(It's OK, D-Rob. You're still MY closer of the future. Courtesy of Getty Images)
Like the lineup, the 2012 Yankee bullpen was made up of mostly familiar faces. Unlike the lineup, those familiar faces didn't experience nearly the regression in performance that their bat-wielding teammates did. That's not to say that the bullpen wasn't without its own problems this season. They certainly weren't spared the wrath of the injury bug, losing the 2 most important members of the group for different stretches of time early in the season. But that was alleviated by the return of others from previous injuries later in the season, a big-time comeback season from 2011's biggest disappointment, and another instance of Cash finding diamonds in the rough that contributed their fair share of above-average middle innings work.
The bullpen group wasn't as otherworldly dominant as they could have been, which is to be expected when the best relief pitcher on the planet misses almost the entire season. But as anticipated they maintained their status as one of the best groups in baseball. Their 3.62 FIP in 444.0 innings of work ranked 6th in MLB, 3rd in the American League, as did their 8.92 K/9. Despite Joe still remaining too married to the idea of set roles for certain guys, the Yankee bullpen managed to step up and overcome the biggest obstacle they've faced in some time to once again be the backbone of this team.