Throughout the years, the New York Yankees have had many relatively-unknown pitchers do great things for them. Yankee fans may remember 2005, where two pitchers rose to the top and had wonderful success with the Yankees. Shawn Chacon went 7-3 with a 2.85 ERA for the Yanks in 2005. Aaron Small was so dominant in 2005, posting a 10-0 record with a 3.20 ERA. I think the Yankees have one of these guys now: Dustin Moseley.
Now I'm not saying that Moseley is going to put up Cy Young-type numbers. But I do think that he can have legitimate success with the Yankees. He has not ever been superb in his career before, but that doesn't mean he won't blossom into a nice pitcher. Moseley is 28 years old and has served 4 injury-plagued years in the Majors. He hasn't seen a lot of action in the Bigs, pitching less than 200 innings total in his 4 plus seasons. In his 30.1 innings with the Yankees, Moseley has a very respectable 3.86 ERA.
Dustin Moseley was a non-roster invitee to Spring Training with the Yankees this year. He started the season in Triple-A, and was called up on July 2. Because of Andy Pettitte's groin injury that has sidelined him for weeks already, Moseley was called upon to fill that spot in the rotation after Sergio Mitre proved to be ineffective. So far, it's worked out well for him.
Moseley seemed to have embraced his starting role. In his debut start with the Yankees, he pitched 6 innings of 1-run ball, earning the win in that 11-4 victory over the Indians. He scuffled a bit in his next start, but definitely redeemed himself in his third.
On August 8, Dustin Moseley arrived at Yankee Stadium thinking he would watch the Yankees and Red Sox go at it from the best seat the dugout had to offer. He was wrong. Due to back spasms for the scheduled starter A.J. Burnett, skipper Joe Girardi turned to Moseley in desperation. And he delivered: 6.1 innings of 2-run baseball, striking out 5, and earning the win. To pitch that well in a game that he didn't even know he was going to pitch - a pressure-filled game against the Red Sox, nonetheless - is quite impressive to say the least.
My question is: where will Dustin Moseley wind up when Andy Pettitte's DL stint is over? If he continues to be this valuable in the rotation, would they dare move him to the bullpen?
I've been speculating, and here is what I think: Yes, Moseley will be moved to the bullpen, but he will have a very special role. He will be the new Alfredo Aceves, who still hasn't shown any signs of coming back. Aceves was the Yankees best long reliever. He wasn't mop-up duty - he was lights-out relief.
Phil Hughes has an innings limit this year that the Yankees must obey. Since they have shown no inclinations of moving Hughes back to the bullpen, it is safe to say that he will remain a starter. The Rules did not work for Joba Chamberlain, so I don't think we will see those same techniques on Hughes, such as skipping starts. Instead, I think we will begin to see shorter outings for Hughes, maybe 6, 5, or 4 innings. And Dustin Moseley will be his personal reliever.
I think Dustin Moseley has proven that he is a valuable asset to this Yankee team. No matter what they do with him when Pettitte returns, I think Moseley will see a lot of action - because he has earned it.
by Virginia Califano
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