Quite often it makes sense to lump all relievers into one big group, but the Yankees have reason to pay specific attention to the left-handers invited to camp. The team carried two lefties last season, one of whom was almost entirely limited to being a left-on-left specialist, and that seemed to fit Joe Girardi’s style of bullpen management. The Yankees most familiar left-handed reliever, Boone Logan, is heading toward free agency, which means there could be an opportunity for another lefty to emerge next season.
The Yankees have two lefties returning from last season, and it seems reasonable to think both Logan and Rapada have a good chance to reprise their roles (Logan, in particular, seems to be a bullpen lock).
Working his way back from last spring’s elbow injury. Not expected to be 100 percent until after Opening Day. A name to really watch in May.
The lingering piece of the Javier Vazquez trade. He’s been used as more than a lefty specialist.
Sidearming lefty was signed just as spring training opened last season, and he stuck around all year. Walks some guys, but effective against left-handed hitters.
Added to the 40-man roster this winter. Good, powerful stuff with a need to improve his control. Pitched well in Double-A last season.
MINOR LEAGUE FREE AGENTS
One guy was signed as a free agent last winter and the other was claimed off waivers this offseason, but even so, I wouldn’t consider either of these to be true organizational prospects.
Kind of a surprise non-roster invite last spring. Pitched in Triple-A for the first time and had good enough numbers to bring him back. Should be considered left-handed depth.
Claimed off waivers from the Padres, who had him in the big leagues part of the past two seasons. Has held lefties to a .158/.247/.237 slash line in the bigs.
Aside from Rondon (who’s on the 40) and Cedeno (who didn’t really come up through the organization) the Yankees didn’t invite any organizational left-handed relief prospects to camp.
COULD SEE TIME AT THE POSITION
With very few exceptions — Andy Pettitte, for example, and probably Manny Banuelos — any left-handed starter has the potential of moving into the bullpen at some point.
A Double-A standout last season, the Yankees have acknowledged that Nuno could be a relief option if the opportunity presents itself. Could legitimately big on the big league roster — in one role or the other — if he carries his Double-A success to Triple-A.
Doesn’t look like a bullpen move is in the works any time soon — he had a 2.89 ERA in High-A last year — but you just never know. Should be in Double-A this season, and he’s already on the 40-man.
A bit of an under-the-radar prospect who’s pitched well the past two years. Has had too much rotation success to suggest a bullpen move at this point, but again, you never know what might happen down the road. Any work he gets in big league camp will almost certainly come out of the pen.
Associated Press photo