Tagged: Rivera

I Grow Tired of Victory Cake

We should change the flavor.

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Yesterday at 10 the Yanks won again. Nick “The Road Warrior” Swisher backed up his nickname by jacking one out to left, Derek Jeter padded the lead with a solo shot to right field, yada yada yada. The offense did it’s thang. That’s obvious.

Now, I think the true story is what the bullpen did in relief of Surge. Our favorite sinkerballer left after 5 and a third innings with the bases loaded and 1 out. Thus, it was Robertson time.

Me likey Robertson time.

David Robertson is our strikeout guy out of the bullpen, last year and this year Robertson had more K’s than innings pitched, and this year it’s by a pretty wide margin. Robertson, as you know, has a 90-94 mph fastball with solid movement, and a curveball with a ton of drop. He struck out Josh Wilson. And then he struck out Ryan Langerhans.

As I said before, me likey Robertson time. He came in and did exactly what he needed to do, which was to strike out Wilson and get Langerhans out. A sac fly or a non-double play ground ball wouldn’t have done. Robertson is a beast.

Then it went to Coke, and Coke didn’t allow a run, either, so that’s two very nice holds for the Yankee relief pitchers Robertson and Coke. Then, Mariano Rivera, still at 40 years of age the best closing pitcher in the game of baseball, did what he does. He retired the M’s in the bottom of the 9th to seal the win and the series for the Yankees. Today at 4, the Bombers go out and face the Mariners looking for the sweep.

Boo to the yah.

I’m so tired of saying “I’m in disbelief, how good are we?” but come on man! Are we ever going to lose a series again? (Knock on wood)

Hey guys, I’m getting kinda dry with these blogs, I need your suggestions on what theme blog I should do, whether it’s a list of something, an award recap, maybe something else, but I’m a little bored of doing recaps of games.

Today is Sunday, the 3rd and final day of Breaking Benjamin weekend, and we finish with Breaking Benjamin’s really really new, really new song I Will Not Bow, their first single off their new album “Dear Agony”. I can’t wait.

Stay positive, Yankee fans.

-EJ the Kid From New York

I Want to Ride my Cycle

I want to ride my–ooh, I didn’t think that one out…

Boston destroyed the Orioles 18-10, so when Mariano Rivera got the final 3 outs, I let out a big “Whew!”

I mean, seriously, the Yanks were on the fringe to lose first place faster than Miley Cyrus lost her innocence. Buh-dum bum TISS!

But I guess this is a lesson for me; to never lose faith in the Yankees. I didn’t even watch the beginning of the game, I was honestly more interested in watching an old Mets Classic on SNY from 2007(in my defense, Tim Lincecum was pitching that day and he had short hair) than watching us get clobbered and swept by the Whtie Sox. I eventually figured “Oh, what the heck” and switched back to YES, and I was greeted by a three run bomb by Melky Cabrera. The rest is history. Literally.

I’m so glad that Melky Cabrera got the first Yankee cycle, for three reasons.

  1. Melky is a Dominican, as was the last Bomber to hit a cycle, Tony Fernandez.
  2. I really had a feeling Melky would hit that next cycle: he just seems like the kind of person who would hit for a cycle. He’s got some pop, but he’s no slugger. He can run fairly well, but he’s no thief. He hits for decent contact, but he’s certainly not Ichiro or Mauer. He’s very much a 5 tool player, cause he can throw and field too, but he doesn’t have abundance in any of the 5 tools except for the arm.
  3. I was getting really, really tired of hearing “the last cycle was in 1995 by Tony Fernandez”. I had memorized that.

And also, give all the credit in the world to Jerry Hairston, Jr.(still accepting nicknames), who made us forget that Alex Rodriguez is our starting third baseman for a while. That’s pretty tough to do. Or maybe we’re just too used to Cody Ransom.

Either way, he had a couple of hits yesterday and a couple of others today, and he also made a few nice plays down there at third base. Good job… hey, I got one, J-Hey Kid. That’s his nickname from now on. You take note, Virginia.

The Song of the Day is a very pump-up hip hop song… the song is called Brooklyn Go Hard by Jay-Z and Santogold. Occasionally, when I feel sassy(because I’m usually a very sassy person), I change the part “Brooklyn we go hard” to “Yankees we go hard”. Think about it.

Also, to explain my title, see this song right here.

Stay positive, Yankee fans…

-EJ the Kid From New York 

Mariano Gets 500: Yanks Get Sweep

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What a great win, huh? After the first inning, it looked like we were never going to score again, as Livan Hernandez was, for some reason, shutting us down. But Chien-Ming Wang turned in a decent outing and the bullpen was lights out from there. It’s nice when you can take your starter out in the 6th inning and still have 5 relievers(Coke, Hughes, Bruney, Aceves and Robertson are all very fine relief pitchers) whom you can use to set up Mariano Rivera. I’m sure Girardi feels very comfortable with his bullpen right now.

However, we could use a complete game soon, because you don’t want to use your bullpen everyday. Those guys have really earned a rest out there in the ‘pen. Now, Joba Chamberlain is starting next game against the Mariners, so it’s quite unlikely that he’s going to pitch a complete game. And hey, since we have an off day today, that should be enough for the ‘pen for now. But I don’t like that we use them every day. I’d like to see Joba pitch a complete game, obviously, since he is capable of doing so. Let’s face it, though, the only way Chamberlain’s going to pitch a full game is if it’s a no hitter. And even then, there are doubts.

Mariano got the 500th save of his career in the most extraordinary way: with his first career RBI. I mean, if Mo was going to drive in a run, you would think it’d be of the home run or double variety. That dude can swing it! But, Francisco Rodriguez, clearly screwed up by Rivera fouling a ball off, attempted to blow a fastball by Mo, and missed with two balls to walk him. That’s just pure embarrassment, right there.

So now it’s time to have a little off topic fun: before this season, in the month of February, I gave predictions on the awards and league leaders of the American and National Leagues. Today, with a day off, I’m going to look back at those predictions and, with the information that we have thus far as we head towards the All Star break, realize how dumb and wrong I am.

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Okay.

So…

Cy Youngs: Oswalt and Halladay

I wanted to get funky with the Roy and Roy thing, and I’ll tell you what, one of those predictions was pretty good. Who’d have thought Zack Greinke would be as dominant as he is this year? Oswalt, on the other hand… quite past his prime, definitely, but again, who could’ve seen Matt Cain be this dominant? Dan Haren, arguably, is better this season, and you could’ve seen Haren coming, but even with that, Oswalt was a dumb prediction.

MVPs: Miguel Cabrera and David Wright

Miguel Cabrera was a strong prediction, you have to admit, but Joe Mauer has been out of his mind since he made his season debut in May. He’s just been off the charts. Now, Miguel Cabrera’s had a very good season, too, and he does have a shot at making me right if he continues his Miggy Cabrera season and Mauer cools off, but the Wright prediction was not all too sound. Sure, Wright is leading the NL in hitting, but how could I have possibly picked someone other than Pujols?

You guys look at the rest and tell me how good my predictions were.

Thanks to Vanessa for hosting the game last night, it was real fun.

Stay positive, Yankee fans…

-EJ the Kid From New York

Thanks, Yankees! And the Top 10 Moments of ’09

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Thank you, New York Yankees, for giving me a really nice win to talk about. Finally, the Yankees scored a bunch of runs again, as their offense was looking really flat of late. After the controversial(and completely blown) call that Brett Gardner was picked off from first base, Joe Girardi stormed out there and argued and argued that call. He was sooo trying to get ejected, I have no doubts about that. The umpire wasn’t even really arguing with him, and plus, once he got tossed, he just walked away instead of continuing to argue. But hey, he got the job done, because the next batter is my new man crush, Frankie Cervelli.

And all he does is hit his first MLB homer to left center to tie it at 1. We just took off from there.

Later, Alex Rodriguez hits a sharp two run single to center field, and I’m shouting “I don’t believe what I just saw!” (In a year so improbable… the impossible has happened!)

I mean, honestly, yesterday was one of the best things that ever happened to Alex. He hit a few balls well, caught a popup, and hopefully that game will begin his massive tear of Major League Baseball pitching this season. I doubt that’s actually true, but a boy can dream, can’t he?

But easily– easily– the best moment of the game was Mariano Rivera’s at bat. From the minutes leading up to it, when Melky Cabrera was giving him batting gloves, a helmet, and a good talk. Then, when he was on the on-deck circle, just chillin’, leaning against the backstop like nothing was gonna happen. It all ended sooo climactically, with this:

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A line drive to center field. Sadly, Nate McClouth was right friggin’ there, but it was actually a very good swing and a very well-hit ball. If only he had just pulled it more, it would be the best moment of the year. But alas, it’ll have to settle for the top 10.

Actually, that’s a pretty good idea. What have been the top 10 moments of the 2009 Yankees season? Trust me, I came up with this just spontaneously. This was not planned. Dead serious.

10. Jorge Posada lines a walk-off single to left center off Brian Fuentes of the Halos

I believe this was our first walk-off of the year. We came back against the Angels, who always kill us, and win it on a walk-off single by the then-not-useless Jorge Posada.

9. More Posada – Jorge hits the first home run at Yankee Stadium, to dead center

Into Monument Park. This’ll be a trivia question for the ages.

8. Mo Rivera gets to hit – line out to center

A hilariously beautiful moment. If only it were a hit.

7. Melky Cabrera walks it off with a two out, two run single

Facing Joe Nathan down by two runs in the ninth inning, Melky Cabrera hits an improbable two run single to left center. 

6. Nick Swisher pitches a scoreless inning of relief

Swishalicious brings a lot of humor and fun to the game, and this is a great example. His first MLB outing ensued hilarity at the end of a ballgame that is otherwise terrible and disgusting.

5. A-Rod comes back from the DL and crushes the first pitch

A-Rod comes back in the most storybook way possible. Yet, we all most definitely saw it coming.

4. Damon’s big fly makes it 3 straight walk-off wins for the Yanks

First it was Melky Cabrera’s two run single. Then it was Alex Rodriguez’s walk-off, two run bomb. Finally, Damon capped off the clutch streak with a walk-off shot in extras.

3. Melky ends a ninth inning rally against the Phillies with his third walkoff

Down by two runs in the inning, A-Rod tied it with a homer into right field off Brad Lidge, and again off Lidge, Melky Cabrera drives in fellow Dominican and buddy Robinson Cano for his third walk-off of the year. If that’s not enough, it was on FOX.

2. Gardner starts a comeback and fulfills a promise to an ailing fan with an inside the parker

Before the game, Brett Gardner made a bold promise to an 18-year old fan who was in the hospital. After hitting a blooper than got by Denard Span in left, Brett Gardner went balls-to-the-wall on the basepaths and came all the way home, for an inside-the-park homer, the second of Gardy’s career and probably the wake-up call for the Yankees to comeback in that game against Minnesota.

1. Luis Castillo drops a pop up to win the game for the Yankees

Against a team who’s fans, every year, think their team will be so much better than the Yankees even though they were severely disappointed the year before, the Yanks once again prove that, no matter what we do, whether we fail embarrassingly or succeed tremendously, you guys will always, always, always find some way to embarrass yourselves worse. Enjoy that.

So, thanks for reading, I think this blog is a lot better than my other blogs have been recently. Be sure to leave comments.

Almost forgot — Song of the Day is I’m Not Jesus – Apocalyptica ft. Corey Taylor.

Stay positive, Yankee fans.

-EJ the Kid From New York

Luis, Luis

I probably wasn’t the first one to use that headline, but it’s clever, right?

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I’ve willingly seen more highlights of that last play of the game more than any other play in baseball. It was maybe the most interesting, exciting and downright unexpected play of the year. Why? This scenario was the classic stereotype clutch scenario: long, exciting game with lead switches and homers and bad pitching and good pitching and it was really fun to watch all the way through. It’s Mets-Yankees, a well known, intense rivalry, especially for me, since I live in Queens.

Anyway, we go to late innings, it’s tied 7-7, and David Wright, the leading hitter of the NL and young phenom of the Mets, is facing Mariano Rivera, perhaps the best closer in the history of the game. A classic match of the prodiguous pitcher against the superstar hitter: a classic match of established veteran versus young, rising star. The go ahead run in the top of the eigth inning in the Subway Series is on first base.

 

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And all David Wright does is lace a cutting fastball on the outside part of the plate into the right center field alley for a double. The run comes across the score uncontested, and although the Mets are on the road, their fans are well-represented, as the crowd is a deafening combination of cheers and jeers. The score is 8 to 7 in favor of the New York Mets.

So now, the ballgame becomes more climatic, because after the Yanks and Mets are unable to score in the following two half innings, it goes down to the bottom of the ninth. It will be the perfect Frankie Rodriguez coming in to pitch the ninth against the top of the order: 9, 1 and 2, with the AL home run leader Mark Teixeira coming up to bat if anyone gets on.

Gardner is retired.

Jeter didn’t share the same fate. El Capitan took a moving fastball down and away, off the plate on a 2-2 count up the middle for a base hit. Jeter takes second on a stolen base on a blown hit and run by Johnny Damon, as Damon struck out on a 3-2 delivery. Had Jeter been thrown out, the game is over. But no, Jeter keeps the Yanks alive with a swipe.

Mark Teixeira is intentionally walked, bringing up arguably the game’s best hitter, Alex Rodriguez, to the plate. A-Rod isn’t hitting well of late, as his statistics indicate, and he’s facing Francisco Rodriguez, one of the best closers in the MLB and a guy whom he never has success against. He works it to a 3-1 count. Fastball low down the middle. And I’ll let Michael Kay on YES and Cary Cohen of SNY take it from there.

“And the 3-1…

Popped up… Castillo…”

“Popped up! Castillo settling under it! Now backpeddling!”

“He DROPPED THE BALL! HERE COMES JETER! TEIXEIRA COMES IN!”

“DROPPED THE BALL! HE DROPPED THE BALL! HERE COMES TEIXEIRA!”

“THE YANKEES WIN IT!”

“AND THE YANKEES WIN!”

The best part of this was definitely the calls. Michael Kay was absolutely friggin ecstatic. He was juuuuumpy. He kept shouting and yelling.

In the SNY booth, there was this thick, stunned feeling that was shared mutually by Gary, Keith and Ron. You can just hear the absolute disbelief in Gary Cohen’s voice when he cried out “The Yankees win it!”

 

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You know, when you hit a pop up and the opposition’s settling under it, you always hopelessly think to yourself “Drop it! Drop it! Drop it!”. But you never actually think it’s going to happen.

I know this is controversial, but I knew the Mets were some way, somehow going to blow this game. They seem to find ways to lose. You never really know how they’re going to do it: maybe they’ll give up a home run to the backup infielder, or slip heading from second to third, or maybe just not slide into a base. Maybe they’ll lack hustle and determination. And you certainly saw that in that final play.

I mean, that last play was so characteristic of the Mets: you can see Luis Castillo kind of peddling and peddling, and you can see him looking towards the dugout, ready to head home after a win, and he just closed his glove too early. He took the pop up for granted and simply forgot to actually stand there and catch the ball. And that’s the New York Mets for you. They don’t know how to perform fundamentally sound, they can’t play the game the way it needs to be played, and that’s why they’re 4 games out of first place in the NL East.

So now it’s time for me to do some rock hard analysis for today’s game. Are you ready?

First of all, bench Posada today. He’s holding us back: he’s not providing any astounding offensive production or defensive production, and he’s not calling good games. He’s struggling to throw out runners and he’s calling bad pitches and as a result, the Yankees’ pitchers are getting whooped. On the other hand, you have the rookie, Cervelli. Now Francisco’s not going to hit .300 or going to provide really any notable production at the dish. But Cervelli is at least going to call quality games, and throw out runners. Not only that, but he provides good energy and he’s going to get a knock from time to time.

Second of all, don’t be afraid to jump out at Fernando Nieve, the Mets’ starting pitcher today. He’s pitched two shutout innings this year after being claimed off waivers from the Astros by New York. As far as I know, he has pretty good stuff, but on first pitches in his career, the opposition is hitting .352. On a 1-0 count, opposing hitters hit .375. On a 0-1 count, they’re hitting .355. He throws pretty hard from what I know, and has decent breaking stuff, so if you get behind in the count to this guy, he has a chance of getting you down on strikes.

Finally, Andy Pettitte has to go deep. He absolutely has to. Our bullpen needs a good ol’ rest after the past few beatings it’s gotten.

Before I end this entry, I need y’all to tell me what subject my next entry should be on. Here are your choices.

  • The Best Relievers of 2009 In One Bullpen!
  • Minor Leaguers Who Could Get Called Up For the Yankees
  • The 5 Best Starters of 2009

Stay positive, Yankee fans.

-EJ the Kid From New York

The Ultimate Bullpen

Hey guys, it’s EJ(no, it’s Michael Jordan). Right now, instead of talking about the game (which I will do tomorrow after the M’s-Yanks game, in case you were worrying), I’ve decided to do a recap blog. I want to bring to you, my readers, the best of the best when it comes to bullpen arms.

You can’t underrate the importance of a strong bullpen. If you’re a good team, you only need your starter to go 6 decent innings for you and leave with the lead. If he goes farther, then that’s only a plus. But if you are really a good team, you can trust that the guys you’re about to bring in in relief are going to get the job done for you and hold your ballclub’s lead. Therefore, here are the cream of the crop in the bullpen. The best guys in their respective roles, all teaming up for one bullpen. If this is your bullpen, then you can trust your starter to only go 6. Here they are, the ultimate bullpen.

Long Reliever

 Alfredo Aceves

His fastball is not 100 mph on the gun. He doesn’t have a phenomenal 12-6 curveball, a wicked slider, a devastating off speed pitch, or a power sinker. What he has is the sheer ability to pitch: he knows what to do when he takes the hill. He has 5 pitches and he knows where and when to locate all of them, he holds runners well, and he’s not afraid to challenge you with a fastball in the zone. He’s aggressive, smart and has stellar poise, and that is reflected in his 142 ERA+ and his WHIP, which is impressively 6 points under 1. Oh yeah, and he can go 3 innings.

Middle Relievers

 Kiko Calero

Here’s a guy who throws 3 good pitches: a solid fastball with unimpressive velocity but good action on it, a good, biting slider, and a decent changeup. His command is not the best, as he’s surrendered 20 walks. But he has given batters fits. His ERA? 1.94, translating to a 216 ERA+. He’s struck out 52 batters in 41.2 innings pitched, and only 26 base hits in that span of innings pitched. He’s done so much for the Florida Marlins, and he doesn’t get much attention for it, either.

  Michael Wuertz

You talk about giving hitters fits… Michael Wuertz, the 6’3″ right hander in the Oakland A’s’ 2009 bullpen does it. His ERA is nice, at 3.21, a 129 ERA+, but what he has is maybe the best slide piece in the game. Wuertz’s slider has hard, tumbling, downward and sideward action, and he compliments it with an above average heater. How good is this slider of the 30-year old Wuertz? Well, he’s struck out 70 batters in 56 innings pitched, and plus, his WHIP is only 1.071. You always need a guy who can come in and ring up a batter, and that’s what Michael Wuertz provides.

 Matt Thornton 

32-year old Matt Thornton might be a southpaw, but he is not to be used as a lefty on lefty matchup pitcher. He has a high octane fastball, and strong secondary pitches. That explains his 11.2 strikeouts per 9 innings ratio, and his 2.49 ERA(188 ERA+), and his 6.9 hits per 9 innings pitched, and his 1.066 WHIP. Thornton has been, since 2008, an incredibly tough pitcher to face out of the Chicago White Sox.

LOOGY

 Mitch Stetter

Yes. Mitch Stetter. Here you have one of the hardest lefty on lefty matchups in the game. He throws from a side arm angle, he has a solid slider, and he is so deceptive to left handed hitters. He, at one point, had a 11 consecutive outs made via the strikeout, and that comes from good stuff. And while a 3.75 earned run average might not be redonculous, it’s certainly not bad, and you can’t doubt how tough it is to face the Brewers’ southpaw if you’re in the left handed batters box.

8th Inning Set Up Man

 Phil Hughes

If you’re down 4-2 against the Yankees in the 8th, chances are you’re taking your hacks against Phillip James Hughes, the 23 year old right hander and 2004 first round draft pick from the Bombers. He’ll come at you with a fastball as hard as 96 miles per hour, and he’ll couple it with a tight slider and a slow, 12-6 curveball that can be absolutely nasty. Hughes, a native of California, has a 1.35 ERA out of the ‘pen this year, and he’s struck out 44 batters in 33.1 innings as a relief pitcher. Not only that, but the former top prospect has put up a baffling 0.870 WHIP for the Bombers in this set up role, and he’s quickly become just the guy you don’t want to face late in games.

Closer

 Mariano Rivera

I don’t know. Maybe I’m biased, putting 3 Yankees relievers on this list. But the one guy out of the 3 Bombers I’ve put in this bullpen that you can least doubt is easily this man, Mariano Rivera. When he comes in to Metallica’s Enter Sandman, jogging in from the bullpen to the mound at Yankee Stadium, your confidence takes an enormous drop. It’s been like that since the mid-90s, and even at the age of 40, it is still very much like that. He leads the leag ue in saves with 34, and he’s only blown one save. He has put up a 1.98 ERA, and he has a WHIP of 0.92. There is nobody better than him in 9th inning save situations: you can say your Papelbons and your Nathans and your K-Rods, they’re all fine and dandy, but Mariano is simply the best closer in the game, and you’d have to be pretty ignorant not to think so. Yes, I said it.

Stay positive, Yankee fans.

-EJ the Kid From New York

Breaking Down the Yankees 2009 Bullpen

Okay, so we’re heading into spring training, as you all know. It’s hard not to contain your excitement. To see the new acquisitions and the long tenured guys take the field… it’s just a good feeling. Hopefully, I’ll be able to attend more than just one ballgame this season.

For those of you that do not know, I am currently doing a series of blogs in which I break down certain sections of the 09 Yankees ballclub. Today, I’m introducing a rating system for each section of the ballclub. It’s a 0-5 rating. I didn’t give ratings for the catchers and the bench… which is SO TOTALLY UNFAIR, clearly. So here they are:

Catchers: 2 out of 5

Bench: 3.5 out of 5

Okay, now time for a necessary part of the team, the bullpen. In this day in age, a good bullpen means that you’ll give your starters more wins and you won’t blow their leads when exiting a ballgame. A good bullpen gives your team a chance to win if the starting pitcher had a tough outing. Let’s take a look at the 2009 Yankee bullpen. By the way, Harold Reynolds says that the Yankees still have trouble giving the ball to Mariano at the end of the game… I somewhat agree with that, it’s not a flawless bullpen, it has made several mistakes and has blown leads. But it’s not bad. Not bad to the point of needing to put Joba in the bullpen… that’s a whole different conversation, however.

Onto the bullpen!

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Long Reliever: Phil Hughes

He’s supposed to be a starter, but with his struggles and injuries the Yankees are pretty much putting him in the bullpen for a long relief spot this year. He has great potential, and I’d rather have him starting at this point, but I’ll take him in a bullpen spot.

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Middle Reliever: Brian Bruney

Bruney was great in his time last year, which was at the beginning and end of the year. He missed most of the season with an injury to the Lisfranc joint of his right foot. He had a 242 ERA+ in 34.1 innings. He has great stuff; an electric fastball and a sharp slider. The 6’3″ 235 pounder had a significant weight loss prior to the 08 season, and he looks to keep up his success from the bullpen in 2008 in a larger, injury-free campaign.

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LOOGY: Phil Coke

“It was only 14.2 innings”, several people say. It was, indeed, a very small sample size, and it wouldn’t be smart to put a lot of trust into this guy. However, he’s shown very good stuff; a nice fastball and a hard slider, and he could continue to be effective in a pen spot from 09. The minor league starter got called up in September of 08 and had a 0.61 ERA in the afformentioned innings out of the bullpen. He could be a very good lefty-lefty guy for us this season.

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Middle Reliever: Jose Veras

Jose Enger Veras came out of the blue and was very effective for the New York Yankees in 2008. Veras is a tall Dominican righty who is known in the Yankees pen for the speed on his fastball. He can throw from 94-98 on the gun with his fastball, and can also throw an effective slow slurve-like pitch that will throw hitters off. Veras came from practically out of the blue and put up a 124 ERA+ in 57.2 innings with 63 K’s. It’d be much appreciated if he could keep that up for 09.

Also worth noting; I love this guy. I just do.

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Mop-Up Reliever: David Robertson

It’s hard not to like the 23-year old Robertson. He absolutely dominated the minor leagues in relief, and so he came up to the majors. He showed a hard cutter that he throws in the low-90s, and coupled that with a hard, dropping curve. While his 5.34 ERA in 30.1 innings shows his inneffectiveness and inconsistency, he’s still a guy I want to have in my bullpen, whatever role he’ll provide.

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Middle Reliever: Edwar Ramirez

When you think of skinny baseball players, this has to be the first guy that comes to mind. Edwar is 6’3″… 165 freaking pounds. That’s absurdly skinny. Despite Ramirez’s lankiness, he’s still a very effective reliever, with a 90-mph fast ball and an incredible, hard circle changeup. He had a 114 ERA+ in 55.1 innings pitched. The 27-year old right hander joins a select group of relievers in the Yankee bullpen– The Dominican Demons, as I like to call them– who are effective for the Yankees out of the bullpen, and hail from the Dominican Republic. There are 3 members of the DDs, Ramirez, Veras, and Damaso Marte…

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Set-Up Reliever: Damaso Marte

Marte, one of the Dominican Demons, has great stuff: a hard fastball and slider. The lefty really struggled in his short tenure as a Yankee last year, but this year he looks to go back to his previous form as a Pirate. He can truly be dominant at times, and we expect him to be more like his old dominating self, rather than his post-Nady/Ohlendorf/Karstens form with the Yanks. He should be a fantastic set up relief pitcher.

Aaand last but not certainly not least, the very important closer’s spot, possibly the most notable position in the bullpen…

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Just kidding.

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Closer: Mariano Rivera

Do I really have to say anything about Mo? He’s the best closer of all time. He’s incredible. His ERA+ last year was 317. I rest my case. I didn’t even have to bring up my case in the first place…

Overall Bullpen Rating: 4.2 out of 5

The Yankee bullpen looks to be great: we have the Dominican Demons, of course, along with a guy who had a 1 ERA last year not named Mariano Rivera(granted, he didn’t pitch that much, but still). Oh, Mariano Rivera? We have him too.

Well that’s it for the blog; stay positive, Yankee fans, of course…

-EJ the Kid From New York