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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

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Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Feb 23, 2009 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Mark Melancon looked sharp yesterday in batting practice and impressed Jorge Posada.

The Yankees will probably start the season with seven relievers. It’s safe to say that three of them will be:

Mariano Rivera
Damaso Marte
Brian Bruney

There also figures to be a long reliever. The two leading candidates are:

Alfredo Aceves
Dan Giese

That leaves three spots open. Based on major-league experience, the three leading candidates are:

Edwar Ramirez
Dave Robertson
Jose Veras

But already Edwar has a sore shoulder. And while Veras and Robertson did some good things last season, they shouldn’t be locks by any means. These guys could get in the mix:

Jonathan Albaladejo
Mark Melancon
Humberto Sanchez
Phil Coke (unless he becomes a starter)

Then you have minor-league relievers who likely need more time. These guys could play their way into a spot later in the season:

Steven Jackson
J.B. Cox
Anthony Claggett
Kanekoa Texeira

Finally you have a group of minor-league starters who could be converted into fast-track relievers at some point this season depending on needs and how they pitch:

Michael Dunn
Eric Hacker
George Kontos
Christian Garcia

That’s 20 names and that’s without considering players not in camp who could emerge. I think the Yankees would like to start Melancon in AAA. But if things break right, he does have a shot to start the year with the team.




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