Peter Abe has an interesting post up at his blog.
Bruney's power arm appealed to the Yankees but his attitude did not. He was out of condition and resistant to advice. Coaches told him to take a little off his fastball to try and improve his control and he kept throwing as hard as he could.
[Bruney] reported to camp early and is at least 20 pounds lighter than he was last season.
More importantly, his attitude seems to have changed. Once sort of sullen, Bruney has opened himself up to teammates. I spoke him with today for a feature story I was working on and he was downright engaging. Coaches have said he's the same way with them.
Like everyone else, I saw no place for Brian Bruney in the Yankees' 2008 plans.
I was as hopeful as anyone after opponents managed only a .189/.333/.270 line against him in 20 innings at the end of 2006. With slightly better control I thought Bruney could be a brilliant setup man. So I was badly disappointed by the .243/.367/.387 line opponents managed.
There's so much to like there. For some comparison, Mo's line for 2007 was .248/.294/.350, K-Rod posted .204/.299/.306, Scot Shields went .220/.309/.333.
For me, the slugging percentage is not nearly as important as the OBP (and the count obviously has the biggest influence on performance).
If we could get anything at all from Brian Bruney it's all bonus...