Thursday, May 7, 2015

Jacob Lindgren & Weaknesses in Yankees Bullpen

Every time we do our weekly check in with Yankees prospect and top pick in 2014 Jacob Lindgren I post a slew of overly impressive stats along with a disclaimer that the bullpen for New York is too good to justify a spot for the young lefty. I think Lindgren and the fans may have finally found that weakness inside the Yankees pen that could go down or be designated for assignment to make room for the Mississippi State product. David Carpenter’s fall from grace out of Joe Girardi’s “Circle of Trust” came quicker than so many analogies that are just not coming to my mind right now. The lack of trust and the subsequent lack of use is only going to get worse while it gets less and less frequent so it may be time to finally make the move now.

Chris Capuano has already begun a rehab assignment to come back to the major leagues and presumably you would think he would return as a starting pitcher. When Capuano returns you have to think that Adam Warren goes back to the bullpen, especially after the way Chase Whitley has pitched in his first two starts this season, giving Girardi his 7th inning man back in the pen. Carpenter was supposed to be that 7th inning man this season before Chris Martin essentially jumped him on the totem pole alone with Justin Wilson and Chasen Shreve. Now it seems like Carpenter is the last man on the depth chart for Girardi and his performance is suffering for it.

None of this is to say that Carpenter is a bad pitcher or that any of it is his fault though because I understand the need to stay active and stay sharp. When you rot on the bench for six days out of seven a week as a pitcher it tends to mess with your command, control and your ability to get major league hitters out. That part is on Girardi, not on Carpenter, and so is bringing in Carpenter and expecting anything less than a failure more times than not. If you’re not going to use Carpenter it’s only going to hurt, not help, the Yankees pen in the long run so why not give Lindgren a shot and let him strike out two batters an inning in the Bronx instead of in Scranton.

Think of the matchups the binder would give Girardi replacing Carpenter with Lindgren. Let’s take the Boston Red Sox for example: You can pitch Dellin Betances to Mookie Betts and Dustin Pedroia, Wilson to David Ortiz, Martin to Hanley Ramirez, Lindgren to Pablo Sandoval, and the rest of the pen including Andrew Miller for anyone else. That’s an opposing manager’s nightmare matchup wise and no other team in the league can boast that. It makes sense but as we know that doesn’t always matter with Girardi and GM Brian Cashman so I’m not saying that the move will be made I’m just saying that it should. 

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