The 5 Most Important Yankees In September

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Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

#3. Shawn Kelley

The Yankees’ bullpen has been lights-out for most of the season, but they’ve also had their fair share of hiccups at inopportune times in 2014. One of the continuing Achilles Heels for the Yankees has been the inconsistency of flame-thrower, Shawn Kelley. Originally tapped to be closer David Robertson‘s set-up man out of spring training, he quickly fell down the pecking order of the bullpen, losing his set-up job to rookie phenom Dellin Betances. Kelley even filled in as the Yankees’ closer early on when Robertson hit the disabled list.

It’s hard to be a dependable back-end reliever when your ERA is almost 4.50. Fans and those around the team have always been enamored with the journeyman’s K/9 ratio, as in each of the last two seasons, Kelley is over 12 per 9. He’s allowed 3 long balls, and allows almost 7 1/2 hits per 9 innings. That doesn’t make for dependable and consistent innings.

With the Yankees’ offense struggling so badly to push runs across the plate, they cannot risk handing over leads in the close games they do take to the final few frames. Aside from Robertson and Betances, Kelley SHOULD be another lock down, end of the game option to shorten things up in September. Any more choke jobs by the 30-year-old righty, and he will most likely find himself back in the unemployment line this coming winter. A solid September may get him a return ticket to Tampa next spring, especially with the uncertainty and future of Robertson in pinstripes after this season.