Joe Girardi Should Trust Young Bullpen
Mariano Rivera is retiring this season and will provide the biggest transition in Yankee history since Mickey Mantle waved good-bye to the Bronx patrons. The good news is, while no one will ever again be Rivera, the Yanks have a lot of nice, young pitchers in the bullpen they can choose from.Now if Joe Girardi would just trust them once in awhile.
On June 26 against Texas, Girardi summoned Joba Chamberlain onto the mound after a Yankee rally in the 6th inning which gave New York a 4-3 lead. And Joba blew-up in the next frame. Nelson Cruz hit a two-run home run to help Texas take the lead back and swing the momentum Texas’ way. The game was at that point won and in the end it was a Texas victory 8-5. Talk about deflating.
Girardi still trusts Chamberlain. Mistake. Girardi should trust his young relievers more. Shawn Kelley, Preston Claiborne and Adam Warren have shown more than Joba this year. Girardi should give them a chance. They are better, have control and their confidence is growing, not to mention their baseball IQ.
Girardi did the same thing in the 7th inning against the Rays on Old Timer’s Day in a 1-1 game in the 7th inning. Bases loaded after Shawn Kelley walked Evan Longoria. Girardi took Kelley out and went with Boone Logan against James Loney because he had to have the lefty-lefty match-up. Loney hit Logan for a two-RBI single and that was the game. Girardi should have let his young reliever, who also gets strikeouts often, try and get out of the jam. Kelley is the future, not Boone Logan. Kelley, Warren and Claiborne are the future, not Joba, either.
Girardi needs his young relief pitchers to develop quickly because Mariano Rivera is exiting the Bronx very soon.
Which means he needs to use them more and trust them more to build confidence, and tell Joba Chamberlain to enjoy the bullpen bench.
By: Mike Lindsley, “Mid-Day with Mike,” M-F 1-4, Yankees pre/post game host on 104.5 The Team ESPN Radio. Follow him on Twitter at Twitter.com/MikeLSports.