Friday, May 22, 2009

That's One Way to Limit Joba's Innings

The Yankee fans have been worrying all season about what the Yankees will do to limit Joba's innings load for the season. You want him to stay healthy simply because you want him to be the ace of this staff in a couple of season but you can't afford to lump 180-200 innings on an arm that has yet to see 150.

Last night the Yanks were given some unintentional help in that department by a line drive off the bat of Adam Jones. Lucky Joba's knee appears to be fine and he swears he'll make his next start, but I'm inclined to believe that the Yankees will need that knee to be absolutely perfect before they let him loose again. Problems with your legs lead to problems your arm as you try to compensate, so I'd imagine the Yanks take extra care with the bruised knee.

With a creative pitch count during Wang's rehab start tonight, the Yankees could skip Joba and use Wang on Tuesday in Texas. It's probably something Cashman wouldn't want to do since you would want to ease Wang back into the bigs rather than throw him at such a dynamic offense in a park designed for homers.

If anything, last night proved how valuable Alfredo Aceves can be for the Yankees. Aceves looks like the exact kind of pitcher the Yankees had when Ramiro Mendoza was the long man out of the pen. He is the long man the Yanks have needed for a couple of seasons, and his ability to come out and throw up two or three innings of quality relief will be invaluable for a bullpen that is still searching for reliable arms.

As the season progresses Cashman and Girardi will slowly need to rebuild the bullpen from what little bit carried over from last season. Right now they have four arms that can be trusted: Aceves, Brian Bruney, Phil Coke and Mariano Rivera. I'm of the mind that Jose Veras is a lost cause and that Brett Tomko will eventually be Brett Tomko again. Hopefully David Robertson or Mark Melancon steps up to fill the void, or perhaps Damaso Marte remembers why the Yanks gave him a three-year deal.

There are options out there, and slowly but surely the Yanks are starting to piece together the rest of the arms needed to compliment all the bats they have.


Dan said...

Looks like the Sox will have their long man soon as well when Dice-K comes back and Justin Masterson returns to the pen. That's very important when you're never quite sure what you will get out of Wakefield and Penny.

Dennis said...

You really trust Aceves, Bruney, and Coke? I am assuming you mean trust them against Baltimore in May with a 3 run lead.

When September and October arrive the Yankees have 1 bullpen arm they can trust, 2 if Joba moves to the pen for the playoffs.

Peter said...

Aside from Bruney's health why wouldn't you trust him? He has done nothing but produce when on the field the past two seasons.

Aceves isn't ment to be a step up man, I'm speaking of him in terms of a Ramiro Mendoza role. If a starter gets hurt or bombs he can come in and give you some quality innings so your team has a chance to stay in the game. And they have a whole season to figure out Coke and some of their other arms.

Coke was doing ok until some recent back trouble seemed to effect him. Before that he had 11 straight appearences without allowing a run.