Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Bullpens, Bench, and Ballparks

Time to finish this set of analysis up.

The Closer: Mariano Rivera vs Todd Jones

This isn't even worth an explanation. Todd Jones is baby David going up against Goliath.

Massive Edge: Yankees

Setup: Kyle Farnsworth and Scott Proctor vs Fernando Rodney and Joel Zumaya

Rodney and Proctor are pretty much the same pitcher. Proctor pitched a little more this year, but basically performed the same as Rodney. Farnsworth and Zumaya are both very interesting pitchers. Both pitchers are among the hardest throwers in the game. They both throw power sliders. The difference however has been that Zumaya was probably the best setup man in the majors this year while Farnsworth was very average. When I talk about keys to Joe Torre's game, Farnsworth will be a major issue.

Edge: Detroit

Primary LOOGY: Mike Myers vs Jamie Walker

Two more very similar pitchers. Both pitchers are excellent at destroying lefties. Both pitchers get smacked around by right handed batters. That said, Detroit holds a decidedly edge here for one reason: The they don't have any lefties! Mike Myers really only may come in to face Curtis Granderson or Sean Casey in a big spot. Jamie Walker will definately see some at bats against Giambi, Matsui, or Cano this series.

Edge: Detroit (purely out of utility)

The Back end: Brian Bruney, Cory Lidle, and Ron Villone vs Zach Miner, Jason Grilli, and Wilfredo Ledezma

This is a hard one to call. The Yankees have the best pitcher of the bunch in Brian Bruney. Miner and Lidle cancel each other out in long relief, and Villone loses out against Grilli. Grilli is an average right handed reliever who shouldn't end up in any meaningful innings, and hopefully neither should villone. Bruney on the other hand may see significant time in 6th or even 7th inning duty.

Edge: Yankees (out of Bruney)

Outfield Bench: Melky Cabrera and Bernie Williams vs Marcus Thames/Craig Monroe and Alexis Gomez

Marcus Thames is the best player of this bunch. That said, he may not be available to play quickly enough and when he does will start most of the games in the outfield. Craig Monroe is an overrated masher who makes outs like crazy. Alexis Gomez is a glove man who only hit .272/.318/.388 (aka, he's Bubba Crosby). Bernie Williams has proven to be an excellent hitter against left handed batters this season (and could see some very rare at bats in later innings). Melky Cabrera can get on base very well, and will likely see a lot of time as a defensive replacement for Hideki Matsui.

Edge: Yankees (especially when Monroe is on the bench)

Infield Bench: Miguel Cairo, Andy Phillips, and Sal Fasano vs Neifi Perez, Omar Infante, and Vance Wilson

I don't know a single other pair of major league teams to have so little hitting ability on their infield bench. All six players here can play excellent defense, but the Yankees hold the big advantage in that the chance of Andy Phillips or Miguel Cairo seeing significant at bats are significantly low. Detroit may need to mix and match their players in later innings, resulting in Neifi Perez coming into a big spot. Andy Phillips will be very important in replacing Gary Sheffield at 1st base.

Edge: Yankees (The players themselves are a wash, but the Yankees won't need to use these guys)

Next up, keys to Joe Torre's game.