Having a second lefty in your bullpen is always a good thing. Especially when you have lefties like David Ortiz, Chris Davis, James Loney and Adam Lind in your own division. I’ve already questioned the signing of Matt Thornton when it happened here, and the way Preston Claiborne has been pitching a spot should be up for grabs in the bullpen. So who gets it?
Well, the Yankees have three options if they want another lefty; Vidal Nuno, Cesar Cabral and Fred Lewis. If you’re going by spring training stats, the edge would go to Cabral. Cabral has yet to give up a run in eight innings of work, striking out eight. Unfortunately he’s walked six which is waaayyy too many for eight innings. Also, anytime you can have a lefty reliever who’s a power arm you should do it.
Nuno isn’t a power arm, but he can still get people out. The thing with Nuno is that with Michael Pineda on an innings limit and with Adam Warren and David Phelps in the bullpen, you need to have someone who’s arm is stretched out and ready to go in AAA. That guy should be Nuno. Nuno predominantly started in the minors, and should continue to do so.
The wild card is Lewis. Unfortunately for him, the Yankees have a full 40-man roster at this point, and Lewis isn’t on it. Lewis appeared at three different levels of the minors last season and should begin at AAA, though if he pitches well, and the Yankees need an arm, could be added. Lewis averaged a strikeout per inning in the minors.
The Yankees don’t have to start the season with an extra lefty. Manager Joe Girardi said after today’s game they don’t have to have a second lefty and guys get yo-yo’d from AAA to the majors all the time. Cabral should be the choice if they indeed pick one. Keep the depth for your starters with Nuno in AAA. Even though they don’t have to have one, I think Cabral will be in Houston Tuesday.