The LoHud Yankees Blog

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

Look who’s coming to camp: Right-handed relievers

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Feb 02, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

As long as everyone stays healthy, the Yankees won’t have many immediate bullpen openings available in spring training. But with several key relievers heading toward free agency, opportunities will present themselves soon enough. And the team has invited some interesting young arms to camp.

For these five guys, a big league job is theirs to lose.

David Aardsma
Now in his second year after Tommy John surgery, should be fully healthy and ready to play a late-inning role.
Joba Chamberlain
Also now in his second year after Tommy John. Started to find a rhythm last last year. No trampolines, please.
Cody Eppley
Claimed off waivers last spring, had a surprising impact as a groundball specialist. Needs to win a spot all over again.
Mariano Rivera
Back from knee surgery. The greatest ever. Perpetually answering questions about how much longer he can do it.
Dave Robertson
One of the very best setup men in the game, and the only one of these five who doesn’t become a free agent next winter.

Two guys claimed off waivers and a guy initially signed last winter. I’m really pushing the definition of minor league free agent, but I’m sure you understand what I’m getting at.  

Matt Daley
Former Rockies reliever was hurt when the Yankees signed him last winter. Assuming he can actually pitch this year, could be a big league option at any moment.
David Herndon
Coming back from Tommy John surgery. Expected to be available mid-season.
Jim Miller
Claimed off waivers from the A’s, then passed cleanly through waivers by the Yankees. Had good numbers with Oakland, but was much better against lefties than against righties.

The Yankees actually have a lot of legitimate relief prospects climbing through the system, and a lot of them are on the verge of the big leagues.

Preston Claiborne
Made 20 appearances in Triple-A last season. Largely overshadowed in this group.
Nick Goody
Last year’s sixth-round pick out of LSU, he’s already made a handful of High-A appearances and shown impressive strikeout totals. Could move quickly.
Tom Kahnle
Fifth rounder in 2010, he had 72 strikeouts in 52 innings with High-A Tampa last season. Big, powerful arm.
Mark Montgomery
Top relief prospect in the system. Has insane strikeout-to-walk numbers in the minors. Could be a big league option by mid-season.
Kelvin Perez
Never really been a big-name prospect, but a terrific Double-A season has him firmly on the radar.
Branden Pinder
My friend Patrick over at Pinstripes Plus is high on Pinder. Needs to cut down on the walks, but has good stuff. Should be in Double-A this year.
Ryan Pope
Had a spot on the 40-man not so long ago, but injuries have slowed the former third rounder. Showed some improvements in the second half last year in Double-A.
Chase Whitley
Drafted in 2010 and already has 80.1 Triple-A innings. Has consistently pitched two or three innings at a time. Legitimate long relief candidate on the verge.

Seems silly to list every single minor league starter who was invited to camp. Instead, I’ll list the starters who stand out as bullpen options for one reason or another.

David Phelps
Will compete for a spot in the rotation, but could be considered the favorite for the Yankees long relief job out of the pen.
Ivan Nova
Doens’t have much bullpen experience, but could go there if Phelps wins the last rotation spot.
Adam Warren
No one expected Phelps to break camp with the Yankees last spring. Warren could be that guy this year.
Jose Ramirez
Because of the fastball, because he’s on the 40-man and because he’s slated to open this season in Double-A. He’s close enough and throws hard enough that the bullpen could be a tempting shortcut if the need arises.
Corey Black
Drafted just last year and has been a starter. I’m mentioning him largely because of his power fastball and the fact he was drafted out of college, which suggests he could move quickly if moved to the pen.

Associated Press photo





11 Responses to “Look who’s coming to camp: Right-handed relievers”

  1. Nick in SF February 2nd, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    These “Look who’s coming to camp” posts are great, Chad, but HELLO the new My Bloody Valentine album is supposedly streaming someplace on a crashed website… NOW.

    This is pretty much DEFCON 1, no?

  2. Against All Odds February 2nd, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    J. Alfred Prufrock February 2nd, 2013 at 7:41 pm
    Odds, he’ll go somewhere else and have a nice career. It’s too bad it won’t be with us.


    If he’s smart that’s what he’ll do.

  3. jmills February 2nd, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    Alex Lifeson can cover lead and rhythm!

  4. jmills February 2nd, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    Nick, u better get a car for McQueen.

  5. yankeefeminista February 2nd, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    I would hope we would be loath to use J-Ram out of the BP until after Trenton’s season ends. Plus we have enough real BP arms that we can actually let him develop.

    austin, I responded in previous thread.

  6. Nilsson February 2nd, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    Another Joba rotation debate. Kind of ironic the latest one’s on Groundhog Day lol.

    Well, should 2013 be his last in Yankee pinstripes, it would be neat to see his old stuff come back, pre-August 2008 shoulder injury. There was a time when he could top 98-100 with regularity and ease.

  7. jmills February 2nd, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    Keith Ledger is a beautiful entity!

  8. Bronx Jeers February 2nd, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    OK this is just sad.

    @dp57: some parent really named their kid Fenway Parks. Really?

  9. jmills February 2nd, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    Every day, a Canadian has to take a day off for mental reasons. I am sorry about, Sam Cooke. Lou Rawls and Al Janeux singing, ” we’ve got a love, the kind that’s gonna’last forever$ ”

    Randy Newman, ” short people got no reason to live “

  10. jmills February 2nd, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    Bronx, don’t worry, its not worth the time.

  11. jmills February 2nd, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    The Stampeders were a pretty good Canadian band! :)

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