As I started to look at the 2008 Yankee bullpen I began to wonder how it would stack up to bullpens of recent Yankee teams. I decided to look at the top four pitchers in terms of innings outside of Mariano and here is the rather depressing list;
2007, Farnsworth, Vizcaino, Proctor, Bruney
2006, Farnsworth, Proctor, Villone, Myers
2005, Gordon, Proctor, Strutze, F Rodriguez
2004, Gordon, Quantrill, Strutze, Heredia
2003, Hammond, Osuna, Hitchcock, Acevedo
2002, Karsay, Mendoza, Stanton, Hitchcock
2001, Mendoza, Stanton, Choate, Witasick
Now if I were to rank these groups just by looking at the names I would say 03 group is the worst and shockingly last year's group might be the best. Here is how the finished in terms of bullpen ERA(AL only);
Now looking at the cast of sad sad characters that made up these pens there really isn't a noticeably difference in their ability. Can you really say the 03 cast (Hammond, Osuna, Hitchcock, Acevedo) is better then the 05 cast (Gordon, Proctor, Strutze, F Rodriguez)? No way. The real difference here is the amount these pens were used. The 2003 Yankees were first in the AL in starters innings pitched and the 05 team was ninth out of 14 teams in innings produced by their starters.
This does not bode well for the 08 Yankee bullpen given the inning limitation of the big three. Expect a big of a revolving door and some long summer nights.