David Robertson to make big impression in 2008
The usual pitching suspects will make the team out of the 2008 spring training such as Kyle Farnsworth, Brian Bruney, Sean Henn and now LaTroy Hawkins. But what is more interesting is who will be on the team during the middle of the season.
I supect both Farnsworth and Bruney will pitch themselves out of jobs due to their lack of control. (Bruney can't throw a strike if his life depended on it). Also, after Phil HUghes and Ian Kennedy, many of young pitchers the Yankees are high on such as Alan Horne, it would be better starting at AAA Scranton, and use them as emergency starters.
Young pitchers like Mark Melancon, Ross Ohlendorf and lefty Chase Wright will be in the bullpen by mid-season, but the biggest contribution in 2008 will be by David Robertson, a strikeout machine last season at three minor league levels. He will be the new 8th inning guy when Joba goes into the rotation.
Here is a bit more background on Robertson, who I mentioned earlier: He was the stud closer at Alabama (similar to Melancon at Arizona) and has first round pick stuff. But, he was a draft eligible sophomore and most teams thought he would stay another year in school and would not sign if drafted. The Yankees took a flier on him in round 17 of the 2006 draft, offered him 2nd round money, and he took it.
Robertson was the 2006 playoff MVP of the Cape Cod league, the premiere college summer baseball league.
He always has had high strikeout rates, but has also had bouts of wildness. His wildness has subsided since he has been a Yankee. He is able to go two innings and has been groomed as a 7th-8th inning type guy.