Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Jim Kaat on Teixeira and the Yanks Bullpen

From Jim Kaat:
The latest deal by the Yankees gives them the gold standard for first basemen in Major League Baseball. Mark Teixeira is a tremendous combination of hitting for average and power, and on top of that, he's an excellent fielder. It solves their problem at first base, which has existed since Tino Martinez was not retained after a terrific run with the Yankees.

If you're a Yankee fan, you have to feel they may have bought the World Series ring that has avoided them since 2000. However, most of you that have read my thoughts or listened to them on the YES Network over the years know I'm a pitching guy. No matter how well Teixeira does, it still will be the guys at the end of the game that decide their fate. Unless they can just outscore everyone, and that never happens against good pitching. This should save some infielders a few errors on errant throws. This guy is good around the bag.

Anyone know who they're counting on to pitch the seventh and eighth inning yet? That's where I'd spend my money. But, like I said earlier, I'm a pitching guy... I always have been, and I always will be. I'd overpay Andy Pettitte for one year because he's "been" and "done" more than any of the new crop.
As I said before I would probably overpay for Pettitte too, but at this point I don't believe anyone is going to give him much more than the $10.5 million the Yanks offered him so I don't think the Yanks should up their offer.

With the bullpen I think the Yankees will be fine. Between Phil Coke, Brian Bruney, Jose Veras, Edwar Ramirez, Damaso Marte, and Jonathan Albaladejo, I think the Yanks will be fine from the sixth inning on.

I see the bullpen setting up like this:

Long Reliever: Aceves/Giese

Middle Relievers: Ramirez, Veras, Albaladejo, Coke/Marte

Setup: Coke/Marte, Bruney

Closer: The Greatest

I think that should be fine.

Don't forget, they also have Mark Melancon in AAA who may be ready to join the big club very shortly. And that's without even mentioning the five or six other arms the Yankees have in the minors waiting in the wings.


Anonymous said...

your list of the bullpen looks good, but consistency with relievers is very hard to find. only time will tell if veras, bruney, and ramirez will duplicate last year's success. odds are it won't happen. also, it will be seen if marte improves from last year when he joined the yankees. albaladejo was hurt for the year so how will he rebound?

imo last year's bullpen was WS-quality, let's hope it will be the same this year.

Greg Cohen said...

You're are 100% right about bullpen consistency. It's very tough to gauge. But with that group I feel confident. Some guys throw heat, some guys have nasty breaking stuff, some guys mix both. It's a very nice mix, and the Yanks can throw a lot of different stuff at other teams.

jmas12 said...

See I think Veras will be a better 8th inning guy than Bruney. Both throw very hard, but Veras hasn't had the control issues that Bruney previously has had (and hopefully is in his past). I totally agree about Melancon, I think there's a good chance he's the setup man by midseason. He threw alot if innings last season, which worried me considering he was coming off TJ surgery. But he got through it, and pitched extremely well. Also keep an eye on Humberto Sanchez and JB Cox. Both struggled last year, but both were coming off TJ surgery as well, which usually takes over a year to fully recover from (like Dotel, who was pretty lousy when we had him but has pitched well since). Either way, I think we have plenty of depth in the bullpen considering we didn't even mention Robertson (who I like alot).

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Michael Dunn a lefty that could be a mid season call-up. I like his arm.
It wouldn't surprise me if Melancon by mid-season is the eighth inning guy.

My pen is:

Aceves (long man)

Mike said...

Pettitte was overpaid last year.

Time to move on.

Joe Kotsovos said...

one thing you can say about Joe Girardi is he knows how to manage a bullpen. he was great in that respect last year. that is one thing i am not worried about, especially with the surplus of arms in the minors.

Anonymous said...

I really thing Bruney will be the setup guy he pitched great after his injury last year. Then you have Marte as a lefty specialist. Jose Veras in the 7th inning, w/ Coke, Robertson & Aceves are bullpen looks strong.

Also I expect Melancon and Brackman to be called up sometime this year.

Anonymous said...

The Yankees could probably build a pretty good trade around their relievers but they are being stupid. This is how the bullpen should shape up:
CL Rivera
Set up- Melancon, Marte, and Albaladejo
Middle- Veras, Bruney
Long- Aceves/Giese

Mike said...

I'd like to see Aceves compete for the #5 slot in the rotation and Bruney compete for the 8th inning slot (where I believe Joba should be).

Liam Gallagher said...

I don't realy like Albaladejo that much. Melancon is ready to come up.

Mike said...

A guy who has only pitched 20 AAA innings is "ready to come up"?

Didn't we learn a lesson about rushing pitchers to the big team in 2008?

Liam Gallagher said...

Your right mike. We don't want that to happen again.

Joe said...

i think Veras will be the setup with marte or bruney
other than that, yeah thats how it will go

pinstripes said...

The bullpen is loaded. There are any number of guys in there that can come in and do the job. Even if you go with a 13 man pitching staff, there are names of guys you'll have to leave off the list. With an 8 man bullpen, you'd probably have the guys Greg listed:


That would leave:

Jonathan Albaladejo
David Robertson
Humberto Sanchez

as three fringe guys, along with several other AAA guys who could all be ready to step in at some point.

The great key to the bullpen is the fact that it's not just 1 or 2 good pitchers. They are 7-8 guys deep with talent. If your "setup" man and Mo pitch one night, you've got any number of other guys that can step in the next night and cover you for 3-4 innings without even having to use your top two. There's no glaring weakness - long relief, setup, short middle relief, closer - every spot has quality arms, and there are enough options that if someone isn't doing well, there's plenty of flexibility to send guys down or bring guys up.

That's one of the things I like about a bullpen like the Yankees will have. There aren't any old, overpaid veterans in the pen. Those are the guys that have killed us over the past several years. There's no guy that you feel like he MUST be the setup man just because he's got seniority. There are no obligations with this pen. Mo is the closer, and beyond that, you go to the hot hand or the pitcher who's earned the most trust - not whoever is getting paid the most or has the most MLB service.

Jeteristheman said...

...that's 8 relievers...

I think the Yankees will carry 7... 8 is quite a bit

Anonymous said...

"A guy who has only pitched 20 AAA innings is "ready" to come up?"

Are you talking about Mark Melancon?
If so he's a reliever. They don't need to pitch as many inning as a starting pitching prospect.
Relievers are one of the few (maybe the only) type of prospects that can move quickly to the majors without worrying are they being "rushed".
Especially a guy like Melancon who is a college pitcher.
He's very advanced. All his pitches are major league ready. And he has outstanding control/command.
Melancon is a totally different situation then Hughes, Kennedy. Those guys are starters they need innings. And both pitchers could use some work on certain pitches. Since starters face the same hitters 3 or 4 times a game.
Again Melancon advanced, reliever, pitches are ML ready, and doesn't need as many innings.