No team will be able to match arms with the Yankees’ bullpen in 2011. 41-year old righty closer Mariano Rivera is showing no signs of slowing down. He pitched in 61 games (0 starts) for the Yankees last year and he was 3-3 with 33 saves, a 1.80 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP. He only walked 11 batters while giving up 39 hits in 60 innings pitched, which shows he still has more than enough stuff to still dominate late in games. Rivera has now pitched in 978 games (10 starts) in his first 16 years with the Yankees and he is 74-55 with 559 saves, a 2.23 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. With a good season, Rivera could catch or pass major league career saves leader Trevor Hoffman who has 601 of them.
31-year old righty Rafael Soriano took the big bucks from the Yankees to serve as their set up man. Soriano pitched in 64 games (0 starts) for the Rays last year and he was 3-2 with 45 saves, a 1.73 ERA and a 0.80 WHIP. He only gave up 36 hits and 14 walks in 62 1/3 innings last year as he was actually a better pitcher than Mariano Rivera last season. Soriano has now pitched in 342 games (8 starts) in his first 9 years in the majors and he is 11-20 with 88 saves, a 2.73 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. If you’re going to beat the Yankees, you only have 7 innings to do it in.
34-year old lefty Pedro Feliciano will likely be the top lefty out of the pen for the Yankees in 2011. Feliciano pitched in 92 games (0 starts) for the Mets last year and he was 3-6 with a 3.30 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP. He has now pitched in 459 games (0 starts) in his first 8 years in the majors and he is 22-19 with 4 saves, a 3.31 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP. Feliciano has led the majors in appearances three seasons in a row as he has worked in an amazing 266 games over that timespan.
25-year old righty Joba Chamberlain will now be a middle reliever for the Yankees. He pitched in 73 games (0 starts) for the Yankees last year and he was 3-4 with 3 saves, a 4.40 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP. Chamberlain has now pitched in 166 games (43 starts) in his first 4 years with the Yankees and he is 18-13 with 4 saves, a 3.77 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP. He has whiffed 362 batters in his first 353 1/3 innings, so he still has great stuff. The Yankees need to straighten out Chamberlain because he still has a very impressive arsenal.
25-year old righty David Robertson is also a very solid reliever. He pitched in 64 games (0 starts) for the Yankees last year and he was 4-5 with 1 save, a 3.82 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. Robertson has now pitched in 134 games (0 starts) in his first three years with the Yankees and he is 10-6 with 2 saves, a 3.99 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. He should have better stats than he does as Robertson has whiffed 170 batters in his first 135 1/3 innings. This could be the year that he breaks out for the Yanks.
26-year old lefty Boone Logan will likely be the lefty specialist for the Yanks in 2011. Logan pitched in 51 games (0 starts) for the Yankees last year and he was 2-0 with a 2.93 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. He has now pitched in 215 games (0 starts) in his first five years in the majors and he is 7-5 with 1 save, a 5.10 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP. The Yankees are hoping that Boone Logan has finally found himself and pitches like he did last year in 2011.
36-year old lefty Damaso Marte is likely going to miss a lot of time this year due to a shoulder issue. He pitched in 30 games (0 starts) for the Yankees last year and he was 0-0 with a 4.08 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. Marte has now pitched in 76 games (0 starts) in his first three years with the Yankees and he is 2-6 with a 6.02 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE YANKEES BULLPEN IN 2011: A+