Friday, January 18, 2019

Could the Yankees be thinking of Tampa-esque bullpen starts?

With the signing of Adam Ottavino, the Yankee hype engine has been revved up, as Spinal Tap guitarist Nigel Tufnel would say, "to eleven." That's okay. The franchise this winter has now performed basic due diligence: It has reconstructed last year's team: (Happ, CC and Gardy stay; Tulo and LeMahieu replace Sir Didi; Ottavino replaces David Robertson; Red Thunder replaces Andrew McCutcheon.) 

Are we better than last year's Wild Carders? Dunno. Our lineup still tilts dangerously toward the right. We still have statues at the corners of the infield. If we trade Sonny Gray, we still lack a fifth starter. And here's the real chilling adventure of Sabrina: Boston has yet to make its countermove. Last year, we spent January drunkenly toasting Giancarlo Stanton, while the Redsocks waited in their bunkers, preparing to low-ball JD Martinez. They won't stay underground all winter. Whenever a free agent rumor conjures the the phrase "mystery team," I get queasy. Soon, Boston will come to bat. 

But the bullpen now stands as the Yankee pride and joy. This raises the question of whether Aaron Boone could occasionally use the Tampa "Charge of the Light Brigade" Bullpen Model: Start a reliever and use the kitchen sink to go the distance. We certainly have the guns to do it. 

Before I continue, let's mention the bugaboo. The Tampa model looks like a great way to burn out a bullpen. I can't see the Yankees spending $40 million on relievers and blowing them up by mid-June. (Although with Boone, I can imagine anything.) So this can't happen often... maybe three or four times per season. But let's say the Yankees absolutely need to rest their starters, and they can't piss away a game. In the old times, they'd phone Scranton and call up Dopey Dildox. But here's how a bullpen game could look.

Innings 1 and 2: Dellin Betances. (I'd start Dellin because a) if he's on, he's lights out and b) if he's awful, we have nine innings to catch up. Betances could mow through the first six batters, and when the Yankees raise an early lead, the entire game changes.)

Inning 3-4: Tommy Kahnle, Stephen Tarpley, Luis Cessa, Chance Adams - still to be added LOOGIE. This is the fulcrum point in the game. We gotta get through these innings.

Inning 5-6: Mean Chad Green. (If we're ahead, the game is effectively over.)

Inning 7: Ottavino.

Inning 8: Zach Britton.

Inning 9: Aroldis Chapman. 

You could argue about starting Betances. I believe he'd benefit from a well defined role. The guy has some of the most dominant stuff in baseball, but it comes and goes. Frankly, he terrifies me. Seems to me, if everything is working, you should let him pitch forever. But, hey, I dunno.

One thing, though: The hype machine can bellow self-congratulations, but all we have basically done is replace Robby with a pitcher who has yet to succeed in New York. Don't get me wrong: I'm happy. We all should be. But if the Yankees are now done spending, what we're seeing is same team that lost three out of four to Boston. 

We need Bryce Harper. Now that would change the dynamics of the American League East.


13bit said...

They blew their nose and expect us to jump up and down and clap? Get real. NOTHING HAD CHANGED when it comes to the substance of this team, how it is run, managed, coached and led from the top. I'm glad they got a great bullpen together. We're sure as shit going to need it.

In the meantime, we have some real slow movers on the field, free-swinging morons on the bench, no lefties in Yankee Fucking Stadium, and a rotation that should be playing golf.

Get real, people. Even if we light it up for a month, this is still not a team built for a long, punishing season. And, on top of all that, our coaches SUCK ELEPHANT BALLS.

Don't believe me? Look at the record for the last 10 years.

13bit said...

"HAS" changed, damnit. My kingdom for an edit button.

Anonymous said...


Alphonso said...

Anonymous is right. No way that group of losers gets us through innings 3-4 without a 10 run bleed out.

Net idea?

Anonymous said...

We always seem to have trouble in the 4th inning anyway. Since the powers that be want to shorten the amount of time games take, maybe we could get them to eliminate the 4th inning. Problem solved.

Doug K.

Anonymous said...

Hello hal,

I am heartbroken because i have no left handed slugger, not nice to satisfy a woman or beat Boston, I lost so many games because of my situation, I have looked online but none could offer me the help i searched for. i saw some few comments in this blog about this specialist called Bryce Harper and decided to email him on he gave me some comforting words about his enormous bat, if we sign him within 1 week of it, we will began to feel the lengthening of our lineup and in just 2 weeks the balls will fly and we will be so happy. feel free to contact Bryan harper on( or whatsapp him on this number +2348140654426

Hey it's still open season as far as I am concerned.

Doug K.

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

Reasons to not sign Bryce:

a. He's not a switch-hitter. Mickey was!

b. Papelbon once tried to strangle him.

c. He has a beard, the damn Bolshevik.

d. Hal owns a small, hidden piece of the Nationals.

e. Neither Harper, nor Stanton, can learn to play first base. Too many outfielders.

f. There's no signing a new guy until Ellsbury is beamed up to the Enterprise.

g. We're waiting to free up a roster spot by dealing Sonny.

h. Harper is not gay. We need more diversity. Ditto black, Latin-American, and from another planet.

i. He won't play in a league with the DH.

j. Can't pitch worth a damn. Babe could do that!

k. Won't accept his pay in Yankee Stadium hot dogs.

l. Signing Bryce would motivate the Red Sox to sign Manny. Can't do that...

OK. I'm out of ideas. There is no reason to not sign this guy. Money is not a limitation, as we know.

So: WTF is it?

Anonymous said...

Red Sox + Manny = scary. Who is their 3rd baseman Devers? They could trade him to Clevland with Jackie Bradley for Kluber.

Doug K.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Hilarious, Doug K.! And your next post was truly scary.

On paper, Giancarlo was a better player than J.D. On paper.

The Red Sox saw that, in reality, he was not. This one example illustrates the entire gap between us and Boston now.

Essentially, Hal and Coops are just doing what we can do: taking a look at the stats like a man perusing a diner menu and saying, 'Hey, I'll take the ham and eggs!' The Sox are the guy looking to buy the diner, poking through the cabinets and testing the grills out back, noting the vermin control.

We don't do vermin control. Literally OR figuratively.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. I can't believe I missed calling WhatsApp whatsappdoc.

Doug K.

ranger_lp said...

Sonny Gray is on the verge of leaving NY...

David in Cal said...

The idea of a 1st inning 'starter' makes so much sense, I expect it to become the new norm. Especially with someone like CC who will never pitch a complete game. Let's relieve him of facing the opponents' top hitters in the first inning.

13bit said...

Let's get Harper.

HoraceClarke66 said...

I hate the idea of the first-inning starter.

I think innovations like that will really hurt the game. When you get to a staff where everybody throws 90-140 innings year...yuck It degrades the great position of pitcher significantly, and gears everything toward more of the same, boring power game baseball is rapidly devolving into: every at-bat is a walk, strikeout, or home run.

I would much rather see coaches devise ways of trying to teach pitchers to go longer—some combination of teaching them more pitches and strengthening their arms without blowing them out.

Easier said than done, I know. But the idea of the pitcher as only an anonymous middle reliever? Ugh. AND yuck.

TheWinWarblist said...

Fuckfuckfuckfuck ... Fuckfuckfuckfuck ...