The LOOGY SituationPosted: June 13, 2011
The injuries to Joba Chamberlain and Rafael Soriano are going to hurt. In the coming months, at least until Soriano gets back, the other pieces of the bullpen are gonna have to step up. David Robertson is going to have to be great in those eighth innings, middle relief guys like Luis Ayala and now Hector Noesi are going to have to get bigger outs in bigger games, long relief guys like Jeff Marquez and Lance Pendleton are gonna have to provide more depth to save the rest of the pen, and Boone Logan is gonna have to start getting lefties out.
The word LOOGY stands for, ‘lefty one-out guy’ and Logan has certainly not been that. He has been striking out more lefties than righties, but he still walking 4.50 per nine innings of each, something you can’t afford to do at all as a reliever. He has posted a 3.12 FIP against righties and a 4.36 FIP against lefties and probably the biggest indicator of him not getting the job done is the .293 batting average against lefties and the .167 against righties.
It’s time to start looking at some options that might do a better job against lefties than Logan, but before we look outside the organization, let’s take a look within. The first, Randy Flores, is now pitching for Triple A Scranton and doing a fine job. The Yanks inked him earlier in the season to a minor league deal and in ten innings of work he has pitched to a 1.80 ERA and has struck out 8.1 per nine innings while walking only 1.80 per nine innings. The best part of all is that he is getting most lefties out. He could even be a better option than Logan.
The next guy should be familiar to you in that he has pitched for the Yanks before. The Bombers signed Brad Halsey to a minor league contract earlier in the season and after spending about a month in Extended Spring Training, he is now starting to pitch with minor league affiliates. He made one outing for High-A Tampa and then got promoted Double A Trenton where he made a nice outing yesterday. He has been a starter in the past. but do to shoulder problems he has been banished to the bullpen. His career numbers against lefties are not too good, but he’s still worth a shot. Keep an eye on him as he continues to move up.
The next guy was designated for assignment by the Athletics about a month ago and is still looking for a job. It is Jerry Blevins who I could see why Brian Cashman would not touch him. His numbers this season have been awful in both the MLB and AAA. However, his track record is very good. From 2008-2010, he limited lefties to a batting average in the low .200’s and posted high strikeout rates, low walk rates, and low WHIPs, ERAs, and FIPs. He is a guy the Yankees should definitely look into if for no other reason than the heck of it.
The one thing the Yanks would have to decided if they brought one of these guys in to be a LOOGY is who they would do away with. Sure they could designate Logan for assignment, but he was so good last year and he has been getting righties out. Maybe they could option one of the two long relief men that they have on the roster since there is no need for both. As much faith as the management wants have in Boone Logan, they need to realize he isn’t doing his job and they need to do something about it, especially with an already weaker bullpen.