One of the biggest factors in bringing up young players from the minor leagues is when they have done all they can do down on the farm.
A young player who dominates his minor league-level over a couple-month period should be promoted to the next level. A player who dominates Triple A over a long period should also be promoted.
No matter who is in the major leagues in front of him.
No reason to keep a young pitcher in Triple-A "for more seasoning" when he has filled up every spice rack in the country.
That is why Mark Melancon needs to be immediately recalled from Triple-A Scranton.
With the win in Thursday's day game, Melancon now is 3-0, with a 1.76 ERA and three saves.
He saved the game the night before, going back-to-back days for the second time this season. Melancon is not the "closer" in Scranton (Jonathan Albaladejo is), but he is by far the best relief pitcher there.
Despite what was perceived to be a strong part of the 2010 Yankees team, this year's bullpen has been less than stellar.
The breaking point might have been Tuesday night's loss to the (at the time) 3-16 Baltimore Orioles, who beat up on LHP Boone Logan and RHP David Robertson, who absorbed the loss.
Logan is up to replace Chan Ho Park, signed late this offseason to bolster the Yankees' pen. The Yankees liked what Park did against them in last year's World Series. I was not a big fan of the Park signing, thinking Melancon had deserved a full season in the majors.
K-Rob has been stellar in his short Yankee career, but had a very off night Tuesday.
Both Logan and Robertson were in relief of starter Phil Hughes, who was pulled by manager Joe Girardi after 5.2 innings and 106 pitches. After Hughes recorded two quick outs in the sixth inning, Girardi brought in Logan to face the left-handed hitting Luke Scott, who eventually walked.
Girardi, and his over managing hat, is a big part of the issue with the bullpen, often pulling his starters earlier that needed for due to his fondness for matchups.
Girardi also pulls effective relievers after a few hitters or "their inning."
The Yankees have spent considerable time developing two- to three-inning relievers. Girardi has to begin to have comfort in those situations, instead of his mix-and-match tendencies.
Melancon is one of those multiple-inning guys, having thrown 171 total minor league innings in 93 appearances. He has routinely gone multiple innings in his minor league career.
His overall Triple-A numbers include an 8-1 record, 2.65 ERA, and eight saves in 54 games. He strikes out more than a batter an inning, and has an almost 5:1 K/BB rate.
Like Robertson and even Alfredo Aceves, Melancon can get out left-handed hitters. If a reliever goes multiple innings, it means he is facing hitters from both sides of the plate, and getting them out.
This means Logan, here to face lefty hitters like Scott the other night, is not needed.
The Yankees starters have been pretty good so far this season. Since the first run of the rotation, the starters have gone at least seven innings in 10 of the 16 games played.
Joba Chamberlain is the designated eighth-inning guy, and Mariano Rivera is obviously the closer, which means left handed pitcher Damaso Marte is going to pitch earlier in the game.
He would be able to handle any lefty-on-lefty situation that arises in the sixth or seventh inning.
Marte has reverted back to his old form of a LOOGY. It was also thought that Park would already be back with the Yankees, but his sore hamstring has not responded well to rest and treatment, and there is no timetable for his return.
With their quality starting pitching, selected ineffectiveness in the middle innings and defined roles already established, there is not much of a need for Marte, and no need for Logan.
The Yankees need Melancon for his production, and they need him to produce a small shakeup in a stagnant bullpen. He has produced at all levels, including his small stint in the Bronx last season.
Melancon is in his third separate season in Scranton.
He needs to be in the Bronx.