Vs. Series (Bullpens)

Posted: March 22, 2015 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports
Tags: , , , ,

We wrap up the Vs. Series by taking a look into the bullpens of are shared city teams. With starters pitching less and less innings the bullpens become more important to a teams success; so let’s see who’s relieving starting in New York.

The New York Yankees let David Robertson and his 39 saves go in free agency; so someone else will be closing games for them and the leading candidate looks to be Dellin Betances. Betances set up for Robertson last season appearing in 70 games with a 5-0 record a 1.40 ERA finishing 8 games and picking up 1 save in 90 innings. Betances struckout 135 batters in those 90 innings while walking 24 and his WHIP was .0778. WHIP is Walks, Hits to Innings Pitched. While Betances looks like a closer the Yankees did go out and sign left-hander Andrew Miller to a 4 year $36 million dollar deal in the off season in case Betances struggles. Miller split his 2014 season setting up for the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles. Miller appeared in 73 games total between both teams. He posted an ERA of 2.02; striking out 103 while walking 17 with a WHIP of 0.802 over 62 1/3rd innings. Miller doesn’t have a lot of closing experience as he has just 1 career save which he got last season, but he did finish 15 games last season. The Yankees sent minor leaguer Manny Banuelos to the Atlanta Braves for Chasen Shreve and David Carpenter. Carpenter will fill a bullpen role. He appeared in 65 games for Atlanta posting a 3.54 ERA and also picked up 3 saves. The Yankees also dealt catcher Francisco Cervelli to the Pittsburgh Pirates for left-handed reliever Justin Wilson. Wilson should help fill out the bullpen along with Esmil Rogers and Adam Warren if he doesn’t end up in the starting rotation for the Yankees in 2015.

The New York Mets bullpen situation is interesting going into 2015. The Mets actually have 2 closers. Going into the 2014 season it looked like Bobby Parnell had the Mets closer job all wrapped up. Parnell had 22 saves in 2013, but an injury forced him to pitch in just 1 game; actually just 1 inning in 2014. With Parnell back you have to wonder if the Mets will try to split up the closing duties between him and last season closer Jenrry Mejia. Mejia saved 28 games last season, but had a high ERA for a closer at 3.65. It has to be a good problem to have to guy who can close games; so we’ll have to see how the Mets manage this situation. Josh Edgin and his 1.32 ERA have been lost for the season and he will have Tommy John surgery. Jeurys Familia pitched in 76 games last season and posted a 2.21 ERA and should be the main set up guy. Carlos Torres appeared in 73 games last season and will be back in that same set up role this season. Vic Black and Scott Rice should help round out the Mets bullpen. 36 year old Buddy Carlyle has had a very solid spring for the Mets and it will be interesting to see if they find a bullpen spot for him.

With the numbers Betances put up last season this was an easy choice to go with the Yankees here. You have to wonder of having 2 closers is one to many for the Mets.

The White Sox bullpen really struggled last season; so they went into free agency and signed closer David Robertson to a 4 year $46 million dollar deal to finish games and then they signed Zach Duke to a 3 year $15 million dollar deal to set up in front of Robertson. Jake Petricka saved 14 games last season to lead the White Sox. Petricka appeared in 67 games and had an ERA of 2.96 last season and the experience will help him as a set up guy this season. Zach Putnam also picked up 6 saves last season in the White Sox pieced together bullpen. Putnam had an ERA of 1.98 in 54 2/3rd innings while appearing in 49 games and will be counted on to set up this season. The White Sox sent Andre Rienzo to the Miami Marlins for Dan Jennings who should be the lefty specialist out of the bullpen. Javy Guerra should help round out the White Sox bullpen.

The Cubs have a bullpen set up that became very popular during the playoffs last season. The starting pitcher goes 6 innings and then there’s a 7th inning guy, a 8th inning guy and then you turn it over to the closer. Neil Ramirez was the 7th inning guy last season appearing in 50 games with an ERA of 1.44 and even picked up 3 saves filling in at closer. Pedro Strop would be the 8th inning guy and he appeared in 65 games posting an ERA of 2.21 and picking up 2 saves last season. Then it’s turned over to closer Hector Rondon who saved 29 games with an ERA of 2.42 and a WHIP of 1.058 last season. The Cubs brought in Jason Motte to help in the bullpen, but he has had some struggles this spring and you wonder what his role will be. The Cubs will also have starters like Felix Doubront, Jacob Turner, Tsuyoshi Wada, Edwin Jackson and Travis Wood trying to win the 5th starter spot. Only one of them will get it’ so the others will have to find roles in the bullpen. The Cubs also have Justin Grimm and Brian Schlitter returning from last season and looking for spots in the bullpen.

While the White Sox went out and spent some money to fix their bullpen issues I like the set up the Cubs have. Robertson is a proven closer though while Rondon is still kind of learning on the job. Considering everything I think I’m going to go with the Cubs on this one.

Thanks for reading the Vs. Series I hope you enjoyed it and feel free to leave your comments.

You can follow me on Twitter @Burketime and listen to Sports Time Radio on BlogTalkradio.com

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