From Wednesday's ESPN chat:
Matt (PA): Melancon, Cox, Sanchez or Horne.. Who gets that call up first for the Yankees once Joba hits the rotation? So I guess around the all-star break.Now serving as Trenton's closer, the 23 year-old David Robertson has already thrown 14 innings compiling a 0.64 ERA and 21 K’s. In 2007, his first year of pro ball, he went 8-3 flashing an 0.96 ERA over 84 innings with 113 strikeouts and only 32 walks.
John Manuel: Good question, but there are many other options--David Robertson is a sleeper who could be a factor, he's dealing at Trenton right now. Also Dan McCutcheon, who is a starter but could slide into a relief role with his stuff and aggressive approach. I actually like both those guys better for a middle relief role this year than those you mentioned except for Melancon. If Melancon is at full strength, he's the guy. Sanchez and Cox won't help the Yankees in New York this year, IMO.
As the closer for Alabama it was said Robertson possessed a 95-96 mph blazing fastball, but in the minor leagues scouts soon realized his fastball was really 89-92. However, the explosive late-movement on his fastball is so dramatic that it seems to be 3 to 4 ticks higher. Hitters simply cannot catch up with his fastball which, at its best, runs 90-93 mph. He compliments his riding fastball with a hammer curve which is his outpitch.Also, don't forget about Scott Patterson who has struggled a bit at AAA after being robbed of a major league roster spot out of Spring training. Jose Veras and his mid-90s fastball also remain in Scranton Wilkes-Barre where over 9 innings he has struck out 15, walked 3, notched 5 saves with a 2.00 ERA.