Yankees Analysis: Do the Yankees Need a Proven Closer?


The New York Yankees have a very powerful one-two punch at the back end of the Bullpen. Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller both can get their fastball to hit 95+ MPH while relying on their off speed pitches to get hitters to chase. Both pitchers last year relied heavily on their fastball and slider, and the results were fantastic.

Betances finished the year with a 5-0 record, a 1.40 ERA, a .778 WHIP, and 135 strikeouts in 90 innings. Andrew Miller’s finale stat line for 2014 was a 5-5 record with a 2.02 ERA, .802 WHIP, and 103 strikeouts in 62.1 innings. Those numbers are extremely impressive and fans will be excited to watch these two pitchers dominate hitters. However, they each only have one save in their career. Should the Yankees reach out to a veteran relief pitcher or a proven closer due to the inexperience of these two?

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There are a couple quality closers who are currently free agents. Rafael Soriano and Francisco Rodriguez are waiting to be called by a team in order to be given an opportunity. They have a great amount of experience closing games and have proven to be successful in the MLB. Still, the Yankees do not need them and should be confident with their two studs.

Soriano performed well for the New York Yankees in 2012, but bolted from the Yankees for the Washington Nationals and a large sum of money. Coming off back-to-back 30+ save seasons, Soriano is likely to ask for another great sum of money, and the Yankees do not need to spend it on him.

Rodriguez, as well, had a solid 2013 and 2014 season with a sub 3.05 ERA and saved 54 games in 94 appearances with the Milwaukee Brewers. Just like Soriano, he will want to be paid for his pitching, and the Yankees’ money will be better spent elsewhere.

The experience factor can look a bit concerning, but there is nothing to worry about. Dellin Betances was in command last year every time he was on the mound. He never shied away from the big moments and was not intimidated by any of the big names hitters he pitched against. Andrew Miller has been in the league for nine years. He may not have experience as a closer, but he has been around the league long enough to be able to handle any pressure.

Both Pitchers have phenomenal command of their go-to pitches, and every Yankees fan should be confident in their abilities to handle the eighth and ninth innings for the Yankees.

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