Sure he’s a serviceable starter, but shifting Adam Warren to the bullpen was the best move these New York Yankees could’ve made.
How could you blame him?
As a mediocre, reliable starting pitcher in Major League Baseball you’re payday is significant in comparison to a bullpen guy. Stats that he’s put up this season would garner him million of dollars when he eventually hits the open market.
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) June 30, 2015
Instead, he’s now a setup-man for Joe Girardi. Some might call him a middle reliever the way he was used on Tuesday night (2.2 innings pitched a loss to the Los Angeles Angels).
In any event, he’ll play the role of seventh-inning man down the stretch, setting it up for Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller.
Anybody that second-guessed this decision must have a short-sided memory.
What did we see last October? For Ned Yost and the Kansas City Royals it was easy as one, two, three.
Their stellar back of the bullpen made up of Greg Holland, Wade Davis and Kelvin Herrera was the most dangerous weapon in all of postseason baseball. They were so dominant that they shattered bullpen records. Once Kansas City got to the sixth-inning with a lead, it was over.
The importance of a strong back of the pen is perhaps still the most under-appreciated part of a baseball club.
Starting pitching is fantastic, don’t get this twisted. The 200-plus innings solid starters put in each season is as valuable as it comes. Dollars are spent silly looking for durable professional arms.
Bullpen arms, however, impact more than double the amount of games during the regular season and become either the hero or the goat during Fall baseball.
Don’t tell me Yankees fans also forgot about those 1990s dynasty Yankees.
Remember Ramiro Mendoza? From 1996 through 2002, Mendoza played the role of utility-pitcher. The guy could flat-out do anything.
If Joe Torre needed him to clean up the garbage, he would. If he needed a spot-save, he was there. If Torre even needed a spot-start, Mendoza was there in spades.
Mendoza was that perfect compliment to go with guys like Mariano Rivera, Mike Stanton and Jeff Nelson.
Warren projects to be much more of a Mendoza than a Mike Mussina, it’s just that simple. And heading down the stretch run of the season with Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, Ivan Nova and Nathan Eovaldi fully entrenched as the four-starters who’ll be leaned upon, Warren’s presence in the back-end of the bullpen will be much more valuable than the fifth-spot in the rotation.
If any of them land on the disabled list from here on out, we have another conversation to discuss.
For now though, he’s a valuable member of the pen and has every right to be angry. Hell, I’d be upset too if I might miss out on that much green.
At the same time, he has a phenomenal opportunity to pitch in ultra-pressurized situations with the Yankees come playoff time and show the baseball world what he’s made of.
This isn’t even close, the Yankees most definitely made the right call.
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