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Martin Fried p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000; min-height: 14.0px} span.s1 {font-kerning: none} span.Apple-tab-span {white-space:pre}

Hey there, applying for the writing position.

Everyone can take a deep sigh of relief. No longer is the AL East slipping away. No longer will the Red Sox win 130 games. Three weeks after being down 7.5 games to the Red Sox, the Yanks are tied for the division having won 16 of their last 17. The offense has been good, with solid production from the heart of the order as well as the kids in the back. The rotation has been even better, surprising those that thought it would be the weakest link of the club. Throughout this stretch, I believe the weakest part of this smoking hot ball club has actually been the much anticipated bullpen.

Certainly, a few of these great Yankee arms have been excellent so far. Aroldis Chapman has been absolutely clutch. Coming into save situations versus difficult opponents like the Astros and taking care of business. Furthermore, the likes of David Robertson and Chad Green have been as reliable as we expected. There is simply no-one I would rather see trotting out to the mound with 2 on and no-one out but David Robertson. The man is consistent, and is never fazed by the moment. Next, we have even seen Chasen Shreve pitching great to start. Having at least one lefty for the later innings is critical to any club (not including Chappy of course) and Aaron Boone seems to be very happy to have him as an option.

This brings me to where the bullpen is not coming through. It all starts with Delin Betances. What has happened to this 6-8 flame thrower is beyond my understanding. He continues to struggle to find the strike zone and looks completely out of synch when he doesn't have all of his pitches going for him. He has had some bright spots and Boone has been decent with getting him into spots that are meaningless so that he can get out there and simply PITCH. Betances's struggles are real and I understand that Boone knows his pitcher was an all-star and therefore thinks the skills are in there somewhere. So, what I really think is at the heart of the bullpen’s issues is the managerial decisions of Aaron Boone. Many of his decisions have been quite dubious. Take Sunday night versus the Indians for example. With the Yankees up and the sweep looming, I thought Boone would go for the kill and go with his two best weapons to get to Chapman. Instead of going with Green and Robertson, Boone went to Betances. I understand that Boone did not want to overuse Chad Green who had pitched 2 innings the night before, but to not use David Robertson with a day off the next day was too conservative. Luckily the offense picked up the win after Betances let up three runs. But when you have opportunities to go for the sweep, you get it done especially versus potential October teams. Next, I was surprised that Boone followed up German’s spectacular debut which ended in 6 innings of no no, with Betances. This was off course of Boone’s strategy to get Delin into low pressurized situations. This was a lose-lose situation for Delin and he had to be perfect to keep the no hitter in tact. If you did not catch the game, Betances gave up a hit.

Listen, I understand Boone wants to preserve his bullpen, but his management of his arms needs to be a little more aggressive. As Kahnle returns from injury, hopefully with his velocity back up, it will give Boone another weapon to play with. Don't be surprised if Cashman makes a splash during the summer if Kahnle isn't the same or Betances continues his untrustworthy ways. I will admit, being on a 16-1 run would most likely be met with hostility if I was writing this for any other baseball team. But we are fans of the Bronx Bombers. I do not doubt that Aaron Boone will figure it out. That man knows baseball and bullpen management is super difficult even for seasoned managers. Just ask Joe Girardi.

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