Results tagged ‘ relief pitcher ’

March 3 – Happy Birthday Bobby Munoz

munozThe Yankees signed this Puerto Rican giant in 1988 after selecting the 6’7″ right-hander in the 15th round of that year’s amateur draft. During his senior year at Miami Lakes High School in Hialeah, Florida Munoz was a star basketball player who had scholarship offers to play hoops at several big-time schools. In fact, he planned on playing on the hard court at UNLV but bad grades forced a change in those plans and he went to Palm Beach Community College instead. That’s when the Yanks drafted him and convinced him to give professional baseball a shot.

He spent four-plus seasons in the Yankee farm system, where he was converted into a closer when he reached Stump Merrill’s Columbus Clippers Triple A team in 1993. After starting out the season there with a 3-1 record and 10 saves, the Yanks called him up to the Bronx in late May to join Buck Showalter’s bullpen.

A confident 25-year-old at the time of his call-up, Munoz asked for and received Goose Gossage’s uniform number 54. He then spent his first month in pinstripes reminding New York fans of the Goose, pitching in a setup role for then-Yankee closer Steve Farr. By June 29th his record was 2-0 with 3 holds, 17 K’s and a solid 2.50 ERA.

Unfortunately, he faltered in the second half and then the Yankees grew concerned about his weight, which had gotten above the 260 mark by the end of his debut season. He got his weight back down that winter but was unpleasantly surprised at the beginning of the Yanks 1994 spring-training camp to find he had been dealt to the Phils in the deal that brought starting pitcher Terry Mulholland to New York.

The Phillies tried to make him a starter again and his 7-5 record in that role during the strike-shortened season of 1994 indicated there was some wisdom behind the move. But he hurt his arm the following year and went a combined 1-14 during his final five big league seasons.

This Hall-of-Fame Yankee outfielder, this former Yankee starter and this WWII hero all also were born on March 3rd.

Year Age Tm Lg W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
1993 25 NYY AL 3 3 .500 5.32 38 0 12 0 0 0 45.2 48 27 27 1 26 33 1.620
7 Yrs 11 22 .333 5.17 100 38 23 1 0 1 278.1 324 181 160 30 119 153 1.592
PHI (4 yrs) 8 15 .348 4.84 38 30 2 1 0 1 178.2 205 116 96 19 66 93 1.517
MON (1 yr) 0 4 .000 5.14 15 7 4 0 0 0 42.0 53 25 24 6 21 21 1.762
NYY (1 yr) 3 3 .500 5.32 38 0 12 0 0 0 45.2 48 27 27 1 26 33 1.620
BAL (1 yr) 0 0 9.75 9 1 5 0 0 0 12.0 18 13 13 4 6 6 2.000
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 3/3/2014.

February 27 – Happy Birthday Greg Cadaret

cadaretThe nice thing about writing a blog like this is that in doing the research necessary, I learn things about my all-time favorite team that I never knew or realized. For example, I remember when Greg Cadaret wore pinstripes but I had no idea he actually appeared in over 180 games for New York during the three and a half seasons he pitched as a Yankee. His best season in the Bronx was 1991 when he went 8-6 out of the bullpen with three saves and a 3.62 ERA. He came to New York in the 1989 in-season trade that sent Ricky Henderson back to Oakland. The Yankees sold him to Cincinnati after the 1992 season. Greg was born in Detroit on February 27, 1962.

Another Yankee celebrating a birthday on February 27 is this former catcher who is the only man in MLB history to have caught two perfect games during his career. This former catcher/coach and another former Yankee reliever also share Cadaret’s birthday.

Year Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
1989 NYY 5 5 .500 4.58 20 13 1 3 1 0 92.1 109 53 47 7 38 66 1.592
1990 NYY 5 4 .556 4.15 54 6 9 0 0 3 121.1 120 62 56 8 64 80 1.516
1991 NYY 8 6 .571 3.62 68 5 17 0 0 3 121.2 110 52 49 8 59 105 1.389
1992 NYY 4 8 .333 4.25 46 11 9 1 1 1 103.2 104 53 49 12 74 73 1.717
10 Yrs 38 32 .543 3.99 451 35 120 4 2 14 724.1 716 351 321 58 403 539 1.545
NYY (4 yrs) 22 23 .489 4.12 188 35 36 4 2 7 439.0 443 220 201 35 235 324 1.544
OAK (3 yrs) 11 4 .733 3.24 113 0 29 0 0 3 139.0 118 57 50 8 79 108 1.417
ANA (2 yrs) 1 2 .333 3.91 54 0 17 0 0 1 50.2 49 22 22 7 23 48 1.421
KCR (1 yr) 1 1 .500 2.93 13 0 3 0 0 0 15.1 14 5 5 0 7 2 1.370
TEX (1 yr) 0 0 4.70 11 0 3 0 0 0 7.2 11 4 4 1 3 5 1.826
CIN (1 yr) 2 1 .667 4.96 34 0 15 0 0 1 32.2 40 19 18 3 23 23 1.929
DET (1 yr) 1 0 1.000 3.60 17 0 9 0 0 2 20.0 17 9 8 0 16 14 1.650
TOR (1 yr) 0 1 .000 5.85 21 0 8 0 0 0 20.0 24 15 13 4 17 15 2.050
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 3/2/2014.

February 11 – Happy Birthday Cesar Cabral

cabralOne of the Yankees’ less publicized free agent signings during their busy winter of 2013-14 was Matt Thornton, a veteran left-handed reliever who they are now counting on to replace the departed Boone Logan. They liked Thornton enough to give him a two-year, $7 million deal. I was kind of thinking that they already had Logan’s replacement on their roster.

Cesar Cabral is a huge, hard-throwing southpaw, who made his big league and Yankee debut during September of the 2013 season. Joe Girardi got this 6’3″ – 250 pound native Dominican into eight games that month and he responded by giving up just 1 run while striking out six in the 3.2 innings he pitched. New York had hoped to feature Cabral in their parent club’s bullpen much sooner, when they picked him up in the Rule 5 Draft in 2012. In fact, he was impressing everyone during New York’s 2012 spring training camp, when he injured his left shoulder during the same game Michael Pineda injured his right one, forcing both pitchers to undergo career-disrupting surgery.

If Cabral’s arm is fully healed, I do think he has the stuff to make an impact at the big league level, especially if the Thornton signing backfires. He turns just 25-years-old today, which means he’s young enough to have long-term late-inning impact for my favorite team.

This former New York pitching coach and this one-time Yankee utility outfielder share Cabral’s birthday.

Year Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
2013 NYY 0 0 2.45 8 0 0 0 0 0 3.2 3 1 1 0 1 6 1.091
1 Yr 0 0 2.45 8 0 0 0 0 0 3.2 3 1 1 0 1 6 1.091
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/23/2014.

January 30 – Happy Birthday Hipolito Pena

pena.jpgBack in the mid eighties, one of the top Yankee prospects was a big power hitting first baseman named Orestes Destrade. He was a tall Cuban who was hitting about 25 home runs per season for New York’s upper level farm teams and Yankee fans got our first look at him in September of 1987 when big league rosters expanded to 40. He didn’t hit any home runs but he did get on base a lot (.417 OBP) so I thought we’d probably see more of him the following year. I was wrong.

New York traded Destrade that off season. Back then, New York traded top prospects faster than Donald Trump fired apprentices so I wasn’t surprised to see Destrade dealt. I was surprised at who the Yankees got in return. Hipolito Pena was a tall thin left-handed pitcher who had appeared in 26 games for the Pittsburgh Pirates during the previous two seasons. He had lost all six of his Pirate decisions and accumulated a 5.56 ERA. In 1988, Pena became part of the Yankee bullpen, getting into 16 games and earning his first and only big league victory. He then spent the next six seasons in the minors before retiring for good in 1996. In the mean time, Destrade never made it with Pittsburgh but he resurfaced with the Marlins in 1993, hitting 20 home runs and driving in 87 in what was considered his rookie year. But he also struck out 130 times. Orestes had a terrible 1994 season and it ended up being his last one in the big leagues.

Pena shares a birthday with this former Yankee coach.

Year Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
1988 NYY 1 1 .500 3.14 16 0 8 0 0 0 14.1 10 8 5 1 9 10 1.326
3 Yrs 1 7 .125 4.84 42 2 13 0 0 2 48.1 33 32 26 6 38 32 1.469
PIT (2 yrs) 0 6 .000 5.56 26 2 5 0 0 2 34.0 23 24 21 5 29 22 1.529
NYY (1 yr) 1 1 .500 3.14 16 0 8 0 0 0 14.1 10 8 5 1 9 10 1.326
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/30/2014.

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.