Here is an in- depth look at the bullpen of the New York Yankees, as of August 4, 2008:
Closer: Mariano Rivera
Despite being up there in age, Mo is having one of his finest seasons in pinstripes. As of this date, he is boasting a blistering 1.49 ERA to go along with his 26 converted saves in as many opportunities. In fact, Mo has only allowed one earned run in a save situation all year.
Setup Man: Jose Veras
Jose has come out of nowhere to emerge as one of the New York Yankees’ primary setup men. His 97 MPH fastball is incredibly tough to hit, and is only enhanced when paired with his 12 to 6 curveball. Currently, Veras has a 2.63 ERA and more strikeouts than innings pitched.
Setup Man: Brian Bruney
Coming out of Spring Training, it appeared as though Brian may not even make the Yankees’ major league roster this season. However, Bruney took it upon himself to prove his critics wrong, and he has certainly done so thus far in the 2008 baseball season. While Brian has spent a prolonged period of time on the disabled list this year, he has been lights out when available. As of this date, Brian is healthy once again, and he has a minute ERA of 1.46.
Setup Man/Lefty Specialist: Damaso Marte
The trade that sent Marte and Xavier Nady to the New York Yankees was an absolute steal. Nady’s prowess with the bat is a story for another article, but I should take a second to mention just how good Marte is; he has the talent and experience of a closer, and yet is just another contributing member of the Yankees’ pen.
Middle Relief/Lefty Specialist: Edwar Ramirez
It goes without saying that Edwar is among the most interesting relievers in Major League Baseball today. The first reason for this is his appearance; at 6’2, Edwar only weighs in at a mere 160, giving him the appearance of someone who has no business playing a professional sport. Secondly, Edwar was a no-body who was plucked by the Yankees out of an Independent league. Thirdly, Edwar is probably the only right handed pitcher in all of baseball to be utilized as a lefty specialist. This is because, for whatever reason, Edwar simply dominates lefty hitters. Finally, Edwar Ramirez possesses one of the nastiest changeups in the game today. As of this date, Edwar has a 3.20 ERA. Not bad for a former Independent Leaguer.
Middle Relief: David Robertson
David is a young rookie who flat out knows how to pitch. While his stuff is somewhat pedestrian in comparison to other members of the Yankees’ pen, he has the guile and mentality to succeed in New York. Currently, his ERA is 4.91, although that number is greatly skewed from one very poor performance against the Orioles.
Long Relief: Dan Giese
Dan Giese is a young man who I really can’t say enough about. Despite being above 30 years in age, Dan is actually a rookie in Major League baseball. While his stint as a starter for the Yankees was very mediocre, Dan has been absolutely dominant for the Yankees in long relief situations, and single- handedly carried the Yankees in certain key games. In short, there may not be another pitcher in all of baseball more meant for the role of long reliever than Dan Giese.