Friday, October 17, 2014

’14 Royals Are Reason Why Yankees Should Keep Robertson

The Kansas City Royals went into the postseason as the second Wild Card and ultimately came from behind to beat the Oakland Athletics in the Wild Card Playoff round. Their reward was the top ranked and best record holding Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Kansas City swept the Angels. Their reward was the second best record in the American League and the AL East champion Baltimore Orioles. Kansas City swept them too. Kansas City has done it off timely hitting and a completely and utterly dominant bullpen, a strategy that the Yankees should employ if they intend to contend in 2015. This philosophy and way of thinking makes David Robertson more and more valuable with every victory the Royals get.

The three headed monster in Ned Yost’s bullpen in Kelvin Hererra, Wade Davis, and Greg Holland. The three are the only relievers on the same team to ever have pitched at least 60 IP and had an ERA below 1.50. Hererra had a 1.41 ERA, Davis had a 1.00 ERA, and Holland had a 1.44 ERA as the team’s closer. Herrera has pitched 8.1 IP and allowed just one run this postseason, good for a 1.08 ERA, while Davis has allowed just one run in 9.1 IP, good for a 0.96 ERA, while collecting two wins in the ALCS. Holland had four saves against the Orioles and has allowed just one run in 8.0 IP, good for a 1.13 ERA. Holland has six saves overall in the Royals eight wins this postseason and sits just one save behind the all-time postseason record for saves by a closer.

While the Yankees cannot expect to match or exceed this talent they are pretty close with Robertson closing games, Dellin Betances setting up, and a combination of Adam Warren and Shawn Kelley pitching in the 7th. If the Yankees want to match or emulate this performance they have to upgrade over Warren and Kelley not let one of the best closers in the game walk away. Brian Cashman better be paying attention and taking notes because a team can make the postseason and a team can make it to the World Series without the bigger names, the bigger contracts, the home run ball, etc. All they need is timely hitting, the ability to manufacture runs, and a dominant back end of the bullpen. New York is two thirds of the way there with the bullpen they just need to keep Robertson and add a piece, not let him walk. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)