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.
Veras is an interesting bullpen piece for the Yankees since he's still developing as a big league player, and he throws heat. That he still needs to grow can be seen in the 29 walks he allowed in 57.2 innings last season, not to mention the 7 homeruns. Veras ended last season with a 3.59 ERA, a 5-3 record and 63 strikeouts, which is not bad by any means. It can be hard to guage a releiver by his season numbers alone. An example of how numbers can be misleading is say you have two pitchers who make 5 appearances lasting one inning each, one gives up 1 run in each of his appearances, while the other is scoreless in 4 of his outings, but gives up 5 runs in the final outing. Their numbers would be identical, but which of those pitchers gave their team more chances to win? An effective reliever in my opinion is someone who can take the ball from one pitcher and pass it to the next without a change in score. At this, Veras succeeded. Out of his 60 appearances last season, 46 were scoreless efforts. If Veras can figure out how to limit the long ball, he could really prove to be effective next season.
My Fearless Prediction:
Veras strikes out more, and gets his walks under control. Outside of that, his ERA will remain about the same, but I expect him to get more innings next season.
Little Known Veras Fact:
Veras used to sneak candy into the clubhouse in bags labeled "Granola Goodness" and "Tofu Bites". Girardi was none the wiser.