Blue Jays hand Yankees a victory that Yankee bullpen hands right back

Josh Johnson and the Blue Jays handed this game to the Yankees in the fifth inning. With the Blue Jays leading 2-1, the Yankees loaded the bases on three hits by Chris Stewart, Robinson Cano and Vernon Wells. Johnson managed to get Travis Haffner out, but after that he completely lost the strike zone. Johnson issued bases loaded walks to Lyle Overbay and Eduardo Nunez, handing the Yankees a 3-2 lead. The Yankees expanded that lead the next inning when Brett Gardner scored Jayson Nix on a sacrifice fly. Suddenly the Yankees were up by two heading into the final innings with a possible sweep on their hands.

It wasn’t meant to be. Ivan Nova walked Adam Lind to start the bottom of the sixth inning. That brought up J.P. Arencibia who doubled, putting runners on second and third with no outs. That was the end of Nova’s day. The Yankees handed things over to Boone Logan who gave up a single to Colby Rasmus, the only batter he faced.… Click here to read the rest

The Case For Trading Boone Logan

Courtesy of Tim Farrell/The Star-Ledger

(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

The trade market continues to look like the best option for the Yankees to address their biggest areas of need this offseason.  With the bulk of this year’s free agent class picked clean and the team already stretching its budget to add Kevin Youkilis and guarantee 2 years to Ichiro Suzuki, it’s highly unlikely the Yankees will plunk down more guaranteed money to what are essentially scraps.  There have been multiple reports of the Yankees quietly shopping guys like Curtis Granderson, Phil Hughes, and Ivan Nova already this offseason, reports that as of yet have returned very little in the way of meaningful rumors.  But there are more trade options than just those names.  One name that has come up consistently around the Yankosphere is Boone Logan.  The oft-maligned lefty reliever had another solid season in 2012, and could generate interest on the trade market as something better than just your everyday LOOGY.  … Click here to read the rest

Logan’s Strikeout Numbers Cooling Off

One of the most dominating figures in the bullpen has surprisingly risen in Boone Logan. He began 2012 with a 12.54 K/9 in April and a 15.43 K/9 in May, which can be substantiated by a 29.87% whiff rate on the slider in both months. The outbreak from the Yankees’ left handed reliever was a much needed boost to a bullpen that quickly lost it’s two best components in Mariano Rivera and David Robertson. Unfortunately, Logan has been less successful in June, hosting a lackluster 5.40 K/9 and a measly 9.30% whiff rate with the slider. Could the league have caught up to his slider, or are we seeing the pitch diverge from earlier in the year?

Boone Logan’s Slider in 2012
Date Velocity V Mvt H Mvt Spin Angle Spin Rate
4/8-5/30 81.1 2.31 -0.58 189 569
6/1-6/17 81.7 1.63 0.46 176 488

The PITCHf/x numbers on the slider show slightly less sinking action, and around an inch less movement away from same side hitters in June, many of which are slowly creeping into change up territory.… Click here to read the rest

The Clay Rapada Option

Left-handed pitcher Clay Rapada was released by the Orioles yesterday. The thirty year old pitcher has seen some success in the minor leagues, but struggled mightily in the major leagues, posting a career 5.13 ERA and 5.5 BB/9 through 52.2 IP. While the overall numbers are less than inspiring, he appeared to make strides in 2011 with a 3.9 BB/9 and a 9.9 K/9.

Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE

Though the southpaw’s fastball only sits mid 80’s, he’s had a lot of success striking out lefties. Over his major league career, he’s held left-handed hitters to .153/.252/.220 and a 9.35 K/9. When you compare splits and look at his numbers against righties, the .359/.474/.692 triple slash clearly indicates where his failures come from. In 2011, Rapada held lefties to .104/.170/.167 with an 11.05 K/9 and 2.45 BB/9 through 14.2 IP. While his 2.28 FIP last year comes from small sample size, it is consistent with the rest of his career, and could represent an upgrade over the current options.… Click here to read the rest

Triple-R: The Bullpen

Any discussion about the Yankee bullpen starts and ends with this man. Courtesy of UPI/John Angelillo.

(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

Since I did such a bang up job predicting the rotation that will no longer include almost half of the analyzed members, I figured I might as well see this series all the way through to its conclusion.  With what happened last time, maybe there’s some Triple-R karma left over from the Pineda trade and a few days after this is posted the Yankees will somehow add Craig Kimbrel and Sean Marshall to the bullpen before the season starts.  But if not, here’s what we can expect from the current members of the Yankee ‘pen.

Mariano Rivera- Remain

At this point, history, logic, and conventional wisdom can basically go out the window with Mo.  He is doing things in his 40s and performing at a level that nobody else in sports, save for maybe Nicklas Lidstrom, is doing. … Click here to read the rest

Do The Yankees Really Need Another Lefty Reliever?

(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

While this offseason has been mostly an inactive one for the Yankees, one thing they have gone after consistently is cheap pitching depth.  From re-signing Freddy Garcia to another team-friendly one-year deal to taking low-risk flyers on guys like Adam Miller, Brad Meyers, and Matt Daley, the Yankees have definitely given themselves plenty of options to choose from when it comes to filling out their Major League and Triple-A pitching staffs for 2012.  Among this smorgasbord of lower-level talent is a collection of left-handed relief pitchers (Cesar Cabral, Mike O’Conner, and Hideki Okajima) from which the Yankees will presumably look to fill the “2nd bullpen lefty” role that was left vacant in 2011 thanks to injuries suffered by the now departed Damaso Marte and the still being paid Pedro Feliciano.  But in looking at how the team, and the bullpen, will likely be constructed in 2012, is a 2nd lefty reliever something the Yankees should even be pursuing?… Click here to read the rest

A Quick Thought On Boone Logan

About a week ago, Mike Axisa over at RAB wrote about the odd season that Boone Logan is having:

In the series opener, Boone allowed a single to the lefty Carl Crawford to load the bases before striking out the switch-hitting Jarrod Saltalamacchia (LOL) and the righty Darnell McDonald. Yesterday he gave up the homer to lefty Jacoby Ellsbury that basically won the game for the Red Sox. Now, Logan did rebound to get both Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz after the homer, but by then the damage was done. Coming into the series, left-handed batters were hitting .235/.300/.425 in 91 plate appearances off the Yankees’ lefty specialist. Effective, but not exactly lock down given the power numbers. On the other hand, righties were hitting just .216/.286/.255 in 56 plate appearances off Logan.

Of course, Boone did have a little bit of a revelation in Cincinnati after Alex Rodriguez pulled him aside and told him to have a plan for each pitch, and since then he’s been much better.

Click here to read the rest

Discussion: Bullpen

So last night was hardly a banner night for the Yankee pitching staff. Bartolo Colon didn’t make it out of the first inning (though not all of it was his fault) and then each Yankee reliever gave up at least one run in the course of pitching in relief. Boone Logan was Boone Logan and Sergio Mitre was Sergio Mitre. So, what can be done now?

J.C. Romero was just brought in on a minor league deal and could end up in the Majors. So, does that mean the Yankees will finally cut ties with Logan and designate him for assignment? I’d say yes. Having two lefties is nice, but with Romero, Logan doesn’t serve much of a purpose, does he? What do you guys think?

As for Sergio Mitre, well, I’ll agree with Moshe on this one, even if I dislike Mitre a lot. A guy like Mitre is necessary for mop up duty. He’s a bad pitcher, replacement level at best, but that’s what the 12th guy in the bullpen should be.… Click here to read the rest

Yankee comeback bid falls short; lose to Jays 16-7 as Colon throws shortest outing of the season

(Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)

Safe to say this was not the way the Yankees were hoping to kick off the second half of the season.

Events unfolded about as terribly as one could imagine in Thursday night’s ballgame, as the Blue Jays scored eight times in the first inning and led 9-0 after two. Though the eight first-inning runs were Bartolo Colon‘s, he was only officially charged with three due to an Eduardo Nunez error (shocking!), and though Colon appeared to be getting somewhat squeezed by the home plate umpire he still didn’t pitch well and was yanked after only 2/3 of an inning. This was easily the shortest outing by a Yankee starter this season, and during the game speculation ran rampant that Colon either wasn’t fully healthy or perhaps re-injured himself covering first base. After the game Colon admitted that he’s preoccupied with his leg, and if Colon is less than 100%, it’s probably time for the Yankees to bring Ivan Nova back up and let Colon heal properly.… Click here to read the rest