29 Mar 2009
Word out of Tampa is that Joe Girardi is thinking of not bringing a long reliever north when the Yankees start the season. The thinking is that Phil Coke and Albaladejo can fill that role if needed.
Now, I totally agree with this line of thinking if the long guy they select is Brett Tomko. He may have great numbers in camp, but Tomko is 36 and has been mediocre at best in his career. There is no way he can be expected to flourish over the 2009 season. But, I think that Aceves has a lot of potential and I was hoping he would be the long guy out of the pen this year.
Furthermore, they are going to have a need for a long guy most of the time Joba starts if they want to keep his innings down. They haven’t said what Joba’s innings limit is, but logically 150 seems a good guess. If he starts 30 times, a reasonable estimate, he would pitch an average of five innings a start. That is going to force the bullpen to pitch four innings on most days he starts. Also, what happens when a starter gets shelled and has to be pulled in the second or third inning? You can pitch Coke and Albe two innings each and then use some other relievers, but that will burn out the pen quickly.
Far better to have a guy built to go four or five innings available in the pen in my mind. We will find out soon if the Yankees agree with me.