Adam Warren how now been a reliever for the Yankees for 2 seasons. There has been discussion circling around about whether he gets some starts during spring training, and whether he should remain a reliever. This is a delicate situation, you can’t just move a player in and out from starting to relieving on a yearly basis. Just look at how that worked with Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes. The last season Warren was a starter was in 2012 at Triple A-Scranton. The big question the Yankees need to ask is: Where does Adam Warren provide more value for the team?
Warren had a SO/9 of about 6.5 in 2011 and 2012 and Triple A. Batters made contact in about 76% of their plate appearances. In 2012 he gave up nearly 10 hits per 9 innings, and threw 9 wild pitches. His whip was 1.39, and he only had a 2.33 SO/W ratio. Pitching to contact in Yankee Stadium is a dangerous thing, but it is not as big of a concern when you only pitch an inning a night. Now we look at his stats as a reliever in 2013 and 2014. SO/9 increased by about 2, hit went down by 1.5, lower ERA, and an almost identical SO/W ratio. He pitched ineffectively as a starter for his one appearance in 2012, but that couldn’t have been nerves from making his MLB debut.
Heading into the year the Yankees will have at least 7 pitchers who can start on the 25 man roster, including Esmil Rogers and Adam Warren. Ivan Nova will be coming back sometime early in the season, which would give them 8 pitchers capable of starting around May and June. Why move Warren out of the bullpen and have to worry about who can handle his previous job? Keep him as a reliever, if a situation occurs that multiple starters go down with injuries, call up Chase Whitley to pitch for a few starts. In a very desperate situation, you can put Warren to spot start. The Yankees have to be careful not to misuse him, we wouldn’t want him to pan out as Joba and Phil Hughes did. Stay committed to keeping him in one role, and enjoy the dividends it pays off.