With Soriano out, we’ll get the bullpen we wanted

Before I start this article on relievers, let’s put our focus (again) on David Robertson, but this time for a different reason. As you all know, David hails from Alabama, one of the many regions in the country that’s been ravaged by tornadoes in the last month or so. If you didn’t know, David and his wife Erin have set up a charity called High Socks for Hope to benefit those effected. Take a minute and donate if you can.

News broke yesterday that “newly” signed reliever Rafael Soriano is going to miss about six weeks with an elbow issue that, luckily, doesn’t need surgery. The Yankee bullpen has been doing pretty well with out him, though, and that’s encouraging. What this gives us a chance to see now is the bullpen that we were all envisioning before the Soriano signing. Most of us, including yours truly and Brian Cashman, did not agree with or advocate for We thought the Yankees would be just fine with a set-up combination of Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson would be just fine. We were counting on more than one lefty, but Pedro Feliciano got hurt and we’re struck with Boone Logan.

Regardless, the point stands that we will now see the cheap, homegrown set-up tandem we wanted to see. Can they keep performing as well as they have? Probably, though I think we’ll (sadly) see a bit of correction from D-Rob. He’s walking a ton of guys right now and even with all the strikeouts and lack of homers, that could come back to hurt him. What’s nice is that Robertson’s xFIP is 3.01 so if a correction does come, it won’t be too killer.

What we’ll see until Soriano’s return is a bullpen mostly constructed the way we’ve seen it in the Joe Girardi era: a bunch of cheap arms working on getting the ball to Mariano Rivera. Regardless of whether or not Soriano’s there, the bullpen will be fine and, aside from the major arms (Robertson, Chamberlain, and Rivera), it will probably look a lot different at the end of the season than it does now. Soriano and Feliciano would have been obvious helpers in the bullpen, but their presences made the bullpen less flexible and a bit different from how we saw it in ’08-’10. Without them, we’re back to a bullpen construction we’re used to and it’s up to the pitchers to perform. I know they can do it.

A native and resident of the Mean Streets of Southwestern Connecticut, Matt is a narcissistic, misanthropic 20something English teacher who lives by a simple creed: Yankees Only.

4 thoughts on “With Soriano out, we’ll get the bullpen we wanted

  1. Nick

    So this bullpen will have alfredo aceves in it?

  2. oldpep

    Cashman thought the BP needed Feliciano, and signed him despite knowing the Mets had ‘abused’ him. This isn’t the BP he wanted-that one had Logan as a second lefty.

  3. bornwithpinstripes

    lopez from the giants for cervelli and a throw in from the farm

  4. nyyankeefanforever

    Great piece, Matt, and I agree our pen is certainly up to the task in its current configuration, if Joe G can resist abusing them by pulling our starters in close games when they’re cruising and facing their first tight situation. It was, after all, essentially this pen we have now that was a major reason we got to the ALCS last season when our rotation was hitting some awfully raggedy and rough patches. And everyone returning there appears to have matured further and ratcheted up their game a notch.

    In a somewhat related matter, have you checked out Marc Carig’s story on Robertson today in the Newark Star-Ledger? Some particularly fascinating stats and observations on Robbie in it I don’t usually find in a general media article. Here’s the link:

    http://www.nj.com/yankees/index.ssf/2011/05/david_robertson_has_been_a_mag.html

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