During the coronavirus pandemic, nearly all sports fans have learned not to take any game for granted. With that said, we look at underappreciated Yankees.
2010: Kerry Wood
Looking to bolster their bullpen in the summer of 2010, the champion Yankees made a trade with the Cleveland Indians former Chicago Cub star Kerry Wood. The former starter turned reliever had a rough start to the season in Cleveland as his ERA was 6.30 after 23 relief appearances.
Once traded to the Bronx, Wood rediscovered his once-dominant self. In 24 appearances, Wood pitched to a 0.69 ERA as he allowed just two earned runs in 26 innings of work.
2011: Russell Martin
When thinking of the catcher position in the Bronx during the 2011 season, many think of the final season of Jorge Posada’s career. Little do fans remember Russell Martin had an outstanding season as the Yankees starting catcher.
Martin was named an all-star after slashing .237/.324/.408 with 18 home runs and 65 RBI’s. The catcher also posted a .990 fielding percentage to help the Yankees earn an American League East crown.
2012: Rafael Soriano
In May of 2012, the Yankees were dealt a crushing blow when MLB all-time saves leader Mariano Rivera tore his ACL while shagging fly-balls during batting practice.
Luckily, reliever Rafael Soriano stepped into the closer’s role and held down the fort. Soriano posted a 2.26 ERA and recorded 42 saves. He continued his success in the postseason as he tossed 3.1 scoreless innings in a pair of appearances.
2013: Hiroki Kuroda
In a season that saw nearly every position player and most pitchers miss time due to injury, starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda stepped up to provide the team with much-needed quality innings.
Kuroda made 32 starts and posted a stellar 3.31 ERA in 201.1 innings of work. He also walked just 43 batters, which was his second-lowest career total during seasons in which he pitched at least 150 innings.
2014: Ichiro Suzuki
In 2014, nearly all attention surrounding the Yankees went to the retiring Derek Jeter. While Jeter got his well-deserved farewell, another future hall of famer stepped up to keep the Yankees in the postseason race in Ichiro Suzuki.
Ichiro played in 143 games and slashed .284/.324/.340 with 22 RBI’s and 22 stolen bases in what would be his final season in Pinstripes.
2015: Chasen Shreve
The story of the 2015 Yankees was a stacked bullpen leading a veteran offense to the postseason. While the Bombers bullpen trio of Justin Wilson, Dellin Betances, and Andrew Miller got plenty of attention, rookie left-hander Chasen Shreve did not get nearly enough.
Shreve posted a stellar 3.09 ERA in 59 relief appearances and 58.1 innings of work. He posted over a strikeout per inning as he finished the season with 64 strikeouts.
2016: Starlin Castro
In 2016, the Yankees had a rare midseason selling spree as the team began to turn away from being a veteran group and into a young team.
Despite all the movement, infielder Starlin Castro remained a steady producer. In his first year with the team, Castro slashed .270/.300/.433 with 21 home runs and 70 RBI’s to help the team win 86 games despite serving as sellers.
2017: Chase Headley
The story of the 2017 Yankees was the emergence of young stars Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Luis Severino leading the team to the ALCS. Lost in the excitement was the quietly outstanding play of veteran third basemen Chase Headley.
Headley slashed .273/.352/.406 with 12 home runs and 62 RBI’s. After a quiet ALDS, Headley helped bring the Yankees within one game of the world series by hitting .389 with an RBI during a seven-game ALCS against the Astros.
2018: Jonathan Holder
Jonathan Holder took plenty of heat during his rough 2019 season, but in 2018, he was one of the teams’ unsung heroes during a 100 win season.
The right-hander made 60 relief appearances in which he pitched to a 3.14 ERA with 60 strikeouts in 66 innings of work to help lead the team to a second straight playoff appearance.
2019: Austin Romine
In what was an up and down year for Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez backup Austin Romine filled in and provided starting quality production.
The catcher played in 72 games and slashed .281/.310/.439 with eight home runs and 34 RBI’s. His big season helped him earn a contract with the Detroit Tigers to become their starting catcher.