NY bullpen 2019

jon abbey

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RAB did an overarching NY bullpen post today, and they did this rundown which I think is a good start for a thread, these are the 15 potential relievers currently on the 40 man:

  • Locks: Dellin Betances, Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, Jonathan Holder
  • Out-of-Options Guys: Parker Bridwell, Luis Cessa, A.J. Cole, Domingo German, Tommy Kahnle
  • Shuttle Candidates: Chance Adams, Joe Harvey, Jonathan Loaisiga, Stephen Tarpley
  • Long Shots: Albert Abreu, Domingo Acevedo
http://riveraveblues.com/2018/11/rotation-not-part-yankees-pitching-staff-needs-help-offseason-181390/

Cashman has said a few times he plans to bring in two more relievers this winter, and Betances is a FA after this season plus Chapman can opt out of his final 2/30 after the season if he chooses.

So work needs to be done here as well as in other parts of the roster, the top four guys plus German/Kahnle plus two of the better FAs (Ottavino/Robertson?) would give NY a very loaded bullpen again.

German
Kahnle (worth noting here that he and Ottavino are best buds and maybe Ottavino can help fix him if NY signs him, he is a big analytics/high-speed camera etc. guy)
Holder
Green
Robertson
Ottavino
Betances
Chapman

Everyone there ahead of Chapman is a righty, which isn't ideal but I don't think a big problem, especially since they will have two and likely three lefty SPs. They have Tarpley as a lefty option in AAA also.
 

crow216

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Just regarding the lefty righty part, the organization has made comments that they are taking a more analytical approach to matchups based on pitch selection and hitter weaknesses to those pitches. It wouldn't surprise me if Cashman favored righties with better stuff over adding another lefty.
 

jon abbey

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Coming into the offseason, I thought Miller and Britton might be options but I think they will both end up with big closer deals.

Also there is some serious dead weight on the out-of-options list that needs to be jettisonned, I guess they will try to sneak Bidwell off the 40 man and to AAA at some point, but Cessa and Cole need to go soon. I bet Cashman will get value back for Cessa, if he gets value for Cole (who he picked up off waivers last summer and who was miraculously good for a few months and then unusable), he really is a magician.
 

jon abbey

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Also RAB left off Ben Heller, on the 40 man and coming off Tommy John about 12 months ago, he just tweeted that he is beginning to throw.
 

Plympton91

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It would really be a travesty if the Yankees had to make due with only 3 pitchers in the bullpen who’d close for most other teams. I can see why Cashman wants 2 more. ;)
 

jon abbey

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It would really be a travesty if the Yankees had to make due with only 3 pitchers in the bullpen who’d close for most other teams. I can see why Cashman wants 2 more. ;)
“Make do” and the Red Sox and Astros have set the bar high, although both also have work to do this winter.
 

crow216

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With Kyle Seager on the market, he could be a great way for Cashman to try to unload Ellsbury. Mariners save money, Yankees have a lower AAV ($56m over 4 years remaining). It may take more than Ellsbury but not too much.
 

jon abbey

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AJ Cole was DFAd today, thankfully, and interestingly Cashman just said that German still has an option year remaining. So a small update with two guys still to be added (Cashman has said this a bunch of times):

  • Locks: Dellin Betances, Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, Jonathan Holder
  • Out-of-Options Guys: Luis Cessa, Tommy Kahnle
  • Shuttle Candidates: Domingo German, Chance Adams, Joe Harvey, Jonathan Loaisiga, Stephen Tarpley
  • Long Shots: Albert Abreu, Domingo Acevedo
 

jon abbey

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OK, so with Britton signed, now we have five spots (out of eight presumably) locked up, and NY is still pursuing Ottavino. Right now I think NY's pen is the top two rows plus German, Ottavino would bump Cessa or German (they do need a long guy or two, which is why Cessa has a chance to stick).

  • Locks: Dellin Betances, Aroldis Chapman, Zach Britton, Chad Green, Jonathan Holder
  • Out-of-Options Guys: Luis Cessa, Tommy Kahnle
  • Shuttle Candidates: Domingo German, Chance Adams, Joe Harvey, Jonathan Loaisiga, Stephen Tarpley
  • Long Shots: Albert Abreu, Domingo Acevedo

 

Wingack

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OK, so with Britton signed, now we have five spots (out of eight presumably) locked up, and NY is still pursuing Ottavino. Right now I think NY's pen is the top two rows plus German, Ottavino would bump Cessa or German (they do need a long guy or two, which is why Cessa has a chance to stick).

  • Locks: Dellin Betances, Aroldis Chapman, Zach Britton, Chad Green, Jonathan Holder
  • Out-of-Options Guys: Luis Cessa, Tommy Kahnle
  • Shuttle Candidates: Domingo German, Chance Adams, Joe Harvey, Jonathan Loaisiga, Stephen Tarpley
  • Long Shots: Albert Abreu, Domingo Acevedo
Sonny Gray is gonna need a spot.
 

Plympton91

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Good thing the Yankees got Britton back. They would have been screwed if they’d had to go into the season with only 3 closers.
 

jon abbey

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Good thing the Yankees got Britton back. They would have been screwed if they’d had to go into the season with only 3 closers.
I mean, in one sense that is true (not that Chad Green has ever been a closer or even an 8th inning guy, but he is good), but Chapman's knee is a question mark as far as I know, Betances has proven to be way better at the 8th inning than the 9th, so Britton could be the closer pretty easily.
 

jon abbey

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So with Ottavino on board, NY is absolutely loaded in the bullpen again:

  • Locks: Dellin Betances, Aroldis Chapman, Zach Britton, Adam Ottavino, Chad Green, Jonathan Holder
  • Out-of-Options Guys: Luis Cessa, Tommy Kahnle
  • Shuttle Candidates: Domingo German, Chance Adams, Joe Harvey, Jonathan Loaisiga, Stephen Tarpley
  • Long Shots: Albert Abreu, Domingo Acevedo
So the pen looks like the six guys on the top row, Kahnle and a long guy (German would be my bet but it depends who they want stretched out in AAA).
 

chawson

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So with Ottavino on board, NY is absolutely loaded in the bullpen again:

  • Locks: Dellin Betances, Aroldis Chapman, Zach Britton, Adam Ottavino, Chad Green, Jonathan Holder
  • Out-of-Options Guys: Luis Cessa, Tommy Kahnle
  • Shuttle Candidates: Domingo German, Chance Adams, Joe Harvey, Jonathan Loaisiga, Stephen Tarpley
  • Long Shots: Albert Abreu, Domingo Acevedo
So the pen looks like the six guys on the top row, Kahnle and a long guy (German would be my bet but it depends who they want stretched out in AAA).
This would probably mean a Cessa trade or DFA, right? Unless they move Kahnle?
 

jon abbey

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This would probably mean a Cessa trade or DFA, right? Unless they move Kahnle?
They carried eight relievers most of last year and I am guessing are planning to again, so if they wanted to let Cessa be the long guy, they could just carry the top two rows there and put German in the AAA rotation.

Personally I expected Cessa to be dumped last winter, I don't really get how he has hung around this long but clearly Cashman sees something there that the rest of us haven't yet.
 

chawson

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I’m sure they’re fine carrying eight relievers but I’d imagine the inability to send any of them down would be restrictive — aka, the logic I employed to rationalize against them signing Ottavino, which did not turn out the way I hoped.
 

jon abbey

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I’m sure they’re fine carrying eight relievers but I’d imagine the inability to send any of them down would be restrictive — aka, the logic I employed to rationalize against them signing Ottavino, which did not turn out the way I hoped.
Holder has options at least, but it's true that German makes more sense from that perspective as well. Yankee fans would love to see Cessa gone, he is quite universally hated.
 

cromulence

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Holder has options at least, but it's true that German makes more sense from that perspective as well. Yankee fans would love to see Cessa gone, he is quite universally hated.
...Hated? Harsh. He throws hard, so I can't hate him. Also, maybe he's a nice guy.
 

crow216

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I don't hate him as a person, I hate him on the mound.

He brings back memories of 2018 where we were all sitting here arguing about how shitty they were for a 100 win team while Boone was running him out, letting him get into trouble, then bringing Robertson in with men on base (he sucked at that) to watch a lead slip away.
 

cromulence

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Yeah man, long lost memories of several months ago.

Leave Cessa alone. LEAVE HIM ALONE!
 

jon abbey

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Wow, this thread hasn't been bumped since January, so let me do an update...

NY's top four relievers this season have been collectively superb (Chapman/Britton/Ottavino/Kahnle) and the guy who many would have called their best coming into the season, Dellin Betances, has yet to throw a pitch but will hopefully be back sometime in July. Their 5th best guy until Betances is back is Chad Green, who was disastrous early on but then he went to AAA and got things figured on, his velocity is back up and since May 27, he has a combined line of 11.1 9 1 1 1 20, 0.79 ERA and .460 OPS allowed. So that is five spots set, six once Betances is back.

The issue is with the rest of the pen, Holder and Cessa specifically, both of whom have been on the big league roster all season (Cessa is out of options, Holder still has them). David Hale is the long guy currently and he has been fine for the most part, although he will likely lose out to a roster crunch at some point too since he is out of options. But he is not the issue, Holder and Cessa are, so let's look at their numbers a bit.

Holder was good for most of 2018 as the 5th or 6th best guy in the pen (save for one almost inconceivable meltdown in Fenway, 7 ERs allowed without getting an out, he only allowed 16 ERs besides that in 66 innings all season), but he just can't put it together this season. He's allowed 8 ER in his last 5.1 innings, 4 HRs. For the season, batters are hitting .476 with 2 HRs against him with RISP and 2 outs. NY refuses to use guys three nights in a row so sometimes these two spots are called on to step up for a 7th inning (as Holder was tonight) and he just isn't up to the task this season. Coming into tonight (where he allowed 3 runs in an inning, turning a 4-2 lead into a 5-4 deficit), he was allowing a .355/.444/.516 line in high leverage plate appearances. The move here is blindingly obvious as he still has options: SEND HIM DOWN.

Cessa had an impressive outing last time (albeit closing out a 12-1 game) but he is even worse. He has a 13.50 ERA in June and is allowing a 1.096 OPS for the month, and it fits with his career, he has never been good. He has a live arm and impressive stuff, but he has never been able to consistently use it to get guys out, and NY simply has better options. Cessa unlike Holder does not have options, so he needs to be traded ASAP.

So who does NY fill these two spots with? They have three guys in Scranton currently who are very deserving of shots, Stephen Tarpley, Joe Harvey (both on the 40 man, both have been up some already), and J.P. Feyereisen (not on the 40 man). These three have combined for 73.1 innings of 2.09 ERA, 37 BBs and 100 Ks, all three are 26-27 years old, they are not kids and it's time to give them real shots at the back of the pen. Pick two and promote them, send Holder down (or trade him if there is value) and dump Cessa, there is still plenty of depth behind them. Cashman traded four relievers at the deadline last season for international cap space and I am sure he plans to move a few this season too, but IMO these moves shouldn't wait until then.
 

jon abbey

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One addendum: Ben Heller pitched for NY some in 2016 and 2017 and had Tommy John surgery in April 2018. He has been slowly amping up his recovery in Tampa all season and this morning he got activated to pitch rehab games in Tampa, so he should be a depth option pretty soon also. Heller and the aforementioned Feyereisen were the other two players in the 2016 Andrew Miller deal, along with Sheffield and Frazier.