Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Keys to the Series

Joe Torre has a relatively easy job. He's not going to have too make too many tough decisions this postseason. His handling of the middle relief is really the only concern for Yankee fans.

Kyle Farnsworth is dangerous. He is very inconsistent. Torre needs to be ready to pull Farnsworth in favor of Mariano Rivera or Mike Myers (or Proctor) at the first sign of trouble. Farnsworth can be dominating, but he can also be vunerable.

Scott Proctor should be fairly solid. He finished the year very strong, with a 1.76 ERA. He could definately benefit from some creative use of Mike Myers, though with the righty-heavy Detroit lineup, that shouldn't be much of an issue. Proctor may see some 2+ innings appearances if things go wrong. If I am Joe Torre, I use Proctor over Farnsworth in the 8th inning.

Brian Bruney is an interesting fellow. By adding another strong righty to the pen, he makes Scott Proctor and Kyle Farnsworth all the more effective (because there is another righty to take over if Mike Myers is brought in to the game, and because he can take an inning or two early in the game). If we need a strikeout to get out of a jam, he's probably the best option. I wouldn't put him in to a lot of 1 run games, mostly due to his wildness. Bruney needs his fastball to be 96-97 instead of 93-94 in order to prosper.

Ron Villone shouldn't see a meaningful inning. Period. He may still have some extreme LOOGY skills left in his arm, but that is about it. Against the righty-heavy Detroit lineup, we better hope that Villone sees little to no playing time.

Cory Lidle could actually be very good out of the bullpen. He can go innings, but just as importantly he is very tough on right handed batters. If Jaret Wright or Randy Johnson can't make it to the 6th inning, Lidle could save our ass.

What else for Torre? Remember Bill Buckner. With a late lead, Gary Sheffield and Hideki Matsui should be out of the game. Don't pinch hit Bernie against a right handed pitcher, use Melky instead. Don't call for too many sacrifice bunts.

Thats about it. Torre, please prove me wrong. Please don't be a terrible manager. You always seem to manage best when you finally need to in order to survive.

Yankees in 3.