2011 Bullpen Projections And Preview

I’ve been going section by section looking at the PECOTA projections for every player on the 2011 Yankees.  So far we have done the lineup and starting rotation so now we go on to the bullpen.  I and many Yankee fans believe that the Bombers have one of the best bullpens they’ve had in quite some time.  The additions of Rafael Soriano and Pedro Feliciano add depth to the set up spot, taking pressure off of David Robertson, Joba Chamberlain, and Boone Logan.  Let’s take a look at those projections:

Mariano Rivera

4-2, 67 IP, 29 SV, 2.57 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 8.2 K/9, 1.9 BB/9

At 41, you would expect Mariano Rivera to show some signs of slowing down, but he refuses to.  After having a very good year last year and a fantastic spring, he will now be ready to take on the first year of the two year deal he signed during the winter.  The projections show that Mo should take a step back in 2011 in almost every category, but he has proved them wrong before.  With a great bullpen ahead of him, look for Rivera to have yet another solid season.

Rafael Soriano

3-1, 56 IP, 2.74 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 9.6 K/9, 3.0 BB/9

This was the Yankees big unexpected move after being denied Cliff Lee. Soriano had a career year with the Rays in 2010 as the closer and looks to continue the trend in the Bronx.  The reason I think he will have a great year is because he has an opt-out clause for after this season and good pitching could secure a very good closer deal for him somewhere else.  Expect a little better numbers out of him and also expect 5-10 saves.

David Robertson

3-1, 72 IP, 3.45 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 10.9 K/9, 4.6 BB/9

Robertson had a very good year as the set up guy in 2010 and PECOTA has him taking another step forward in 2011.  When Kerry Wood got to New York in the late summer, it was no coincidence that D-Rob’s numbers improved.  Now with Rafael Soriano, another eighth inning guy, there for the entire year, expect a more relaxed and a better Robertson for all of 2011.

Pedro Feliciano

5-2, 61 IP, 3.86 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 7.7 K/9, 3.9 BB/9

Sure Feliciano was overused and overexposed with the Mets, but he did prove he can still get lefties out in his mid-thirties posting a .211 BAA against them in 2010.  I expect a small rise in ERA and WHIP due to the move from the National League to the American League, but he will be good in dealing with the lefties of the Boston Red Sox.

Joba Chamberlain

7-5, 109 IP, 4.00 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 9.2 K/9, 3.7 BB/9

Joba had a very underrated year in 2010 with very good peripherals, but high output stats.  And like D-Rob, he had started to pitch very well when Kerry Wood came over to the Bronx.  With less pressure on him in that sense, expect a very good year out of Joba, especially since he feels better than ever finally knowing his definite role going into Spring Training.

Boone Logan

3-1, 57 IP, 4.43 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 8.0 K/9, 4.0 BB/9

Which Boone will we get this season?  The one that showed up during the regular season in 2010 after Damaso Marte’s injury or the one we saw in the playoffs?  Well, obviously we hope for the former, but PECOTA seems to think the latter is more likely.  I see him being more in between these two because with Feliciano now added to the pen, there is less pressure on him and he will loosen up a little.  Expect good, not great.

Bartolo Colon

4-5, 66 IP, 4.36 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 6.27 K/9, 3.14 BB/9

The should-be number five starter will take his talents to the bullpen for the start of the 2011 season.  I don’t think these projections are too accurate because based on his spring, he should be dynamite in 2011, especially out of the pen.  Whether he becomes a starter or not depends on the health and competence of Ivan Nova and Freddy Garcia, but hopefully, he is not needed.  I expect Bartolo to be just about as good in this role as one can be.

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