The pitching led us to a .500 record in May – which isn’t good enough – but encouragingly all the wins came from pitchers who for one reason or another took a spot in the rotation during that month.
Let’s see who led the way and who was dragging behind……
|New York Yankees – Pitching – Month – May|
David Phelps. It was somewhat surprising that Phelps made the roster at all out of Spring Training but that he has made a useful long reliever in April and then a member of the rotation through most of May means that we’re definitely getting more than we expected. When Garcia started to give every indication that he wasn’t going to be useful as he was in 2011, the club decided to switch Garcia and Phelps’ roles. Leading the team in ERA across two starts and four relief appearances made this an excellent month for Phelps.
Rafael Soriano. When Rivera was injured there was much debate about whether Soriano or Robertson should take over the closing duties. A couple of below par performances and a period spent on the DL for Robertson ended the discussion, but all the signs are that when Robertson returns, he will take up his normal eighth inning role whilst Soriano continues to carve his niche as the closer for the rest of the year. Those 6 saves in May and his ability to dig himself out of a couple of difficult scenarios are looking really impressive right now.
Cory Wade. Wade has continued almost unnoticed to provide a consistent and hard-to-hit presence out of the bullpen. In May he led all Yankees pitchers in OBA and was a steadying hand in quite a few rocky situations.
C.C. Sabathia. Sabathia has dominated in 2012 like he did in previous seasons but all the signs are that that two in the loss column in May was particularly unlucky. His 2.75 ERA indicates that with a little more run support and a better opening inning, he will be looking very good through the summer months.
David Robertson. Before the aforementioned stint on the disabled list, all the signs were that things were not quite right for Robertson. His ERA was the worst on the team and his OBA ranked third worst. He was still managing a good number of strikeouts but something had changed in his mechanics that meant he was proving way too easy to hit. Hopefully it will prove that the developing injury was the sole cause of that tendency.
Ivan Nova. Like Sabathia, Nova managed three wins and two losses on the month but that’s where the similarity ends. Nova’s ERA was 5.87 as compared to C.C.’s 2.75. Nova would have needed an awful lot of run support to keep him out of this predicament. He gave up 43 hits on the month – a number that needs an enormous cut if he is to play a major role this year.
Boone Logan. Lefthander Logan surpassed himself in April with some performances that were well above his norm, but it all came apart in May. Fortunately, the rest of the bullpen have been making up for Rivera and Robertson’s absence but it is difficult yet to know whether we might need to go hunting for some extra left-handed relief help before the deadline.
Cody Eppley. Eppley has been the last man on the roster and the traveller most like to ping-pong back and forth between the majors and triple-A Scranton. This month showed us why. He proved the weakest of the right-handed guys out of the bullpen with a disappointing over-five run ERA.
Freddy Garcia. I was surprised when Garcia was moved from the rotation that he wasn’t just given his release but Girardi saw something in him that might benefit the bullpen and so it has worked out in the testing days of May. 9.1 innings in 5 appearances show he has a role to play and 1.93 ERA shows he is going to be useful if only for mopping up duties.
Clay Rapada. Rapada was unlucky in May. He kept runners on base to a strict minimum but too many of that handful scored. His 4.05 ERA doesn’t truly show how important he was to the Yankees but only time will tell whether that inability to keep up his standard of pitching when the runners are on base was just a fluke or something that will trouble him all season.
Hiroki Kuroda. Kuroda’s middle name seems to be inconsistency. He has made some great starts but also some distinctly below par efforts too. He is proving a good 4 or 5 slot starter but there were those at the beginning of the year who were hoping he might be good for the 2 slot.
Andy Pettitte. I guess the only surprise here is how quickly Pettitte has settled back into the old routine. He is calming the ship at a time when the injuries to key players might have been justified in resulting in a little panic. Two wins already and many more to come before season’s end.