Saturday, May 31, 2014

Yankees should test new bullpen arms while they can

Every time the New York Yankees bring Preston Claiborne or Alfredo Aceves into a game, I cringe. While they are not typically used in high-leverage situations, they still play a part in the outcome of the game.

Claiborne came into Friday’s game with the Yankees down three runs in the seventh inning and allowed two runs on three hits and walked two batters in 1 1/3 innings. The Yankees offense was not producing, but they’ve had recent success putting together late-inning rallies in such a situation.

Claiborne has allowed runs in four of his last eight outings. Remember, this guy was not given a roster spot at the beginning of the season. We are witnessing the reasons why.

As for Aceves, he’s nothing more than an innings waster at this point. He's allowed runs in six of his nine appearances. He's done and does not deserve a roster spot at this point.

With guys like Mark Montgomery (28 Ks in 23 IP), Danny Burawa (just allowed his first runs of the season Wednesday across 15.1 IP) and Jose Ramirez (walks are an issue, but owns a 1.17 ERA and he’s on the 40-man roster) performing well in at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, why not give some MLB experience to one of them why there is a chance?

Shawn Kelley will hopefully return soon (he threw off a mound Friday for the first time since May 13), but with a balky back, who knows.

Claiborne and Aceves have no upside at this point, while the players mentioned above have a chance to be an integral part of the Yankees bullpen in the future.

Get them up now while the Yankees can provide innings which are not super-critical, but seemingly prevalent of late. What’s the harm at this point?

Christopher Carelli is a freelance sports writer/editor and the Director of Content Strategy for Sportsideo.