time in the rotation this season, with Hughes on his innings limit.

    5. poopface
      March 19th, 2010 | 9:41 pm

      Um. Melancon? Really? What happened to Mitre and Gaudin?

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