So far this season, the Yankees have gone for the most part without a legitimate long reliever. Other than Ohlendorf, the Yankees don't have anyone in the bullpen who is capable of eating up innings. Of late, Ohelndorf has not been good and may even get sent down to AAA to iron things out. His stuff is excellent, but his control suffers at times and he's been getting hit hard.
Now with the news of Joba starting Tuesday's game against the Blue Jays, the Yankees are going to have to call someone up who can eat innings. Joba has a pitch count of 65-70 pitches, which may be just 3+ innings. Who will take over when he's lifted?
Among the options, are:
1)Dan Giese, AAA. 4-2, 2.02 ERA, 58 IP, 50 K's, 14 BB, 0.98 WHIP
2)He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named (a certain lefty of Japanese origin). I won't list his stats because we all know too much about him.
3)Jeff Karstens, AAA. 7.82 ERA since returning from his injury.
Options 2 and 3 are already on the 40 man roster, but Karstens was pulled in Saturday's game which originally led people to believe that he would get the call, but later turned out to be because of a groin pull. Here's what Chad Jennings, the SWB beat reporter had to say:
When Jeff Karstens was pulled from tonight's game after four innings, it seemed a no-brainer that he would be the long reliever called to New York on Tuesday. When I talked to Karstens and Dave Miley after the game, though, that scenario changed.
Karstens felt his groin tighten during the fourth and was pulled for what Miley called, precautionary reasons. Karstens said he wanted to go back out for the fifth, especially with a thin bullpen, but the coaching staff didn't want him to risk a return to the DL.
So, the job is still up for grabs. I told Miley that I assumed Karstens was the guy going up on Tuesday and he just kind of laughed at me. Obviously he won't tell me who it is, but tonight's move was based on the injury not the call-up. Wait and see what happens tomorrow.
The guy who has really earned the call up, is Dan Giese. He's a 31 year old career minor league journeyman, who has recently been converted to a starter. He's put up stellar numbers this season in AAA and should be given a shot. The only problem with that, is the Yankees will have to make room for him on the 40 man roster which will either mean they will DFA Morgan Ensberg (which I addressed in my previous blog post), or have to place Phil Hughes or maybe Albaladejo on the 60 day DL. Ensberg probably won't survive once Posada comes back, because the Yankees will want to hold on to Chad Moeller for a little bit, so it's very possible he may get the boot once and for all.
Hopefully Giese will get the call and we won't have to deal with HWMNBN, especially on a day where Joba Chamberlain makes his first ML start. Being that Giese is starting Sunday's game for SWB, we should have an early indication by seeing how long he goes in the game before getting pulled.
It's also possible that the Yankees may call up someone else from AAA to help out with the 7th and 8th innings. Among the most likely in the near future is, David Robertson (who pitched exceptionally well on Saturday, going 2.1 innings surrendering 2 hits and striking out 6 to earn the win in relief), J.B. Cox (who has yet to surrender a run since making it to AAA, returning from TJ surgery), and Scott Paterson (who had a 6 inning, 1 hit performance in spring training yet still hasn't earned a callup), Mark Melancon (also returning from TJ surgery, but at this point only in AA. The organization looks at him as having the arm best suited for the closer roll).