Everyday until spring training begins the "Respect Jeter's Gangster" blog will review one player from the Yankees roster. We will review a total of 25 players, the 25 we believe will be on the active roster after spring training. Our reviews are all edited by Carl Pavano himself to insure they're up to the stringent "Pavano Tough" standards.
When the Yankees acquired Damaso Marte along with Nady last season, they were hoping to secure a dominant lefty to help shape out their mostly right handed bullpen. Marte has been pitching in the majors since 1999, and spent the 4 seasons between 2002 - 2005 with White Sox, where he was both dominant and durable. Before he was traded to the Yankees at the end of July, Marte was being used as the Pirates closer, and if you know anything about being the Pirates closer, its that you pitch very rarely. Marte would go up to 8 days without pitching when he was with the Pirates. Once he came to the Yankees, Marte was called upon more regularly, and it seemed that where at some points he would be dominant, at others he would get shelled. He ended with a July ERA of 5.79, which ballooned to 7.71 for August. The Yankees began to use Marte less in September, either because they recognized that they had been over using him, or because Phil Coke was absolutely unhittable in his September call up. Marte posted a 1.35 ERA in September but only threw 6.2 innings, the fewest in any month last season. The Yankees believe in Marte and offered him a three year contract in November.
My Fearless Prediction:
Last season required an adjustment for Marte, and with ample time to prepare for AL hitters again, Marte is likely to succeed. I expect him to have an ERA in the mid 3's, and about 50 innings of work. Coke will take up the other lefty innings.
Little Known Marte Fact:
Damaso Marte started the Marte Brewing Company, which produced Marte Beer, but after several people went blind from its consumption and the lawsuits started pouring in, he was forced to close it down.