Monday, October 17, 2016
RE-TOOLING THE YANKEE BULLPEN
There are a lot of unknowns heading into next season. Pitching remains a big priority and I think the Yankees could get really creative with making the back of that bullpen really strong again.
Andrew Miller is gone, and although there are rumors of Aroldis Chapman being a Yankee target again there are other possibilities out there. In fact, one in particular intrigues me.
I still believe that Luis Severino has a place on this team. I am not type casting him into any specific role yet but one thing was clear to me this season...Severino has a much different mindset as a reliever than as a starter and his numbers show that. As a starter, Severino was 0-8 with an 8.50 ERA. After being sent back down to AAA he was recalled back as a reliever and pitched to a 3-0 record with a 0.36 ERA. The numbers don't lie. Maybe....just maybe Severino has a story similar to the great Mariano Rivera and he's not a starter after all.
Sure, it's too early to tell at this point but it is a theory and it has some support to back it up. I am not saying I am ready to give up on him as a starter, but either way he has something to offer this team and maybe he can continue to be as dominant next season as a reliever.
Another tweek I think the Yankees could make would be to move Dellin Betances back as a set up man. We have always supported Betances here but we are unsure on the timing, read DELLIN BETANCES MAY JUST NOT BE READY for more. I think that he eventually could be the next closer but he just isn't ready yet. He's still young and maybe he's not ready for that pressure yet and there is still plenty of time for that. After all, even Mariano Rivera started out as a setup man for John Wetteland and that turned out better than any of us expected.
If the Yankees want to have a lights out bullpen again they need another starter. The Yankees could look to bring back Aroldis Chapman again and that would be an easy transition. He already knows the team and he understands how to succeed here. The Yankees are rumored to want him back and if the Yankees are going to spend the money on a dominant closer, he fits the bill. With money coming off of the books this season, the Yankees could look to throw him a bigger contract to help lure him back.
But, perhaps the more intriguing option here would be to sign Kenley Jansen. He has done well for the Dodgers with a 2.20 ERA in 189 save opportunities so he is used to performing under a bright spotlight. He would be a cheaper option than Chapman and he has an interesting cutter. Sure, it's not like Mo's but he can throw it. I can see him fitting in well with the team. I like the idea of Jansen because he is a gamer. In the last game of the ALDS against the San Francisco Giants you could tell he was getting tired. He threw 51 pitches before being taken out of the game. He knew how important the game was and even though he struggled, he didn't give up. He has guts and we need that.
Now if the Yankees really wanted to take a walk on the wild side they could look to sign both of them. Sure, it might be unrealistic but that would reinvent the three headed monster that the Yankees once had. It's definitely an exciting idea. If the Yankees have their way, they will have another big time bullpen. I can't wait to see what happens this off-season. Big things are happening folks....I can feel it!
--Jeana Bellezza, BYB Senior Writer & Editor
Follow me on Twitter: @NYPrincessJ