Saturday, April 19, 2014

Remodeled Bullpen Coming Soon

They haven't been bad often, but when they have the Yankee bullpen has been really bad this season.  The prime example of that is Cesar Cabral, who gave up 3 runs on 3 hits and 3 hit batsmen last night without recording an out.  That was enough of a nothing in his all-or-nothing performance trend to earn him a demotion, which came by way of DFA after the game.  Matt Daley was called up from Triple-A to take his place and could see action as early as tonight.

Because of the rainout earlier in the week, the Yankees will need a 6th starter for tomorrow's game.  All indications are that Vidal Nuno will get that start and when he does it will likely be his last appearance for the Major League club for a while.  David Robertson is scheduled to pitch in an ExST game today and if he does so without any problems, he'll likely be activated off the DL on Tuesday.  With Nuno needing a few days off after making a start, he's a shoo-in to get sent down to Triple-A to clear a 25-man spot for D-Rob.

If and when that happens, it will mark the first true re-shuffling of the bullpen deck this season.  D-Rob's injury really just pushed everybody else up the ladder.  Now that he's back, we're going to see who earned more important roles and who earned less.  I don't think much will change up top.  D-Rob will be the closer and Shawn Kelley will be the setup guy.  Matt Thornton will still be a primary 7th inning/LOOGY and I think Adam Warren is going to join him as the other primary middle reliever.  I see Daley settling into lower leverage middle relief and Dellin Betances even lower than that as a mop-up guy based on his early command inconsistencies.  That leaves David Phelps as the long man, the role he's performed best in early on.

It was a very valiant effort by the non-D-Rob contingent in his absence, last night's game notwithstanding.  But it will be good to get things back to normal.  D-Rob being healthy and pitching in the 9th inning makes it much easier for Joe to set up the rest of his role preferences and makes the Yankee 'pen much deeper.

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