A Ring For A Ring?

Today’s injury news was very positive on the Posada front, but very negative on the pitching front. Unless miracles happen, we can probably cross Aceves and Marte off the list of guys we will see back in the Bronx this year. Both losses hurt, Marte would have given the Yankees a second lefty in the pen while Aceves showed in 2009 he could pitch in a variety of spots. My question is: will today’s news lead the Yankees to break the glass on their “emergency lefty” and summon Royce Ring to the majors?

The playoff bullpen is going to be a real conundrum. We can probably assume the Yankees will take 14 hitters, leaving 11 arms for the staff. We know some certainties- Sabathia, Rivera, Hughes, Pettitte, AJ, Logan, Wood, Robertson and Joba. But those final two spots are a mystery. I would assume one long guy from the quartet of Moseley, Vazquez, Gaudin and Mitre, makes it. (FYI-I am taking Cashman at his word that Nova is out of the discussion, but I hope he changes his mind!) And while the temptation to add a second from that group will be huge, wouldn’t another lefty in the pen make a ton of sense?

It will obviously depend on the matchups. If the Yankees play Texas, I would want to guarantee I can somewhat stymie Josh Hamilton by bringing a lefty up. After all, Hamilton’s slugging percentage goes from an insane .721 against righties to a scary .458 vs. lefties. If the opponent is the Twins, it is important to remember that lefties are Kryptonite to Joe Mauer and reduce the insane numbers of Justin Morneau somewhat. No matter the opponent, their best lefties suffer some impact when a lefty faces them.

My point is Royce Ring is worth a look in the next few weeks. Ring came to camp and while he didn’t make the team, he put up a 1.93 ERA in AAA this year. Against lefties, he allowed only a 1.13 ERA with 26 K’s in 24 innings. Adding him to the club requires a 40-man move, but Reggie Corona hit .238/.306/.354 in AAA this year. He could easily be DFA’ed to make room for Ring on the 40-man and then the Yankees could take a look. They can wait a bit, until Scranton finishes their playoff run, but let’s see Ring face Ortiz in a big spot and see what happens.