Moving Joba to the rotation looked like a good move after Wang got hurt. A starter was needed immediately, and the bullpen was looking strong. Jose Veras and Edwar Ramirez were stepping up big time, and Mo was as great as ever. And, perhaps surprisingly, Kyle Farnsworth was doing a very solid job in the eighth inning.
With the addition of Damason Marte, coupled with Jorge Posada's shoulder injury, Farnsworth was shipped to Detroit for catcher Pudge Rodriguez. Like most Yankee fans, I liked the move. We addressed a need and traded away an expenditure. But unlike other fans, I was a tad disappointed to see Farns leave. The trade was necessary, but I was not one of those who rejoiced at his departure.
Since the deal, the Yankee pen has fallen apart. Damaso Marte has yet to pan out like he did in Pittsburgh, Edwar is slipping up in a big way, and tonight, Mo blew his first game of the season. On their current 9-game road trip, the Yankee bullpen is 0-3 with an ERA over 10.
While Rivera would not be affected by the move, is it possible that it has had a negative effect on everyone else? For the second time this season, the setup man has been removed, resulting in a slight shuffling of bullpen roles. Even with Brian Bruney back, it seems as though everyone is buckling under the newfound mini-pressure of having a slightly more important role.
Perhaps the crew as a whole is going through a rough patch. But the timing is awfully eerie. Farnsworth may prove more valuable than any Yankee fan ever realized. With his friend Joe Girardi as manager, don't be surprised if the free-agent-to-be is back with the team next season.
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