Friday, August 14, 2009

Bruney Back On Track?

Since I touched on it in the recap and loyal commenters Matt, A-Train, and Jason furthered the discussion in the comment section, I thought I'd take a look at Brian Bruney's recent performance.

This month, Bruney has quietly appeared in four games, covering 5.2 IP. Over that stretch he has a 1.59 ERA, a 1.24 WHIP, and a 5:2 K:BB while holding opponents to a .217/.280/.217 batting line. It doesn't quite match the outstanding run he had prior to his first DL stint this year, but it's close.

It's been an interesting year for Bruney. While he does appear to have matured, he also was dishonest about his injury situation - costing him a second DL stint, needlessly started a media-driven feud with K-Rod during the Subway Series, and got snippy with reporters after a couple of his poorer outings.

Still, after being buried as the mop-up man of late, Bruney appears to be earning Joe Girardi's trust again. With Mo, the Phils, and Alf all being somewhere between reliable and automatic, and David Robertson quietly putting together a solid campaign that's seeing him used in more high leverage situations of late, Bruney returning to his April and 2008 form could be the last step towards having a top-to-bottom dynamite bullpen. Who would have thought that possible back in April?


  1. I think a couple of us, you included, thought that it was at least possible. We did feel that Melancon and Robertson should be able to contribute in a big way at some point. We had high hopes for Aceves, Bruney, and Coke. The surprise has definitely been Phil Hughes. It is amazing what he has been able to do.

    If it's true that the Yankees may start Joba this weekend as Abe suggested...where does that leave the plan!?

  2. Yes, I did think it was possible, but I didn't think it was probable given the early season insistance to continue to both carry and pitch the likes of Veras, Edwar, and Tomko.

    I have to admit though, I did not see Alf or Hughes emerging as the bullpen arms that they are. Melancon looked like he was turning a corner prior to his demotion, Marte should be back Monday, and Gaudin may end up being a valuable piece as well.

    I can understand not wanting to put Mitre and Gaudin back to back. I think the plan for Joba is in place, it's just more pliable than the fanbase had considered.

  3. Who goes down when Marte comes back?

  4. I'm not sure. DRob is the only guy out there with options that they'd consider - because Alf and Hughes aren't going anywhere - but I can't see him going down right now either.

    Depending upon how Mitre pitches this weekend, he might be a candidate to get DFA'd for Marte. Otherwise, the only option I see is sending Pena down until rosters expand. Not only am I fundamentally opposed to carrying 13 pitchers, I don't like the thought of having Hairston as the only middle infielder while Gardner is still on the DL - can't have Hairston backing up all three IF positions & CF - too many critical positions covered by one guy.

    There's also the possibility that the team "discovers" some new injury to Marte, invalidating his expiring rehab clock

  5. Marte is on the 60-day DL. He's not coming back this year. The WBC claims another victim!

  6. I'm not so sure A-Train.

    As I understand, the 60 day was just a formality to open up a 40 man spot for someone (Towers, or Hairston, or Mitre, or Duncan - forget which).

    Since Marte had been the 15 day since late April or whatever it was just a paperwork move - he was eligible to be activated from the 60 day the moment he went on. The real issue is that his 30 day rehab assignment expires Monday.

    Also, since Marte is on th3 60 day, a 40 man spot will need to be opened for him. That may make Mitre the favorite to go, or may mean the end for Anthony Claggett.