Jonathan Albaladejo appears to have a stranglehold over the final bullpen spot after a strong spring. Obviously, if he makes the team, that would mean that the Yankees would not carry a long reliever (despite Joba’s innings cap).
Now, Albaladejo is a solid option, however, I wonder why he would make the team over someone like David Robertson. This spring, Albaladejo has struck out 8 and given up 1 ER over 9 2/3 IP (1 BB). Meanwhile, over 6 2/3 IP Robertson struck out 10 and gave up 1 ER (3 BB). Albaladejo’s numbers are certainly better, overall, but Robertson’s stuff is undeniable. Also, Albaladejo has only been with the team for a season yet has been given ample opportunities to excel while Robertson has been with the Yankees since 2007 and, at least for now, is destined to toil away in Scranton.
At this point, in order to maintain depth, I guess you can afford to leave Robertson in the minors (he’ll be 24 this year) and go with the older Albaladejo (26). Nonetheless, regardless of whether or not Albaladejo makes the team, I’m sure we’ll see Robertson again, at some point, in 2009.