Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Most Important Man In The Bullpen

The great thing about having a three-headed monster in the bullpen is that if one of those three relievers gets injured, then the Yankees are still in pretty good shape thanks to having the other two guys still around.

There is no music that will tame our three-headed monster.
And if you get that reference, then welcome to the Nerd Club

Just look at Yankees teams from the past 19 years...

You had great duos like Mariano Rivera and John Wetteland, David Robertson and Mariano Rivera, David Robertson and Rafael Soriano, Dellin Betances and David Robertson, and last year we had Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller.

But for 2016 the Yankees will either have Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman, or Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman, or Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller, or Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman. Because face it... it's unlikely that two of those three pitchers will be injured at the same time.

Not a bad situation, huh?

However, if you were to ask me which of those three pitchers are more important to the bullpen in 2016, my answer may surprise you.

Dellin Betances is the most important guy in the Yankees' bullpen.

Let's start by looking at the role Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller will fill.

Aroldis Chapman has been announced as the team's closer, so 99% of the time he's going to enter games to begin the 9th inning, meaning there are no runners on base. On top of that, chances are he won't be facing the opposing team's heart of the order. Sure, closers will sometimes enter games with an out or two still needed in the 8th, and against the better hitters in the lineup, but the second part of this three-headed monster makes that a lot less likely...

Even though it hasn't been verified, based on the fact he was the Yankees' closer last season, Andrew Miller will likely be the team's 8th inning reliever. Like Chapman, that means that the vast majority of the time Miller will enter the game with nobody on base, and the chances of facing the bottom of the order are just as good as facing the other team's 3-4-5 hitters. Again, like I just said earlier with Chapman, the 8th inning reliever may need to get an out or two in the 7th inning and against the best hitters in the opposing lineup, but the final part of the three-headed monster makes that a lot less likely...

That would be Dellin Betances.

Unlike with Aroldis and Andrew, there's a very good chance that when Betances enters the game there could already be men on base. For instance, the starter is eventually going to start wear down during the game, and if that trouble comes in the 5th or 6th inning, Girardi may very well call on Dellin to come clean things up.

Yes, Girardi is going to try and avoid using Betances for than one inning, so a non-big three reliever will be brought into the game. But as we saw plenty of times last season, that reliever could very well get into a bit of a pickle, and Girardi will give the ball to Mr. Betances... again with men on base.

To sum things up, Dellin Betances is going to throw more innings, and he's going to throw many of them in higher pressure situations. Sure, Joe Girardi has said that he's going to try and avoid using at least one member of his three-headed monster each game, but does anybody out there believe he'll give the ball to anybody else if the game outcome is still in question?

Yeah... I didn't think so.


  1. Using Dellin so much is a real bad idea. We saw his decline after September last year, we need the "Four Horsemen"!
    I realize "Ace" is in need of more work so we will not include him in this crew. Saying that let's look at what we could have available for the 4th BP spot other than Shreve, Pinder and Pazos.
    We have Lindgren--we saw him last year using his good mid-90s fastball along with a fine slider and so-so change-up.
    Cale Coshow with a high 90s fastball and killer Slider and like Lindgren, a so-so change-up.
    Nick Rumbelow is one of the guys I have on my list as an up and comer with a mid-90s+ fastball with help from his curveball and change-up.
    This year will be very interesting with all the holes that need to be refined and established. We think we know who is going to play this or that spot but, Do we, do we really?

    1. I wasn't condoning using Dellin a lot, just pointing out that he'll probably be used more than Andrew or Aroldis. In fact, having Andrew and Aroldis in the bullpen will allow Girardi to rest him more than he has in the past.

      Look at it like this...

      Last season, saying Brandon Pinder came into the game in the 7th inning with a four run lead. Pinder ends up giving up a run, and then allows another runner to get into scoring position, while only being able to get one out. What would Girardi do in this situation? He'd bring in Betances to get out of the inning. At this point, Betances would come back into the game for the 8th inning, meaning on this night he's thrown 1.2 innings.

      This coming season, in that same situation, Betances comes into the game and gets the team out of the 7th inning by getting the last two outs. Now, instead of bringing Dellin out for another inning of work, he can sit down and let Miller work the 8th instead. So Betances only throws .2 innings instead of 1.2.

      Will Dellin be needed for more than an inning at all this year? Absolutely! Girardi will want to give Miller or Chapman a night off, so will ask Dellin to throw 1.2 innings. But instead of that happening 24 times like it did last season, chances are this season it will happen half as much, thus keeping Dellin's innings count down.

      To your point, that 4th reliever is important. If he wasn't, a bullpen wouldn't need 7 or 8 guys in it (mind you, a few of them will likely only pitch while the game is pretty much out of reach for either team). Heck, our starters may only contribute 5 innings of "good" work, so having somebody that could throw well in the 6th inning would be great.

      You know as well as anybody, if the game is winnable, that Girardi is going to want to put his best guy on the mound. So Betances, Miller, and Chapman will get plenty of work. But having three "big" relievers instead of just two is naturally going to lessen all of their workloads.

    2. Bryan...Your comment was as good as your Post if not better, I had NO problem with what nor how you stated the use of Dellin at all.
      You have a great grasp of the problem with him as he was used or overused last year.
      I don't know if they would let "Ace" or Coshow go north with the team this year or not but, adding either one to the BP would really make Joes' job easier. Four guys to bring in for the last three innings...if needed!
      I do like to dream somewhat!

    3. Just imagine my comment was part of the article. Cool? LOL

    4. Dellin can handle the work load. He recognized his problem last year and he's fixing it this year. He is throwing less this spring, see Mariano Rivera, in hopes of not wearing down at the end of the season like he did in 2015. Problem solved in my opinion.

      He was a starter until a couple seasons ago, he can handle 80+ games as long as he doesn't throw his arm out in spring and the All-Star Game as well.

    5. I sure hope you are right Daniel, we don't need another Scott Proctor on our hands do we?
      Joe T pitched him so much (even after being told not to) that Cashman had to trade him for his own protection and instatude the Joba rules for Joba. Maybe you remember Joe T trying to make fun of Cashman for the rules but, the thing is he ended up being fired because of it. I know it was Joe T that didn't like the contract being offered so, he quit. But, when one is not offered a raise or at minimun, the same contract as before, that means...you are out of here!

    6. I don't think so. Proctor was never really a starter if memory serves so he never got used to throwing 100+ innings in a season. Betances was and was used to the grind, he had to throttle it down for an inning or two at a time. That seems much easier to do than throttle it up to 100 innings.

    7. True but I just want him around for a few more years and it may help with him throwing less this spring but, I know it would help to have the "Four Horsemen" instead of the "Three Horsemen".
      Have a good day Daniel!

    8. Betances has always been pretty durable and he's a huge guy with a huge frame. He's not one I worry about too much.

  2. If you also remember Cashman did almost the same with one of our players in 2010. He offered a reasonable contract and the player thought it wasn't long enough or rich enough to him (@36 years old). But in that case, he was told to get it done anyhow, so he did a small decrease in money and for two years with a two(?) year players option.

    1. Which? I'm drawing a blank. Rafael Soriano? That was management driven, Cashman didn't want him.


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