40-year old righty Mariano “The Sandman” Rivera is showing no signs of slowing down as he continues to chase Trevor Hoffman to be the all-time saves leader in major league history. Rivera pitched in 66 games (0 starts) for the Yankees last season in which he was 3-3 with 44 saves, a 1.76 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP. He only gave up 48 hits in 66 1/3 innings for the Yankees last season while whiffing 72 batters showing that he still has more than enough movement left on his fastball to dominate. Rivera has now pitched in 917 games (10 starts) in his 15 years in the majors in which he is 71-52 with 526 saves, a 2.25 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP. Look for another 40+ saves out of the Sandman in 2010.
Either 24-year old Joba Chamberlain or 23-year old righty Phil Hughes is going to be the set-up man for Rivera in 2010. Hughes was awesome in that role last season for the Yankees. As a reliever, Hughes pitched in 44 games for the Yanks last season in which he was 5-1 with 3 saves, a 1.40 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP. He only gave up 31 hits in 51 1/3 innings in relief last season while whiffing 65 batters showing just how dominating he was. But, he is clearly outpitching Joba Chamberlain this spring in the battle for the 5th job in the starting rotation. Joba Chamberlain really struggled last season in the starting rotation. The Yankees would be better served to just let him rip for an inning at a time out of the pen. In his first two years with the Yankees, Chamberlain pitched in 61 games (12 starts) in which he was 6-3 with 1 save, a 2.17 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. Whichever one they choose to work the 8th inning, the Yankees will be in good shape.
27-year old righty Alfredo Aceves always seemed to be in the right place at the right time for the Yankees in 2009. Aceves pitched in 43 games (1 start) for the Yankees last season in which he was 10-1 with 1 save, a 3.24 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP. He only gave up 69 hits in 84 innings for the Yankees last season and he only walked 16 batters. Aceves comes right at hitters and he can work multiple innings per outing making him a huge asset for the Yankees.
36-year old righty Chan Ho Park will be the Yankees’ #6 starter and long man in 2010. Park pitched in 45 games (7 starts) for the Phillies last season in which he was 3-3 with a 4.43 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP. Park can work a lot of innings just like Aceves giving the Yankees a option every day of yanking a starting pitcher early.
35-year old lefty Damaso Marte is the Yanks’ top lefty reliever for 2010 but he has been a bust so far in his career with them. Marte pitched in 21 games (0 starts) for the Yankees last season and he was 1-3 with a 9.45 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP. He has now pitched in 46 games (0 starts) in his two years with the Yankees and he is 2-6 with a 7.11 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP. But, he has struck out 37 batters in only 31 2/3 innings showing that he does still have decent stuff.
24-year old righty David Robertson really pitched pretty darn well for the Yankees last season. He pitched in 45 games (0 starts) for the Yankees in 2009 and he was 2-1 with 1 save, a 3.30 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. He whiffed a stunning 63 batters in only 43 2/3 innings for the Yankees last season showing just how nasty he can be.
25-year old righty Mark Melancon is another young righty who can really bring it for the Yanks. He pitched in 13 games (0 starts) for the Yankees last year and he was 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP. Melcanon also pitched in AAA-ball last season in which he appeared in 32 games (0 starts) and was 4-0 with 3 saves, a 2.89 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP.
25-year old lefty Boone Logan will make the Yanks’ pitching staff if they think they need two southpaws. Logan pitched in 20 games (0 starts) for the Braves last season and he was 1-1 with a 5.19 ERA and a 1.73 WHIP. He has now pitched in 164 games (0 starts) in his four years in the show and he is 5-5 with 1 save, a 5.78 ERA and a 1.69 WHIP.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE BULLPEN IN 2010: A