January 29 – Happy Birthday John Habyan

habyanBy the time John Habyan got to the Yankees he had learned the hard way that it was best to keep his emotions in check. The Bay Shore, New York native was drafted by the Orioles in the third round of the 1982 draft right out of St. John the Baptist High School. He then impressed everyone during his quick climb up the O’s farm system and by 1985, this right-hander was getting shots with the parent club. He later admitted that he was overwhelmed by the experience and and had difficulty staying calm and composed on the mound. He got his best shot with Baltimore in 1987, appearing in 27 games, including 13 starts for a very bad Orioles’ ball club. He went just 6-7 with an ERA near five and then he separated his shoulder in a winter sledding mishap.

So by the time Baltimore gave up on Habyan and he was traded to the Yankee organization in 1989, he had learned his lesson. No more being in awe of big league hitters and no more letting his emotions effect his pitching. He convinced himself he hated every hitter he faced and he learned how not to get too excited when a manager handed him a baseball. He also worked hard to improve his slider.

These were great adjustments on his part. He got his ticket to the Bronx in 1991 after pitching well in Columbus the season before. His first year in New York was Stump Merrill’s last and his 4-2 record and 2.30 ERA in 66 appearances was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dismal Yankee season. He and closer Steve Farr combined to give New York a great chance to win whenever the team’s substandard offense was able to give them a lead to protect in the late innings.

Habyan then started out the 1992 season just as hot and new Yankee manager Buck Showalter told every reporter who would listen that this guy was the best setup man in the game. But it didn’t last. Habyan started getting hammered after the 1992 All Star break as hitters no longer had trouble squaring up on his slider.

New York gave him a chance to recover the magic in 1993 but when it didn’t happen, he was traded in a three-team deal that put reliever Paul Assenmacher in pinstripes. After pitching for four different teams in the next three seasons, Habyan’s big league career ended in 1996. He eventually became the head baseball coach at his old high school on Long Island.

He shares his birthday with this former Yankee second baseman and this former Yankee outfielder.

Year Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
1990 NYY 0 0 2.08 6 0 1 0 0 0 8.2 10 2 2 0 2 4 1.385
1991 NYY 4 2 .667 2.30 66 0 16 0 0 2 90.0 73 28 23 2 20 70 1.033
1992 NYY 5 6 .455 3.84 56 0 20 0 0 7 72.2 84 32 31 6 21 44 1.445
1993 TOT 2 1 .667 4.15 48 0 23 0 0 1 56.1 59 27 26 6 20 39 1.402
1993 NYY 2 1 .667 4.04 36 0 21 0 0 1 42.1 45 20 19 5 16 29 1.441
11 Yrs 26 24 .520 3.85 348 18 98 0 0 12 532.1 537 254 228 47 186 372 1.358
NYY (4 yrs) 11 9 .550 3.16 164 0 58 0 0 10 213.2 212 82 75 13 59 147 1.268
BAL (4 yrs) 9 10 .474 4.61 42 18 7 0 0 1 160.0 159 95 82 25 62 84 1.381
STL (2 yrs) 4 2 .667 3.07 83 0 19 0 0 1 88.0 82 35 30 2 35 81 1.330
KCR (1 yr) 0 0 4.50 12 0 2 0 0 0 14.0 14 7 7 1 4 10 1.286
COL (1 yr) 1 1 .500 7.13 19 0 5 0 0 0 24.0 34 19 19 4 14 25 2.000
CAL (1 yr) 1 2 .333 4.13 28 0 7 0 0 0 32.2 36 16 15 2 12 25 1.469
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/29/2014.

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