Roster Move Ideas

In the 'pen the Yanks currently have:

RHP Mariano Rivera
LHP Phil Coke (4.60 ERA, .228 avg against, 1.15 WHIP)
RHP Jon Albaladejo (5.00 ERA, .277 avg against, 1.44 WHIP)
RHP Jose Veras (6.75 ERA, .220 avg against, 1.50 WHIP)
RHP Edwar Ramirez (4.86 ERA, .258 avg against, 1.86 WHIP)
RHP Alfredo Aceves (2.45 ERA, .185 avg against, 0.95 WHIP)
RHP Brett Tomko (only pitched 2 games/1.2 innings, but allowed a run and 4 hits in that time).

Mariano, Coke, and Aceves deserve to be in that 'pen. Veras, Edwar, Albaladejo, and Tomko do not. Our dear friend Brian Bruney will be back within a few days, which will most likely result in a Tomko demotion. When LHP Damaso Marte returns (possibly by the end of the month), it wouldn't be surprising to see IF Angel Berroa demoted. However, I'm not a big believer in Marte. He's really just an overpaid, left-handed 4.00 ERA kind of pitcher. However, he's more valuable than Berroa, that's for sure. Even with Marte and Bruney coming up, we'd still have Albaladejo, Veras, and Edwar pitching in the bigs. Which isn't promising. So here is my bold suggestion. Demote all three of them to triple A. I know crazy. Then promote righties Mark Melancon and David Robertson, and lefty Zach Kroenke to take their spots. All three of them have ERA's under 2 at triple A. And Robertson held a 3.86 ERA through 4.2 innings at the big league level, better than Edwar, Veras, and Albaladejo. Melancon wasn't particularly strong in his 4 big league appearances this year, but he has a 0.66 ERA at Scranton, striking out 20 in 13.2 innings. That's just crazy. Give him another chance. He's Mo's heir and he has the skills to pitch in the bigs right now. Just let him get settled. I like Kroenke because while Edwar and Veras tend to let up more fly balls (0.67 and 0.65 GO/AO's respectively) he tends to be more of a ground ball pitcher (1.44 GO/AO). Hitters are batting .179 against him and he can pitch multiple innings every time out (16.2 innings in 9 games) which is helpful whenever a pitcher gets knocked out early. Oh, he's got a 1.08 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP as well. And even though he's a lefty he's actually been even better against righties, with a 0.82 ERA v. righties and a 1.59 ERA v. lefties. Give these young guys a chance. Cervelli, Melky, Coke, and Pena have all proved that if you give the young players a chance you might be surprised with what you see. Let's stop having to hold our breath when Edwar, Veras, and Albaladejo take the mound, and let's see what some rookies can do. Ideally, this would end up in a major league bullpen of:

RHP Mariano Rivera
RHP Brian Bruney
LHP Phil Coke
RHP David Robertson
RHP Mark Melancon
LHP Zach Kroenke
RHP Alfredo Aceves
LHP Damaso Marte

We would see RHP Jose Veras, RHP Edwar Ramirez, RHP Jon Albaladejo, and RHP Brett Tomko leave the bullpen. This is a little bit of an oversized pen, but A. Marte won't be back for a little while, so we don't have to worry about him for a week or two. B. The position player dropped was Angel Berroa, and any of these guys can hit better, field cleaner, throw stronger, and run faster than he can. C. Most likely someone will dissapoint, and when they do we'll send them down to Scranton for either OF Shelley Duncan (.324/.393/.667 with 10 home runs and 30 RBI's in 105 at bats), OF Todd Linden (.331/.410/.540 with 31 RBI's and 3 stolen bases in 139 at bats), 2B or Kevin Russo (.449/.500/.510 with 3 stolen bases in 49 at bats). So we could seriously strengthen our bench. If we have the young talent to upgrade our bullpen and bench, why not use it?

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