Mo’s back, so all must be right in the world, right? Truth is, the Yankees bullpen has the potential for good and bad. There are quality arms that come with legitimate questions, most of them relating to injuries and the ability to bounce back. What the current group of relievers does not offer is much long-term stability. There’s a very good chance that, at this time next year, four of the Yankees top five relievers will have signed elsewhere or retired.
Falling in line
The potential here is pretty obvious. Mariano Rivera is the greatest closer of all time. David Aardsma was a pretty good closer before his elbow injury. Joba Chamberlain is still just 27 years old and doesn’t have to be his 2007 self to still have a good fastball/slider combination. Boone Logan held lefties to a .231/.293/.372 slash line last season. Dave Robertson could very well be one of the five best setup men in the game.
If missing last season actually saved a few bullets in Rivera’s arm; if Chamberlain and Aardsma gets back to their old selves two years after Tommy John (which wouldn’t be out unprecedented); if Logan can get back to a normal workload focused on left-on-left matchups; and if Robertson can keep his walk rate where it was last season the Yankees will have a shutdown bullpen in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings. Add a long reliever (David Phelps, Ivan Nova, Adam Warren, whoever) and a situational reliever (probably Clay Rapada as an early-inning lefty specialist) and the Yankees bullpen could be an overall strength just like last season.
Best case, worst case: Bullpen
The LoHud Yankees Blog | Feb 6