Last Tuesday, in light of the middle relief corps’ poor start, I questioned the decision making in letting pitchers like David Aardsma and the still injured at the time Clay Rapada go in favor of guys like Shawn Kelley and Cody Eppley. I also quickly questioned the logic in keeping the team’s top two spot starters, David Phelps and Adam Warren, together in the bullpen as long relievers rather than sending one of them down to stay stretched out in case the Yankees needed a spot start or two. The middle relief issue has faded to the background a bit as the Yankees have gone on a nice little 6-1 run since their rough start, and Eppley has been banished to Triple-A thanks to the return of Phil Hughes to the rotation. But as that rotation has come together and everybody has gone through at least twice, the need for strong middle relief, particularly long relief, has continued to be put on display.
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There was some belief that Almonte had a chance to win the outfield spot, but the switch hitter has hit just .190/.227/.333 in 22 plate appearances. Almonte has never played above Double-A, so he’ll have a chance to compete out of Scranton now. The third outfield spot is looking more and more like Melky Mesa‘s spot to lose.
Corban Joseph was also an option at third base, but his defense this Spring was proven awful. Joseph also put up an unimpressive .200/.286/.200 in his 28 plate appearances, but showed off a much stronger bat in last year’s season in Scranton.
Finally, Warren will now enter his third year in Triple-A. He wasn’t spectacular in his 3 starts (5.00 ERA but a 1.000 WHIP), but he’d have a chance at a starting job on most other teams. At 25 years old, Warren still has some value, and could be a trade chip with the Yankees’ starting depth.
Also, I’m not sure about his status, as on Monday it was reported that Brett Marshall was optioned to Scranton. Yesterday, Marshall appeared in the game against Tampa Bay, and according to the Yankees’ website, he’s been called up again. I’m not sure if that was a mistake or what’s going on, but I assume that Marshall is still with the team.
Though the season hasn’t even started, the Yankees have already had their depth tested in two positions. Curtis Granderson‘s injury has opened up a spot in the outfield, and the catching situation has been much maligned since the Yankees declined to re-sign Russell Martin and passed on signing A.J. Pierzynski. And with Derek Jeter‘s ankle injury, we’ll see the infield depth tested as Eduardo Nunez and/or Jayson Nix get some time at short to spell the Captain. On the other hand, the pitching seems to be fairly deep.
The bullpen is well-stocked and some pitchers (think Clay Rapada and Cody Eppley) will not last the year on the 25-man roster. Likewise, though not quite as widely, the starting rotation is considered to be an area of strength. It’s certainly a talented rotation featuring CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte, and Hiroki Kuroda. But is it as deep as we think?
Phil Hughes has already suffered an injury. Andy Pettitte is coming off an injury (granted it was a freak, batted ball thing). Kuroda, though he showed few (if any) signs of injury last year, is coming off a career high in innings pitched. Sabathia, godly though he may be is coming off of (relatively minor) elbow surgery. It’s easy to imagine one or more of them missing time over the course of the season. If (when) that happens, where can the Yankees turn?
Yesterday morning, Steve posted about trading for Justin Upton. I’m all for this idea; Upton’s a great talent who’s still under 25 (for about a month or so more) and he’s under team control through 2015. He’d make the Yankees better just like he’d make every other team in the league better if he were [...]
With CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte on the DL and David Phelps still getting stretched out in the minors, 24 year-old righty Adam Warren will be making his major league debut tonight against the White Sox. Drafted in the 4th round as a senior from baseball powerhouse UNC, Warren has steadily progressed through the Yankee [...]
I can imagine nothing more nerve-racking in the game of baseball than a player or pitcher’s first plate appearance or first start. Like many, I try to imagine what he’s going through and what he’s thinking, yet I still can’t fathom it. The swirl of opposing emotions must be the most conflicting thing that this [...]
Dante Bichette: Defense Around the time of the draft, Bichette was considered a bat-only prospect with plus raw power but a funky swing. Bichette largely silenced the doubters about his swing by raking in the Gulf Coast League to the tune of a .438 wOBA, but also got better reports on his defense than he [...]
At the moment, any vacancy on the 25 man roster appears to be open for a reliever. Regardless, a strong enough spring could force management to consider one of the organizational prospects. Zoilo Almonte has impressed the most so far, going 5 for 6 with a double and a triple. Top prospects, Dellin Betances and [...]
Before I get into this, my first post at The Yankee Analysts, I’d like to thank everyone here for giving me this opportunity and for welcoming me so fully to the team. I have accepted this position knowing that TYA is not only among the best Yankees blogs on the internet, but among the best [...]