Tuesday, November 12, 2013

All Home Grown Yankees Team - The Bullpen

Continuing our look at the Yankees all home grown team using players from our system over the last 20 years or so we will look at the bullpen pitchers today. The Yankees have had a plethora of home grown arms that have hit the system in recent memory so this was one of the toughest categories to fill out. Spoiler alert but I want to give honorable mentions right now to a few that I felt could have made the list but didn't in Adam Warren, Mike Dunn, and even John Axford who spent a few years in the Yankees system before finding success elsewhere. Enjoy!

CL: Mariano Rivera
RP: David Robertson
RP: Phil Coke
RP: Randy Choate
RP: Tyler Clippard
RP: Mark Melancon
LR: Ramiro Mendoza

Mariano Rivera and David Robertson have been staples in the Yankees bullpen since what feels like forever ago. Mariano has been around forever after a failed starting pitcher attempt in 1995 Mo has been shutting down guys in the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings since 1996. The MLB all time leading saves leader and the greatest of all time, what else needs to be said. D Rob seems to be the new heir apparent to Mo after his retirement this season. D Rob has been a staple since the Yankees won the 2009 World Series and looks to be a staple for a long long time in the Yankees pen.

Randy Choate and Phil Coke have both enjoyed success in the major leagues throwing from the left side after leaving the Yankees. Choate was traded to the Montreal Expos for Javier Vazquez (the first time) and has spent time with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Milwaukee Brewers, Tampa Bay Rays, Miami and Florida Marlins, Los Angeles Dodgers, and the St. Louis Cardinals. Phil Coke has killed the Yankees, and a lot of teams, since being in the deal that brought the Yankees Curtis Granderson and sent Coke packing to Detroit. Coke especially killed us during the 2012 ALCS where the Tigers swept us after Coke was un-hittable in the closers role.

Tyler Clippard has enjoyed a few good seasons in Washington after being traded to the Nationals for Johnathan Albaladejo, remember him? Clippard has closed and been a set up man in Washington and while he has had more success in the latter role has enjoyed success in both roles. Former Yankees #1 prospect before a man named Phil Hughes came around.

Mark Melancon was once touted the heir apparent to Mariano Rivera before Joe Girardi ruined his arm, trade value, and reputation. Melancon would come up once a month, sit on the bench for two weeks, and struggle due to rust when he was used out of desperation. He was later traded to the Houston Astros and is now a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates where he was elected to the 2013 MLB All Star Game.

Ramiro Mendoza could do anything and everything for the Yankees after coming out of their farm system. Mendoza could start, set up, be a long man, or close and did all four well. If it weren't for Orlando Hernandez in 1999 I think Mendoza would have been the 99 ALCS MVP after shutting down the Red Sox in the middle of a rally in games two and game five. Mendoza also closed out the series in Fenway Park rather than Mariano Rivera, a tribute for Joe Torre to Mendoza in my opinion.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)