December 8 – Happy Birthday Alfredo Aceves
The Yankees found Alfredo Aceves pitching in the Mexican League in 2007. At the time, the right-hander, who was born in Mexico on this date in 1982, had been pitching in the professional league of his native country for the previous five seasons. The scouts loved the fact that he threw four quality pitches with good enough command to call upon any of them in a full-count situation. The Yankees signed him and first called him up to pitch in the Bronx during the 2008 season. His breakout season came in 2009 when he went 10-1 pitching out of the bullpen and became one of the most valuable members of Joe Girardi’s pitching staff. The only time he’s been noticeably ineffective in a Yankee uniform was during the 2009 ALCS against the Angels. Unfortunately, the injury bug hit Alfredo in 2010. He had a herniated disc that kept him off the mound most of the year and he then underwent surgery to repair a broken clavicle he suffered in a postseason bicycle accident back home in Mexico. This explains why the Yankees permitted a pitcher who has accumulated a record of 14-1 with two saves and a 3.21 ERA during his 59 appearances for the team, to become a free agent. If Alfredo’s bad back has healed and he experiences no complications from the recent surgery, I expect him to once again use those four good pitches he can throw on any count and have a real good year pitching for some team in the Majors in 2011. I’m hoping that team will be the Yankees.
Today is also the birthday of a Yankee pitcher who called it quits after a season during which he won twenty games for the first time in his career. This one-time Yankee shortstop was also born on December 8th.