New York Yankees: Bullpen has picked up the rotation too much

ARLINGTON, TX - MAY 22: A.J. Cole #67 of the New York Yankees throws against the Texas Rangers in the fourth inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on May 22, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - MAY 22: A.J. Cole #67 of the New York Yankees throws against the Texas Rangers in the fourth inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on May 22, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

The New York Yankees are dealing with a massive issue during a key point of the season. Injuries are taking a toll and starting pitching is inconsistent. They are struggling with their consistent dependence on the bullpen.

The New York Yankees offseason moves looked something like this. So, it is interesting to see the rotation struggle and the bullpen frying out but not hard to see why:

  • December 9, 2017. The New York Yankees acquire Giancarlo Stanton from the Miami Marlins.
  • December 26, 2017. The New York Yankees re-sign CC Sabathia.
  • February 21, 2018. The New York Yankees acquire Brandon Drury from the Arizona Diamondbacks.
  • March 12 2018.. The New York Yankees sign Neil Walker.

Those moves, along with the breakouts of Aaron Judge, Luis Severino, Aaron Hicks, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez and Greg Bird, were supposed to make the Yankees not only a World Series contender, but maybe even the championship favorite.

Then, the season actually started. The offense started slow, going 9-9, but it has picked up since then. The pitching, including  2018 All-Star, Luis Severino, continues to go out and pitch stellar every night.

Well, everyone except for Sonny Gray. Gray has been a major disappointment in the pinstripes going 5-7 with a 5.85 ERA this season.

Top pile on, everything went downhill. CC Sabathia went on the disabled list. Then, it was Jordan Montgomery, who, a few weeks later found out himself needing season-ending Tommy John Surgery.

Then, Masahiro Tanaka hurt both hamstrings running from third base to home against the Mets at Citi Field.

These things forced the Yankees to rely on pitchers like Domingo German, Jonathan Loaisiga, and Luis Cessa to start games, but the real dependency became on the bullpen.

The bullpen has been a liability this season as injuries and Gray’s constant struggles have resulted in countless multi-inning outings for players not otherwise suitable to do so.

Related Story: There is nothing the Yankees can do about Sonny Gray

For instance, Dellin Betances is seeing more multi-inning outings. However, the bullpen has struggled but not as severely as other team’s bullpens would if they were put into a situation like the one that the Yankees are in right now. Just a fresh arm might do.

But for now, looking at the bullpen as a whole shows that they are full of dominant pitchers; however, looking at their individual stats shows that, aside from Chasen Shreve, the ‘pen has been as dominant as ever.

(Stats as of Game 1 of 7/9 doubleheader)

Based on what is shown, Betances is back to all-star form, and, along with Chad Green, who continues to show off as one of the most dominant relievers, were both snubbed from the game.

At least one of the other stellar bullpen arms have a chance to play in DC due to the fact that players such as Chapman are dealing with nagging injuries and may not play themselves.

Hurlers such as Warren and Cole at the front of the bullpen have been showing signs of success, especially Cole since coming over from the Washington Nationals via waivers.

But, Holder has been the biggest surprise of them all. He turned a 180 from the past two seasons, going from a “Scranton Shuttle” member to a reliever who can pitch in any situation.

A majority of the Yankees fanbase are begging for the Yankees to acquire a top-tier starting pitcher at the deadline, but the Yankees have also shown interest in, obviously, the bullpen.

Despite it being the team’s strong suit, the Yankees have inquired in on Orioles closer Zach Britton and Padres closer Brad Hand, both of which are lefties who could be a massive upgrade over the aforementioned Chasen Shreve.

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The Yankees are sitting comfortably in the first Wild Card playoff spot. But the team is gunning for the home-field advantage throughout the postseason. The division and home filed could come with the continued success and slight upgrades of the bullpen.