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Early question: Has Warren found a home?

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Apr 14, 2014 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Adam Warren

In the minor leagues, Adam Warren was a good but often overlooked starting rotation prospect.

Last season, Warren was a long man who got high-leverage opportunities only when the Yankees bullpen was thin.

This spring, Warren was a fifth-starter candidate who always seemed more likely to reprise his reliever role.

Thirteen games into this season, Warren has emerged as something completely different. Because of the Yankees generally inexperienced bullpen, Warren has been given an early opportunity as a late-inning reliever, and he’s made the most of it. With a big fastball, Warren has been terrific as a go-to seventh-inning reliever and now as a fill-in setup man.

Question is, will this become Warren’s role for the foreseeable future?

It’s too early to know, of course, but it’s worth wondering if Warren might be emerging as a powerful option for short-relief situations. And that might be where he’s most needed. Warren’s stuff seems to play up in this role, and he’s had a ton of success with it so far (six innings, two hits, seven strikeouts). Teams are always hesitant to push potential starters out of the rotation mix — it just seems you can never have enough starters — but the Yankees now have CC Sabathia locked up to a multi-year deal, plus three other current starters who are 27 or younger.

Doesn’t mean there won’t be another rotation opening at some point, but some young starters inevitably end up in the bullpen, and Warren’s looked awfully good in that role through his first six outings this year. He, Dellin Betances and David Phelps are each either 26 or 27 years old, all three spent most of their minor league careers pitching out of the rotation, and they could be valuable bullpen trio going forward.

Associated Press photo

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45 Responses to “Early question: Has Warren found a home?”

  1. bigdan22 April 14th, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Repost :

    “On the plus side the guys they do have in Johnson, Solarte and Anna are all versatile but I’m not giving them milk and cookies for loading the roster with utility guys”

    ——

    I apologize if I’m taking this out of context, but this statement is only half true. The Yanks did load of up utility infielders, thankfully, to improve depth. But they also loaded up on Ellsbury, McCann and Beltran. They just chose to not spend $10MM+ for every position. Sometimes that’s good thing because it allows you to replace non-performance easily (Roberts?). And sometimes you are just stuck with a bad player. Up to this point, the biggest problem in the infield is the guy they are paying the most to. Oh, and if Tex hits six homers in any single week this season I’ll eat my hat.

    I agree that the Yanks will not make any major acquisitions in the infield so long as Jeter is presumed healthy and have been saying as much since mid-Dec. But there is a depth problem at SS actually similar to 1b just not as acute. The Yanks have no real SS depth at AAA and Anna is the only other real SS on the 40. If Jeter and Anna go down, maybe Beltran can play SS too lol? I suppose they’d give Solarte a shot but they really need Ryan to get healthy.

  2. bigdan22 April 14th, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    Re-post

    “As happy as I was about taking 3 of 4 from Boston, I look at the record and the run differential and I’m rightly concerned”

    ——

    I think the run differential is the product of perhaps a slight underproduction by starters but more likely the offense failing to hit with RISP. RISP deviations usually correct themselves over the course of the season. Unless of course the hitters just really suck

  3. tomingeorgia April 14th, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Took down the sign today, switched from a $7000 commercial insurance policy to a $2900 home owner’s one, baked my last commercial biscuit, ordered packing boxes to put the small stuff we’re not selling at the estate sale. Disconnected eight TVs from satellite, cancelled three telephone numbers, canceled the credit card processing account, closed the business checking account. Going to fill out the last payroll tax forms tomorrow, as well as well as sales tax and city/county excise tax on occupancy and state/federal unemployment forms. Got my income tax filed. A swell day. Sad but sweet.

  4. bigdan22 April 14th, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    “. . .

    To me, 1b will always be the issue because the way the game of baseball is designed it’s supposed to be a fait accompli that you get a lot of offense at 1b. You can carry Brendan Ryan types if your corners hit and produce.

    No real 1b backup (and you can’t sell me KJ as the real backup when he was signed to start at another position) hurts this team.

    Even if Morales is Giambi at 1b, if he can hit he’s very valuable to this team and helps the pitching staff by producing runs”

    —–

    I agree G Love. As you have explained it, 1b is actually a multi-dimensional problem now for the Yanks. Not only is there no backup on the 40 man for Tex, but Tex himself is one of the most overpaid players in the game. Frankly, I think the Yanks may very well be better off with him on the DL and avoiding is likely sub .300 OBP. I’m really not sure what Tex can do offensively even if he his healthy this year.

    Morales would obviously be an upgrade but I don’t know how he fits into the roster if Tex is active. It would be nice if Beltran or Sori could learn first base but that’s an awful lot to ask of veterans of their stature. I think the Yanks are trying to see what Cojo can do in AAA. He’s been getting most of reps there at Scranton. He is left-handed, and if you ask JAP, I think he’d tell you he was once regarded as a pretty good hitter.

    Bottom line tho, I expect, like Jeter at SS, the Yanks will muddle through this year at 1b with the depth (or lack thereof) they have. At least Jeter looks like he can actually hit.

  5. Howe Farr April 14th, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    Re-post

    “As happy as I was about taking 3 of 4 from Boston, I look at the record and the run differential and I’m rightly concerned”

    ——

    I think the run differential is the product of perhaps a slight underproduction by starters but more likely the offense failing to hit with RISP. RISP deviations usually correct themselves over the course of the season. Unless of course the hitters just really suck

    —-

    and from losing 14 to 5

  6. Doreen April 14th, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    tomingeorgia -

    I wish you much happiness and good fortune in your new chapter!

  7. bigdan22 April 14th, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    @RiverAveBlues: Olney: Soriano will retire if he has a poor 2014 season http://t.co/hzY8gmx9sh

    We will see but I wouldn’t mind Sori sticking around in that Andrew Jones role of a power RH bat for another year or two

    —–

    I’ve been thinking if he gives the Yanks around 30 homers this year the Yanks will want him back. But the downside is that’s just that much less playing time for Almonte who may have his only real window for playing time next year.

    But does mean if Sori sucks this year he gets to share his farewell tour with Jeter?

  8. G. Love April 14th, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    bigdan22,

    I’m also not as concerned about Jeter because his bat looks good to me. If he hits around .280 it’s fine.

    I know they’ll probably never sign Morales unless Tex goes down again and it all has to do with Tex’s contract. When you’re paying someone 22.5 million you have to play them when they are healthy. I think what rubs me and a lot of fans the wrong way is the way the team, and specifically Girardi, acts like Tex hasn’t declined and he’s still a 30 HR 100 RBI all star 1b. He’s so far removed from that at this point. They act like when he comes back it’s like getting the 2009 Tex back in the lineup. That was 5 (Kevin) long years ago. That Tex doesn’t exist anymore.

  9. tomingeorgia April 14th, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    Doreen,
    Thanks, I think we will.

  10. hardwired7 April 14th, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    “will this become Warren’s role for the foreseeable future?”

    As long as he’s in the AL East, yes. He’d be a fine alternative for the back end of an NL Central or East rotation, but he doesn’t have the arsenal to start every five days against the big boys.

    Unfortunately for Warren, he won’t see any big paydays as long he’s in this role, but he can carve out his own niche and limit the wear-and-tear on his arm, thus prolonging his career.

  11. pete2 April 14th, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    Yankees biggest problem offensively has been hitting with RISP, they are last in OPS in this situation and near the bottom in BA. The sheer number of opportunities and the recent flurry of HR with ROB have helped overshadow this.

    If Solarte cools off, and he has to a certain extent, and Tex and Jeters leg issues prove chronic, the Yankees are going to have to upgrade the IF. Tigers are getting killed at SS with Alex Gonzalez and the Red Sox are w/o Pedroia and Middlebrooks, plus many AL teams are struggling offensively and could use Morales, so these options may not be available for much longer.

  12. bbb51 April 14th, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    Yanks have a backup 1B, it’s Kelly Johnson. He has been fine there. That opens up 3B but they can put Solarte there.

  13. NYY_Girl_Penny April 14th, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    G. Love April 14th, 2014 at 5:22 pm
    bigdan22,

    I’m also not as concerned about Jeter because his bat looks good to me. If he hits around .280 it’s fine.

    I know they’ll probably never sign Morales unless Tex goes down again and it all has to do with Tex’s contract. When you’re paying someone 22.5 million you have to play them when they are healthy. I think what rubs me and a lot of fans the wrong way is the way the team, and specifically Girardi, acts like Tex hasn’t declined and he’s still a 30 HR 100 RBI all star 1b. He’s so far removed from that at this point. They act like when he comes back it’s like getting the 2009 Tex back in the lineup. That was 5 (Kevin) long years ago. That Tex doesn’t exist anymore.

    —-

    Cracks me up when people think the Yankees “loaded up” on talent this off-season like it was a strategy.

    TL;DR

    Yankees had no choice but buy up free agents because they have dropped the ball last few years focusing strictly on getting below the luxury tax bracket. They aren’t geniuses, they got lucky, period.

    They don’t have enough brains to realize that the Yankees talentless minor league system (and one might say, neglected) had nothing to offer them. What do you do when for years you preach “our goal is to get under the luxury tax” your top talent retires (posada,matsui,damon,mo, no arod, etc) and you are a billion dollar mega corporation with little talent? You BUY UP all you can to fill holes. They are just lucky they had some talented FA’s out there this year that fit their needs while their backs were up against the wall.

    Imagine if they didn’t have this years FA talent pool and the mega millions come off the roster? What would the Pollyanna’s then say? Oh it was strategy to get below the tax bracket, that’s why the team is so poorly constructed — NOT — and “The Yankees Org are so smart!” when in fact they are not smart.. they are unprepared, disorganized, amateur ball club owners who are focusing on “brand” who arrogantly think they know how to run “baseball” club. Granted they are learning, but they got very lucky with the FA players out there this season, which does a nice job covering up the fact that they are in this position for no other fact that their ineptitude put them in this situation to begin with.

  14. chicken_stanley April 14th, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    I’ve been pleasantly surprised by Warren’s performance in the late innings… Chad mentioned the big fastball, which was somewhat unexpected but his breaking stuff seems to have taken a positive step as well (much sharper stuff than I remember)

  15. NYY_Girl_Penny April 14th, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    G. Love April 14th, 2014 at 5:22 pm
    bigdan22,

    I’m also not as concerned about Jeter because his bat looks good to me. If he hits around .280 it’s fine.

    That Tex doesn’t exist anymore.

    —-

    That Tex barely existed for 1 season. He got his payday — probably PED’d his way to it — and then completely lost all hunger, interest in competing. All he has done is make excuses.. a matter of fact, he is almost on my dislike list up there with Carl Pavano at this point.

  16. comet April 14th, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    Congratulations Tom. Surprised that no-one has bought it as going concern. Hope you enjoy retirement.

  17. Madrugador April 14th, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    Truly happy for you Tom. It is quite an accomplishment to have worked so long and to be able to move on to new things. Best of luck and looking forward to even more of your posts now that you will have the time.

  18. Shame Spencer April 14th, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    Congrats tom. I’m sure the next chapter will be just as fulfilling as the last!

  19. RhapsodyInBlue April 14th, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    Best to you Tom. Good luck with your new endeavors.

  20. comet April 14th, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    Chicken where is home tonight? I don’t know if I’d enjoy all the travelling that you do. You do get to a lot of places!

  21. tomingeorgia April 14th, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    comet,
    The economy sucks for travel. Used to have people come out for a weekend if grandma would watch the kids for a couple of days. Hasn’t happened in three years. Good to see you around!

  22. Yankeeclipper April 14th, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    Warren has looked very good in late inning relief. Right now he is a great fit for 7th and 8th innings. He is better in this spot than Phelps. For now I say use him in the late innings to give Girardi more options in how to manage 7-9 innings. Nuno and Phelps can handle long relief. Phelps is a gamble in late inning role. He has to be too fine to succeed and as a late inning reliever there is no margin for error.

    As for infield, KJ gives us great flexibility at 3B, 2B, 1B. Solarte has shown good results so far. It remains to be seen how he looks once he has 150 bats under his hat and whether he can be a productive offensive player. He is a switch hitter and shows that he can handle the bat.

    We do not need Morales. Johnson is more than adequate as a fill in for Tex. Defensively he appears to be fine. Anna is a useful player. He fields his position just fine and he has a little pop. I think he is as useful to the Yanks as Brendan Ryan is and has perhaps more offensive upside.

    At this stage of his career, Jeter is at best serviceable. He probably will play about 110 games and probably can bat .265 to .275. His defense will be more than adequate on balls he can get to but his range is diminished. I think Yanks are gambling on any thoughts that Brian Roberts will be a useful player for a full season. I think the back problem is symbolic of a player who is at best a part timer.

    If Yanks need to make a move, I would opt for a RH bat in infield who can emerge as a regular at either 3B, SS or 2B next season. Yanks have some depth in minors at OF, C and starting pitcher to find a solid infielder who can contribute this season and perhaps be a regular next season. I still question why we gave up on Nunez

  23. Revenge of Stoneburner April 14th, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    Oldest Average Age at start of 2014 season:

    1) Red Sox 31 years, 87 days

    2) Yanks 31 years, 31 days

    . . . .

    5) Tampa, 30 years, 17 days

  24. chicken_stanley April 14th, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    greetings Comet! Hanging out in Atlanta this week… I’m sure there will come time that I will hate the travel but I’m still enjoying it :) Hope things are going well for you

  25. Doreen April 14th, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    Tampa? Now that’s a surprise.

  26. chicken_stanley April 14th, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    stone – Tampa was a bit of a surprise for me at 5 on your list… I think everyone generally thinks young when it comes to the Rays

  27. RadioKev April 14th, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    When does Stephen Drew sign? After the draft?

  28. chicken_stanley April 14th, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    Radiokev Drew and Morales are sort of between a rock and a hard place… Although either could sign now and not have to worry about the team attaching a QO to them this off season, the attached pick seems to be scaring off teams… If they wait until June, there is no longer a draft pick attached but a significant portion of the season will have already passed so the money offered will probably not be that high.

    If I’m Drew, I believe I would punt and take whatever I can get now (7 mil, 8 mil?)

  29. chicken_stanley April 14th, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    Shame – if you’re out there, I ran across another animal used for military purposes… This one probably isn’t nearly as disturbing as dolphins with lasers for you,,, But for me its absolutely terrifying… From Wikipedia (I kid you not):

    Chicken were used during the Gulf Wars to detect poisonous gasses in an operation called Kuwaiti Field Chicken (KFC); the US marines designation for chicken used in this role was Poultry Chemical Confirmation Devices.[21] The plan was put on hold after 41 of 43 chicken used for such purposes died within a week of arrival in Kuwait

  30. Revenge of Stoneburner April 14th, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    chicken_stanley April 14th, 2014 at 6:46 pm
    stone – Tampa was a bit of a surprise for me at 5 on your list… I think everyone generally thinks young when it comes to the Rays

    *****

    Surprised me as well. Phillies and Giants were in the middle at 3 & 4.

  31. Revenge of Stoneburner April 14th, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    Yankeesource ?@YankeeSource 6h
    Johnson is tied for the 5th best WAR in the AL right now. Solarte’s stealing the fame but Johnson’s impact has been big so far.

    Yankeesource ?@YankeeSource 6h
    Kelly Johnson leads the Yankees in WAR at 0.6. Tied with Yangervis Solarte for team lead in wRC+ at 160.

  32. Shame Spencer April 14th, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    Chicken were used during the Gulf Wars to detect poisonous gasses in an operation called Kuwaiti Field Chicken (KFC); the US marines designation for chicken used in this role was Poultry Chemical Confirmation Devices.[21] The plan was put on hold after 41 of 43 chicken used for such purposes died within a week of arrival in Kuwait

    —————–

    ………

    I have no words.

    ……….

  33. RadioKev April 14th, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    Kelly Johnson is a nice player to have, especially if he’s just the 9th guy.

  34. chicken_stanley April 14th, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    Since its sort of dead tonight, I’ll throw out a trivia question in honor of Pineda’s pine tar controversy last week.

    Who were the three batters in the bottom of the ninth for the Yankees in the resumption of the “pine tar game”?

    Also what was significant about the at bat for the person that led off that bottom of the 9th for the Yankees?

  35. pete2 April 14th, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    ” chicken_stanley April 14th, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    Radiokev Drew and Morales are sort of between a rock and a hard place… Although either could sign now and not have to worry about the team attaching a QO to them this off season, the attached pick seems to be scaring off teams… If they wait until June, there is no longer a draft pick attached but a significant portion of the season will have already passed so the money offered will probably not be that high.

    If I’m Drew, I believe I would punt and take whatever I can get now (7 mil, 8 mil?)
    ==========================

    I would not punt.

    I think both he and Morales will find the market heats up tremendously for them by June 15. First off, teams who have no interest due to the draft pick compensation will be in the market. Second, teams who had interest but at a lower price due to the value of a pick will have more to offer. Both will be looking for multi-year offers, and not necessarily at a QO AAV, so should be affordable. Third, teams will have a better idea on if they have a chance at competing for a WC, and their needs due to injury or non-performance will be more apparent. Teams pay more in mid season than in the offseason.

    Lastly, with the compensation picks off the table as an excuse, if Drew and Morales don’t get any serious offers, then look for Boras to start screaming collusion (limited as it may be) and request the MLBPA to file a grievance. Last thing MLB wants since they are a habitual offender and 3 time loser in collusion cases.

  36. pete2 April 14th, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    Solartes 16.7% LD rate suggests his 417 BABIP is largely a matter of luck and not sustainable.

    Indeed, over his last 19 PA his BABIP is 308 and he is batting 222.

    Not writing him off yet, but the bloom may be coming off the rose. I would not pass up an opportunity to acquire another IF’er with the expectation Solarte is anything more than a utility guy.

    Maybe they get lucky and Solarte adjusts to the off speed stuff, but more likely he just becomes the guy who put up decent but not great numbers in an extreme hitters league

  37. chicken_stanley April 14th, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    Pete2 – you may be right… the loss of the attached draft pick may cause teams to open their purse strings… I’m just thinking that about 1/3 of the season would be over and teams may be hesitant to give a “full season” type contract

  38. RadioKev April 14th, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    Solarte is making a lot of contact. 86.8 Contact %. That’s skill based, but the quality of his hits seem lucky, sure.

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