How Should The New York Yankees Align Their Bullpen For The Wild Card Game?

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Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Who’s The Long Man?

With Nathan Eovaldi likely out of the Wild Card game because of an elbow injury, the Yankees will need at leas one starter should the game go to extra-innings or if Tanaka would have to leave the game due to injury or ineffectiveness. If that were to be the case, the pitcher I would want in that spot is Adam Warren.

On Thursday night, Warren was excellent in relief of CC Sabathia in New York’s playoff clinching win against the Red Sox. He went three innings, gave up one hit, struck out three batters, and walked one on 51 pitches (33 strikes).

While Warren has had some good moments as a starter this season, the Yankees have missed his contributions that he gave when he was the swingman in the bullpen. Last year, if you look at the Yankees’ relievers down the stretch, Warren in the seventh inning had a better ERA than Betances during the month of September (1.20 to 1.84). In 26 relief appearances this year, the 28-year-old right-hander has a 2.29 ERA (3.66 ERA in 17 starts).

In these type of games, you only need to have one extra starter because the rosters reset once the division series begins. Plus, when you consider how little Girardi trusts the pitchers that he uses in middle relief other than the big three, Warren might have the fourth highest trust level of any relief pitcher in this game.

Plus, even though Ivan Nova has pitched well of late, Warren gets the slight nod when you consider he’s given up only 10 home runs all season and two home runs in his last ten games while Nova has given up eight home runs in his last nine outings.

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