Analysis

Why Haven’t The Yankees Used The ‘Bullpenning’ Method?

The Yankees are currently lost in their ways, but it seems as if the “bullpenning” method was an asset they should have utilized and capitalized on. 

Last September, Brian Kenny of MLB Network Host suggested that the Yankees start reliever Chad Green in the Wild Card game. One week later the Yankees did just that, but not by choice.

During last years one-game Wild Card at Yankee Stadium against the Twins, Luis Severino recorded just one-third of an inning while giving up three runs before Joe Girardi called on Chad Green. “Greeny” entered with men on second and third with just one out but was able to keep the Twins from doing more damage in that first inning.

Sure, Brian Kenny had the last laugh but it takes guts to implement this type of strategy when the majority is yet to buy in. However, the 2018 New York Yankees pitching staff has been a coin flip all season long. While Brian Cashman and his new manager Aaron Boone would not entertain this strategy in their first season together, there happens to be another organization in the AL East who has implemented this strategy. The Tampa Bay Rays.

Rays manager Kevin Cash has exceeded all expectations that were set out for his ball club in 2018. Last night, the Rays improved to 11 Games over .500 after shutting out the Blue Jays 4-0. Better yet, they used SEVEN relievers to complete the shutout. This marked their 56th game since May 19 in which a reliever started the game. Not only do the Rays rank amongst the top of Major League Baseball in runs allowed, but they have now allowed 27 fewer runs than the New York Yankees this season.

It may sound crazy at first, but then again acquiring J.A. Happ and Lance Lynn at the deadline may be crazier. Are they really the answer when the Yankees real strength and depth is in their bullpen?

At this point, the only way Aaron Boone wins over the Yankees fans with his “bullpen management” is by adopting the Kevin Cash philosophy of “bullpenning”. Sure it won’t happen, not at this stage in the game, but it’s worth considering should the starting pitching remain questionable.

Should the Yankees adopt this methodology, perhaps Aaron Boone isn’t looking up at Kevin Cash in the AL Manager of the year voting.

More importantly, should they have rolled the dice sooner, maybe the Yankees aren’t trailing the Red Sox by 8.5 games before first pitch in Oakland tonight.

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