Just when the Yankees' bullpen proved to be a stalwart for the team, Brian Bruney's sore elbow forced him to the 15-day Disabled List.
Bruney, who gave up two runs in one-third of an inning in his first appearance of the season, was perfect over the ensuing six and two-thirds innings before struggling against Oakland on April 21. It turns out that the rough outing was a result of his sore elbow.
Prior to being placed on the DL, Bruney was 2-0 with a 3.38 ERA. He struck out 12 batters in eight innings pitched and earned the setup role consequently.
Now manager Joe Girardi needs to select someone else to hand the ball over to Mariano Rivera in the ninth inning. Supposed candidates are Jose Veras and Jonathan Albaladejo, neither of whom have been consistent this year.
The Yankees called up Dave Robertson from Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre to add depth to the depleted bullpen. Robertson had not given up a run in eight innings pitched at the Triple-A level; however, he struggled at the major league level last season.
With the reliable Bruney down with injury, the Yankees will need to hope for the best in games that require multiple relievers to toe the mound. This bullpen has potential, but it is not reliable without Bruney to throw the eighth inning.