By Neil Keefe
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I could be having the greatest day, and if the Yankees bullpen door opens and No. 48 emerges, my day is ruined. It happened most recently on Saturday in Texas, and it’s happened many times before and will happen again.
Last year I wasn’t wrong when I frequently got on Boone Logan and questioned why he was on the team and why Joe Girardi continued to use him. But when I continued to get on him during his scoreless streak that ran from July 21 to Sept. 13, I was wrong. So, I gave a written apology on Sept. 14 and that night he gave up a three-run go-ahead home run in Tampa Bay in a game the Yankees would eventually come back and win. After that appearance, he gave up earned runs in his next two appearances and lost my trust for the rest of the season and the playoffs. And my lack of trust for him in the postseason was proven right when he allowed two earned runs and only recorded two outs in three appearances in the ALCS.
This season it’s been the same story with Logan. He has been anything but a left-handed specialist, and if anything, he might be a specialist for right-handed hitters. Lefties are 8-for-22 (.364) with a home run, two doubles and three walks against him, while righties are just 2-for-13 (.154) with a walk against him. Last week against the Tigers, Logan gave up a home run to left-handed Brennan Boesch and came back to strike out the American League’s best hitter, right-handed Miguel Cabrera, in the next at-bat.
Logan is supposed to be the Yankees’ left-handed option or even “specialist” out of the bullpen, but those numbers clearly suggest otherwise. So, what exactly is Boone Logan? He isn’t the seventh-inning guy. He isn’t the eighth-inning guy. He isn’t the closer. He isn’t the long reliever. He can’t be trusted in close games the Yankees lead or trail in. The only time he can be trusted is when the game is out of hand one way or the other. He’s basically pitched himself into the role of the last man out of the bullpen before Lance Pendleton and Buddy Carlyle, and at this point I would definitely rather see Pendleton before him and probably even Carlyle.
I understand the whole idea that the Yankees “need” to have a lefty in the bullpen, whether it’s just to say they have one, or to present a more difficult decision to opposing managers knowing there is a lefty in the ‘pen. But I don’t think any manager is making his moves based on the possibility that Logan might come in the game. Opposing managers should actually be excited to see him entering games and should let their lefties bat against him.
The Yankees were obviously aware of Logan’s ineffectiveness when they signed the “abused” Pedro Feliciano at two years and $8 million. I was ecstatic about the signing with the possibility of Logan’s role becoming limited and maybe even non-existent. But with Feliciano out, no other real option in the Yankees system and Girardi’s love for gambling, there’s going to be a whole lot more of Boone Logan this season. And that’s not good for anyone except the hitter in the box.
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