In his latest post, Joe Pawlikowski of River Ave discusses something that been quietly bubbling under the surface this spring. Alfredo Aceves has been having back trouble for his past few starts, and he may begin the season on the DL. That would open the door for a 2nd Lefty, either Boone Logan or Royce Ring. He writes:
All spring long Joe Girardi has expressed a desire to carry two lefties in the bullpen. Given the team’s construction, however, that didn’t seem realistic. Seven pitchers lay claim to the seven bullpen spots, only three of whom have options. With David Robertson, Joba Chamberlain, and Aceves ready for significant roles, there is no way the Yankees would option any of them. It seemed for a while that Girardi would have to settle for a bunch of righties who fare well against both same and opposite handed batters. The Aceves injury, however, now appears to open a spot for either Boone Logan or Royce Ring, both of whom have fared well this spring.
Logan would be the most likely choice since he’s already on the 40-man roster. While a 2nd Lefty is always nice, it’s not something essential. You’re generally better off going with your 12 best pitchers than taking a lesser one based on handedness. Many of the Yankee relievers get batters out on both sides of the plate, and Mariano Rivera has always been better facing Lefty batters throughout his career. Dave Robertson actually has a reverse platoon split going all the way back to his days in the minor leagues. Robertson is for all intents and purposes your 2nd lefty specialist. The biggest concern is the ability of to Damaso Marte to stay healthy, which is something we’ve yet to see in his time with the Yanks. But you’ll simply cross that bridge when you come to it. Personally, I’d rather get another look at Mark Melancon, whose upside is far greater than that of Boone Logan or Royce Ring.
Who would you take?