Yankees Bullpen Woes: Concern or Just a Funk?

Words I thought would never have to be uttered during the 2017 season is that the New York Yankees have bullpen problems. Starting pitching? Yeah I could believe that, but the back end of the bullpen, particularly the 8th and 9th innings definitely wouldn’t think this.

Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman are some of the closest bets to a sure thing that baseball has, no 1 will ever replicate Mariano Rivera, but those 2 are great in their own abilities. Maybe the luxury of how reliant Rivera was for almost 2 decades has finally spoiled fans for making it look so easy. Today’s game will show you its not, what Rivera did was extremely difficult at how much success he had.

What’s alarming for the new bullpen regime is the how they’re losing some of these games. Were not exactly talking 1 run games that a few hits don’t go your way. Just the other day the Yanks were up 6-3 in the 8th against the Houston Astros before Chapman took the loss. That’s just unheard of from these guys. Even yesterday he gave up the lead during a tie after the Yankees fought to come back. Betances himself already has a record of 3-4, pretty high stats before the All-Star game has even come around.

Now Chapman was hurt for a while so maybe the extra work load has taken a toll on Betances. It doesn’t help much that the Yankees starting pitch staff hasn’t exactly lit it up either. Their rotation overall has exceeded expectations but the bullpen still needs to do extra amounts of work in order for them to win.

Another standout for the wrong reasons has been Tyler Clippard, he’s been dreadfully awful since returning to wearing Pinstripes, adding more stress on the valued arms of the Yankees. Sometimes Joe Girardi doesn’t have anywhere to turn to, fans still get frustrated about how he manages their bullpen. I’d still take him over Terry Collins though.

The great question to be asked, is this a longing concern or has the bullpen just gotten a bit cold? Hitters go through slumps all the time so why can’t pitchers? My gut is telling me that the their top guys will be fine, it’s just a down slope they’re currently on. Could they use another arm at the trade deadline? For sure, the Yanks have such great hitting that all they need is 1 or 2 more pitchers to shore up the back end and rotation.

Let’s not forget, the Yankees are far ahead of schedule for where we expected them all to be this year. Once they get help from their most struggling ace Masahiro Tanaka, the ship should be righted and other things will fall back into place. Despite some problems, the Yankees find themselves leader of the Wild Card race and not that far behind their division. Maybe add 1 more arm to the squad but no need to go crazy just yet.


Matthew Matera is a contributing writer for gmbsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @matty4_matera2, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your Google network

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