If the Yankees were smart they will keep Joba Chamberlain in the bullpen for the entire 2008 season. The 22-year old righty pitched in 19 games (0 starts) for the Yankees last season and he was 2-0 with 1 save, a 0.38 ERA and a 0.75 WHIP. He also whiffed 34 batters in only 24 innings for the Yankees. The Yankees will win almost every game in which they have a lead after 7 innings if they keep Chamberlain in the bullpen. If LaTroy Hawkins or Kyle Farnsworth pitch in the 8th inning the end of Yankee games will be exciting….for the wrong reasons.
38-year old righty Mariano Rivera seemed a little bit off last season but his final numbers still looked good. He pitched in 67 games (0 starts) for the Yankees last season and he was 3-4 with 30 saves, a 3.15 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP. He also whiffed 74 batters in only 71.1 innings which shows he still has something left in the tank.
35-year old righty LaTroy Hawkins will likely be the 7th inning man for the Yankees this season. He pitched in 62 games (0 starts) for the Rockies last season and he was 2-5 with a 3.42 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. Hawkins still has pretty good stuff so he will likely do a decent job for the Yankees in 2008.
32-year old righty Kyle Farnsworth has the stuff to dominate but he has only really had one good season in his major league career. He pitched in 64 games (0 starts) for the Yankees last season and he was 2-1 with a 4.80 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP. He could always surprise because of his stuff but don’t hold your breath waiting for it to happen.
26-year old righty Brian Bruney will likely pitch in the middle innings for the Yankees this year. He pitched in 58 games (0 starts) for the Yankees in 2008 and he was 3-2 with a 4.68 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP. He will need to throw more strikes this season if he wants to keep his job in 2008.
25-year old righty Jonathan Albaladejo could be a huge surprise out of the bullpen this season for the Yankees who acquired him in the off-season from the Nationals for Tyler Clippard. Albaladejo pitched in 14 games (0 starts) for the Nationals last season and he was 1-1 with a 1.88 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP. He was also very effective in 36 games in AA+AAA ball last season. In the minors, he was 7-3 with 2 saves, a 2.97 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP.
28-year old lefty Billy Traber will be the only pitcher that throws with that arm to start the season in the Yankees bullpen. He pitched in 28 games (2 starts) for the Nationals last season and he was 2-2 with a 4.76 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP. Look for him to improve on those numbers as the Yanks won’t likely let him pitch against many righty hitters in 2008.
25-year old righty Ross Ohlendorf won the final spot in the bullpen to start the 2008 season. He pitched in 6 games (0 starts) for the Yankees last season and he was 0-0 with a 2.84 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP. He also pitched in 26 games (13 starts) in the minors last season and he was 4-5 with a 4.91 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP.
Righties Chris Britton, Jose Veras, Edwar Ramirez and lefty Heath Phillips will all start the season in the minors but they could provide help to the bullpen at some point in the 2008 season for the Yankees.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: WITH CHAMBERLAIN: A WITHOUT CHAMBERLAIN: C