Continuing with today's theme of looking back at the month of May for the Yankees, the middle relief was particularly disturbing. The Yankees are still eighth in MLB in bullpen ERA (3.10), but they have been greatly buoyed by the awesomeness of Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller. Look beyond those two and it gets pretty ugly. Despite still being eighth overall in bullpen ERA, the Yankees were 24th in May (4.43). Here's a look at some of the numbers and they're mostly cringe worthy.
Chasen Shreve- 10.2 innings, 14 strikeouts, one walk, seven hits, 2.53 ERA, 1.97 FIP
Justin Wilson- 8.2 innings, six strikeouts, three walks, 10 hits, 6.23 ERA, 3.09 FIP
David Carpenter- 9.1 innings, six strikeouts, four walks, 14 hits, 6.75 ERA, 6.20 FIP
Esmil Rogers- 15.2 innings, 13 strikeouts, 10 walks, 21 hits, 7.47 ERA, 6.03 FIP
Jacob Lindgren- 3.1 innings, three strikeouts, three walks, three hits, 5.40 ERA, 7.89 FIP
Garrett Jones- 2/3 inning, 0.00 ERA
You may laugh at including Jones, but his 0.0 WAR for May was higher than Rogers, Carpenter and Lindgren, who were all in the negative. Rogers pitching egregiously is to be expected and how he still has a roster spot is not really explainable.
However, Carpenter being this bad is pretty surprising considering what he did in Atlanta. He had a FIP under 3.00 in 2013 and 2014 and he averaged 10.01 K/9. Now, he isn't getting anybody out let alone striking out hitters. His slider being non-existent is mostly to blame.
Lindgren was supposed to be a fix to this middle relief issue, but he has looked underwhelming thus far and nothing like the hyped prospect. His fastball has averaged under 90 MPH, he can't find the plate and he certainly hasn't given Joe Girardi a reason to trust him in a high leverage spot yet.
Shreve has established himself as the only trustworthy pitcher among this group and should probably have the "seventh inning role" locked down at this point. His four strikeout performance on Saturday in Oakland was brilliant.
The starters have not been helping out this unit with not giving enough innings. Hopefully Masahiro Tanaka can help change that. The middle relief has been so bad that the Yankees might be considering moving Adam Warren there even though he has been their second best starter of late. That would still be a mistake because no matter how bad your middle relief is your starting pitching is more important, and Chris Capuano is an abomination.
The Yankees are fifth in MLB in runs scored with 228. Chase Headley, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran have really picked up the pace and Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira have maintained their great hitting. If Headley, McCann and Beltran keep it up and Jacoby Ellsbury comes back soon the offense figures to be good enough to win the division. However, the Yankees will need the pitching to get it together, especially the middle relievers and back end starters.