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The Yankees' Bullpen Needs Major Help ASAP

Doug Rush@Doug_RushSenior Analyst IMay 19, 2010

NEW YORK - MAY 18: Joba Chamberlain #62 of the New York Yankees leaves the field in the eighth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium on May 18, 2010 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

So, does anyone right now trust the Yankees' bullpen?

If you're like me, you are shaking your head saying no. And right now, you have every reason to.

Now, I know the Yankees are 25-13 and just three games behind the Rays for first place in the American League East, and most fans of other teams will tell the Yankees to stop complaining because they could be worse.

Yes, the Yankees could be the Pirates and be completely doomed. But, they're not.

The Yankees are at 25-13 and probably could have an even better record if it weren't for the disasters and early failures of the bullpen.

Now, let's take a look at some of the culprits so far.

The biggest one may be David Robertson. I've written about how Robertson might need to go back down to the minors, but so far, he's still a Major Leaguer.

Robertson is 0-2 with an 8.49 ERA. His ERA was well over 10 last week, but by pitching two scoreless innings against the Twins, he got it down. Last year, Robertson was one of the Yankees best relievers, but that seems so far ago. If he continues to get pounded, they may have no choice but to send him back down.

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Chan Ho Park has been another one that has pitched lousy with the Yankees.

He pitched well last season for the Phillies, but we're also talking about the National League here.

In the games with the Yankees so far, he's 1-1 with an 8.10 ERA. His ERA is due to getting destroyed by the Red Sox twice. He's also spent a good month on the disabled list, and after Monday night's performance against Boston, fans are hoping he'll go back on really soon.

Park was never great in the American League to begin with. When he got signed to be the Rangers' starting pitcher several years ago, he was an absolute bust. He was so much a bust that he was transformed from a starter into a reliever.

Park belongs in the National League, but for right now, the Yankees are stuck with him.

Now, the next one has been one of the most talked about topics from the winter. From reliever to starter and back to reliever, Joba Chamberlain has had his ups and downs.

But lately, Joba sucks.

Before Saturday, Joba was at a 2.16 ERA with a 1-1 record.

On Sunday, Joba couldn't get the outs needed in the eighth inning and helped start the Twins' rally, while watching his ERA go up to a 3.63 and a 1-2 record in the process.

On Tuesday night, with the Yankees up 5-1, Joba came into the game and gave up the lead and allowed the Red Sox to go from looking dead to alive and back in the game at 5-5. Joba's ERA is now at a 4.91 after his last two outings.

From a 2.16 and pitching well to 4.91 and looking like he can't get anyone out is where Joba has gone to. He's supposed to be the setup man to get the games to the best closer in baseball, but right now, he couldn't get little leaguers out.

Joba needs to get his stuff together because he could lose that setup job really quick if he continues giving away leads and games.

Speaking of the best closer in all of baseball, Mariano Rivera hasn't been too sharp the last few days.

On Sunday, after Joba allowed a couple of runners, Rivera gave up his first ever grand slam to Jason Kubel and allowed the Twins to win 6-3. It was the first blown save for Rivera in 2010.

On Tuesday, Rivera looked like he would cut through the Red Sox order in the ninth, but Marcus Thames dropping a routine pop up and Jeremy Hermida's RBI hit made it a 7-5 lead. The Yankees got it to 7-6, but fell just short of a comeback.

Now, because Rivera is the best closer ever and lately has been suffering from a hurting side and hasn't been pitching much, he kind of gets a free pass because we know Mo will bounce right back.

But Robertson, Park, and Chamberlain do not get a free pass, so they take a ton of the blame.

Now, a big part of the relievers struggling is that Alfredo Aceves, one of the better relievers for the Yankees, is on the disabled list. Aceves can go multiple innings and takes a lot of strain off the Yankee bullpen, and his presence right now is missed. Aceves needs to get back to the bullpen ASAP.

Now, Joe Girardi could give opportunities more to Mark Melancon and Boone Logan with Damaso Marte as the lefty specalist.

The Yankees could also go outside the team to find relief options, and two of them who were former Yankees just recently became available again.

First is Chad Gaudin, who started out in Spring Training with the Yankees, was released and picked up by the Oakland A's, who just released him a couple of days ago since they barely used him.

Gaudin pitched very well for the Yankees in both starting and relieving roles, and if the Yankees need another arm, they know Gaudin can be reliable.

The other is Brian Bruney, who was pitching for the Nationals this year but just got released due to struggles.

Now, Bruney was also inconsistent with the Yankees at times, but he's also had some success being in the Yankees' bullpen and could give the Yankees another hard-throwing reliever who could be looking for a second chance.

The Yankees need to do something quick, because what happened Tuesday night with the bullpen blowing CC Sabathia's gritty performance against Boston cannot keep happening.

The Yankees' rotation of Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Andy Pettitte, Phil Hughes, and Javier Vazquez are all a combined 20-5, which is outstanding. That leaves the rest of the bullpen at 3-8, which isn't so great.

Whether the Yankees need to bring back some older arms, bring up new people from the minors, or go out and make a few trades, the Yankees need to fix up that bullpen and fix it fast.

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