And now we turn our attention to the pitchers…………………….
|New York Yankees – Pitching – Month – June|
David Robertson. Robertson continues to dominate the batters that he faces. In June, he struck out seventeen in 11 innings and whilst ever he is throwing for strikes then he will be ahead of the game – but I don’t think anyone expected him to be quite as dominant as he has been in the first half of this season.
Mariano Rivera. Does Rivera ever have a bad month? I mean occasionally he has a bad night (there was one of those this month) and I’ve known him struggle for two or three consecutive games but a month? I don’t think so. This month he finished out 9 of the 10 games he appeared in, collecting 8 saves en route. He’s still prone to allowing slightly more batters to make it to base than is usual for him but this is a minor matter.
Luis Ayala. Ayala’s importance to the team has grown because of the injuries to Soriano and Chamberlain. There has been no loss of quality in his pitching because of the fact he now finds himself pitching innings that really matter. He allows slightly more batters on base than Robertson but less than Rivera and if he can repeat that June form in the second half of the season, the club will be more than satisfied.
Boone Logan. Logan has lacked confidence all season and batters can smell fear. This month he has finally begun to turn the trend around and consequently Girardi has begun to trust him in situations that are other than leftie-leftie pair-ups. It hasn’t always worked out but the fact that he is second only to the surprising Cory Wade in terms of OBA shows how much he is improving.
Buddy Carlyle. I got to see at close proximity the ugly side of the Yankees’ bullpen, during the 14 games at Yankees Stadium I attended in June. Carlyle exemplified everything that was wrong – lightweight, make-weight pitchers who didn’t look at all convincing and who you knew were little more than batting practice for the opposition team who faced them. Carlyle’s 18.00 ERA in his one appearance in June is hopefully the last time we’re going to see him on a Yankees roster. It could have been an awful lot worse.
Kevin Whelan. Whelan was cut from very similar cloth to Carlyle and mercifully his call-up was very brief. He managed to get through two appearances which totalled 1.2 innings and 5 walks. This was not pretty.
Lance Pendleton. Pendleton has had just about enough to get batters out so far, but he really struggled in June – and he is seen as more of a permanent fixture than either Whelan or Carlyle. He achieved a 10.13 ERA on the month. He will do better than this again but he will never dominate.
Hector Noesi. Noesi runs up a much higher pitch count than any pitcher I can remember seeing. Almost every batter he faces goes to a full count and then there tends to be numerous foul hits before the at-bat is finally resolved. Putting him on the “Bad” list is a little unkind because he is dogged and determined – but the simple fact is that many of those long at-bats this month resulted with the batter winning the battle. The 5.84 ERA reflects this but that he only ultimately walked three of his opponents in 12.1 innings is encouraging.
Joba Chamberlain. Two surprises here. First that Chamberlain finally seemed to have found his niche with the Yankees. Second that he blew out his arm and will have to begin the whole process over in 2012 when he returns to fitness. In his final games before his injury came to light, Chamberlain was giving up more hits than he had in the earlier parts of the season (.400 OBA) but still finding ways to avoid the runners getting home (0.00 ERA). Now he joins Feliciano on the list of those whose future is very hard to predict at all. Many players come back successfully from Tommy John surgery, some do not.
Cory Wade. I didn’t expect much of anything from Wade who has been just a journeyman reliever thus far in his career but in his first five appearances for the Yankees, he gave up no runs, didn’t walk anyone and only allowed two hits. Only time will tell but this looks like a useful acquisition and a country-mile ahead of some of the players we’ve been relying on out of the bullpen.
Brian Gordon. The first surprise was that Gordon made the Yankees rotation at all. The second was that his debut was presentable – he only looked slightly panicky when he had runners on base. The third was that his second appearance was such a washout and that he suddenly seemed prone to giving up homers on a regular basis. The fourth surprise was that there was no third appearance and that a little later he was released from Scranton where he had been deposited when he was removed from the forty man roster. The fifth surprise is that his Yankee career which began so suddenly is now over.
Bartolo Colon. The final surprise on my list concerns Mr Colon. The first surprise is that he has continued to be an effective starting pitcher for the Yankees into June. The second that he had the misfortune to injure himself trotting over to cover first base. Will his second half be adversely affected by the time off or the after-effects of the foot injury?