Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bruney = New Joba

Last season when Joba started the year in the bullpen, many were wondering who would step up for the eighth inning and replace young flamethrower when he made his transition to the rotation. Brian Bruney was the early front runner for the job but a Lisfranc injury suffered while he was attempting to cover first base kept him out of the bullpen for 89 games.

This season Bruney is again off to a fast start, striking out 10 batters in only five innings including the last five batters he has faced. Bruney has always had command problems, but it is something he has made constant improvements on since joining the Yankees. It's still early and Bruney could lose this feel for the strike zone, but something tells me that he has started to figure out that staying in shape and pounding the strike zone will allow him to maximize his impressive stuff.

If he can lock down the eighth he may put an end to any Joba back to the pen ideas.

1 comment:

Dennis said...

Within the Yankees braintrust I think the Joba to the pen issues have more to do with his health than other relief performances.

If he makes 25+ starts and pitches over 150 innings and is still healthy and throwing well come playoff time, the the issue is dead, regardless of bullpen performances.

But if he spends any time on the DL and has another 12 start season, then Cashman goes and gets another starter and Joba becomes Riviera's heir apparent.