Last year the Yankees
Bullpen got mixed results. Besides Mariano Rivera, the bullpen had a lot of question marks coming into this season. So the Yankees made some moves and only time will tell how they pan out. Here is hte 2006 Yankees bullpen:
Starting with the closer as the most important bullpen position, the Yanks have old reliable and the best closer in baseball, Mariano Rivera. Rivera had his best season as a Yankee most analysts will say posted an unheard of ERA nearing 1. He had 40+ saves like he has every year and at times seemed to be unhittable. HE quietly had one of his best seasons ever. This year, his production will continue as the Yankees lineup will generate more save opportunities for Rivera and for saves in his column.
The first big question mark is the setup man. Gone is Tom Gordon who was one of the best set up man in the game last year. He went to Philadelphia to be their closer. So they signed free agent Kyle Fransworth from the Braves who put up excellent numbers with the Braves last year. My only question is that can he put up the same numbers. I don’t think so. Most braves pitchers do well because of Leo Mazzoni and Bobby Cox two of the best baseball men in the game. Like Jaret Wright, Farnsworth’s numbers will decline. However I still think he can be a productive set up man.
Next is Tanyon Sturtze who has been pretty durable for the Yanks. He has filled in as a spot starter and has pitched nicely the past couple of years out of the bullpen. He does have some shaky games but most of the time he puts up good numbers.
Then there is Octavio Dotel Dotel was a great closer for the Astros a couple of years ago but on the A’s he struggled and got injured for most of the year. I think that if he has a good year and stays healthy he can really regain his dominating self and fireball instinct he once had. Plus the Yanks aren’t paying that much money so it is a gamble well worth taking.
Finally there is Chacon and Aaron Small coming out of the bullpen, tow men who were used as starters last year and put up good numbers. I don’t know how much playing time they will receive depending on injuries to the pitching staff but they will put up good numbers.
The Yankees bullpen will definetly be better than last year. It is no longer a question mark like last year and for the most part these releivers will put up good numbers.