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December 26, 2005

Let's Not Forget About The Pen

Six and a half weeks ago, I wrote:

This all said, it would be wishful thinking to expect more than 70 wins from the Yankees starters in 2006. Where are the other 25-30 wins (probably needed to win) coming from? The bullpen? Do we even know who is in the bullpen yet for 2006?

Well, we know a lot more about the Yankees bullpen for 2006 now than we did then. So, it's a good time to try and find those 25-30 wins.

Between Mo, Farnsworth, Villone and Myers, the 2006 Yankees should get around 20 wins. Probably just a tad less - but, close to twenty.

This means the Yankees will need solid seasons from the rest of their pen next year: Sturtze, Small, Wright and Dotel.

Here's the rub: One or two of those above four will not be in the bullpen for the full season next year.

If I had to guess, I would pick, right now, Sturtze and Small to be the ones out of the gate to be in the pen (for sure) and there for most of the season. (And, if the Yankees go with 12 pitchers, then Wright makes the team as a long-man - unless he's needed in the rotation due to an injury.) I just think that Dotel will not be a factor until June-ish.

What does this mean? It means the Yankees are going to need good seasons from Sturtze and Small in 2006 - or from whoever fills out the pen after Mo, Kyle, and the two lefties. If they don't get it, even with the extra offense of Damon, New York could be looking at closer to 90 wins than closer to 100 wins in 2006.

And, 90 wins does not usually mean first place in the A.L. East.

Posted by Steve Lombardi at December 26, 2005 09:12 AM

Comments

What about Dotel's implicated leadership in the phone card scam? June? Maybe never!

Posted by: Scott Coulter [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 26, 2005 09:46 AM

I disagree with you here Steve. I recently calculated 2006 Yankee win shares here:

http://nyyankeeboards.no-ip.info/index.php?showtopic=12105

I was very conservative and caluclated 102 wins for the Yanks.

Posted by: DownFromNJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 26, 2005 10:23 AM

Down, I tried to view that, but, it was RR. And, when I tried to register I got: "The board administrator is no longer accepting any new registrations at the moment."

How many wins did you figure the Yankees starting rotation for?

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 26, 2005 11:48 AM

I calculated 102 wins total. I'm not too sure how they would be distributed to be honest.

I actually got 107 wins before I decided to subtract 5 wins to account for injuries.

In terms of win shares, I figured:

Randy Johnson 16 WS
Mike Mussina 10 WS
Shawn Chacon 8 WS
Chien-Ming Wang 7 WS
Carl Pavano 7 WS

(You'll notice, I didn't change their WS statistics from 2005 except for Pavano. I wanted to me a conservative estimate)

Mo 17 WS
Farnsworth 11 WS
Dotel 6 WS
Villone 5 WS
Myers 4 WS
Sturtze 4 WS
Small 4 WS
Wright 0 (Not sure where he'll play so I just pretended that he contributed nothing).


Seriously... when I did these numbers I assumed that nothing went more right than last year. If things go our way... this team could be 1998 all over again.

Posted by: DownFromNJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 26, 2005 07:37 PM

Except the 1998 Yankees had the best pitching in the AL - and the 3rd best pitching staff in the majors.

The 2006 Yankees staff is loaded with too many question marks to even be considered a very good staff.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 26, 2005 09:54 PM

I half agree with you. The Yankee bullpen is excellent, especially when Dotel comes back. Mariano is the best, Farnsworth is good, and both lefties are solid. Sturtze, Small, Wright, and Villone (hard to imagine all three righties will be there to start the season) all can eat up a lot of innings. Even if Dotel doesn't return to form, I honestly do not see a weakness in that bullpen.

The starting staff has potential, but has at best a remote chance of reaching that potential. Randy Johnson should improve, but Chacon, Wang, and Pavano are major wildcards. If I had to predict, I'd say that one of the three will play excellent, one will get injured badly, and one will be mediocre. Still, I gave all three credit for having poor seasons when I calculated 102 wins.

But where will the wins fall? Who knows. I'd say that they will fall heavily with the bullpen. They are equiped to handle lots of 5th inning appearances.

Posted by: DownFromNJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 27, 2005 12:54 AM

You forgot the major WC - Mussina.
He could win 15+ wins, or, it could be less than 10.
The Yankees need him to have a huge bounce-back year to have a very good season.

If he's on the DL a lot, and only makes 17 starts, with an ERA of 4.75, he's not going to help.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 27, 2005 09:50 AM

You forgot the major WC - Mussina.
He could win 15+ wins, or, it could be less than 10.
The Yankees need him to have a huge bounce-back year to have a very good season.
===========

FWIW, I think Moose will be about league average. Think all those 200 IP seasons are finally catching up to him?

I hope it happens, but I think Moose will be good #3 starter at this stage of his career.

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 27, 2005 02:07 PM