NEW YORK -- The swing-and-miss arsenal of the Yankees' bullpen was viewed as one of the club's greatest strengths during the 2017 season, and that crew should again dominate American League opponents when it's deployed by new manager Aaron Boone.All of that heat should come in handy, with Boone envisioning
NEW YORK -- The swing-and-miss arsenal of the Yankees' bullpen was viewed as one of the club's greatest strengths during the 2017 season, and that crew should again dominate American League opponents when it's deployed by new manager Aaron Boone.
All of that heat should come in handy, with Boone envisioning a lineup that produces many leads for closer Albertin Chapman and his friends to protect.
During a recent appearance at Yankee Stadium, Dellin Betances said that he was thrilled by the acquisition of reigning National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton, and is viewing 2018 as a challenge to prove himself after control issues interrupted the latter part of his previous campaign.
"I feel I'm a lot better than what the numbers show," Betances said. "A lot of teams are going to be coming after us this season, but we'll be ready. We were so close. I think next year is a big year for us."
MLB.com is taking a look at the projected bullpen of all 30 teams ahead of Spring Training. Here's how the Yankees might stack up:
BULLPEN IF SEASON STARTED TODAY
Aroldis Chapman, LHP (closer)
Player Page for David Robertson, RHP
Dellin Betances, RHP
Chad Green, RHP
Tommy Kahnle, RHP
Chasen Shreve, LHP
Adam Warren, RHP
Pure firepower. Yankees relievers struck out a team-record 653 batters in 2017, setting a new Major League mark with 10.92 strikeouts per nine innings. Betances and Green became the seventh bullpen duo ever to notch 100 strikeouts each, while Chapman recorded the league's highest average fastball velocity at 100.2 mph.
Can Betances fine-tune his mechanics? He was reduced to a non-factor during the postseason, with Kahnle summoned to clean up his messes. Betances said that he is focusing on fastball command during his workouts in the Dominican Republic; unable to control his heater, the right-hander became too reliant on his breaking pitches late in the year.
WHAT MIGHT CHANGE
Since the bullpen appears strong, moving Robertson in a trade would be one avenue for the Yankees to upgrade other areas of the roster while keeping payroll under the $197 million threshold. For luxury-tax purposes, Robertson will cost $11.5 million and can be a free agent after 2018, but he is coming off a fine season and would be a logical fill-in if Chapman were unavailable. Remember, an inconsistent stretch cost Chapman his closer's job for a few weeks last summer. Plus, Robertson's willingness to be used in any situation is a terrific asset.
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.