FanPost

Yankees Relief Options Next Year

I haven't posted a diary in months, so I'll do one now.  Joba Chamberlain, if the Yankees keep their word, is going to the rotation, so who do you think will step into his role in the pen in 08 for the bombers?

I haven't posted a diary in months, so I'll do one now.  Joba Chamberlain, if the Yankees keep their word, is going to the rotation, so who do you think will step into his role in the pen in 08 for the bombers?

Mark Melancon--often viewed as the future Yankee closer, he has 92-95 heat with a low-mid 80's hammering curve, but has never pitched above Short-Season A-ball (Staten Island)and is coming off Tommy John.  He will probably be an August/September call-up

Humberto Sanchez--another TJ victim, he is a high-profile prospect received in the Gary Sheffield trade.  He has been very good in the minors, especially in his latest season (Age 23) at AA and AAA before the surgery.  I think he can make the pen, because he could have actually made it out of spring training had he not been hurt.

J.B. Cox--yet another TJ man, he is a high-profile relief prospect (if that makes sense) from the Yankees system.  He has an 88-93 fastball that induces groundballs along with his slider, a nasty pitch. Plus, he has a career minor league WHIP under 1.  I think there's every chance in the world he makes the Yankees bullpen if he's healthy.

Kevin Whelan--a converted catcher also received in the Sheffield trade, he throws hard, but is somewhat wild.  He issues walks left and right (6.96/9 in Trenton), but the Yankees have built stamina into him this year, so he could be a Scott Proctor at worst or maybe a little bit of a harder-throwing Luis Vizcaino at best.  September call-up.

David Robertson--here's an intriguing name. He has a hard 4-seam and 2-seam fastball, and after walking many nibbling in college, he has learned to be agressive and cut down walks (still a little high though) while getting hitters out.  I say he will start the year in AA, as he only has 2 games there, then be in AAA after 10 appearances, and then after 15 appearances at AAA he'll be called up.  Or, the conservative approach would wait until '09.  I think he's up by mid-June or early-July.

Unfortunately, the Yankees haven't one elite lefty pitcher in their system, and their best, Angel Reyes, has struggled this year.  Look for a FA to be signed to fill that role.  Luis Vizcaino may be 50-50 to come back, but I hope he does if it's for one year.  Kyle Farnsworth is under contract for one more year, and he'll probably get traded (at least I hope).  Sean Henn isn't coming back to the MLB (I hope) and Colter Bean has been granted free agency (sorry fans at freecolterbean.com)  Chris Britton has yet to impress at the Show, and Edwar Ramirez needs to bulk up quick.  The future is bright, but pardon me while I cringe in '08.

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