Have you ever sat and wondered what ever happened to those former Yankee players? We at the RJG do. So periodically we check up on our former Yankees just to see how they're doing. Here you have it:
Sean Henn - Minnesota Twins: 4.15 ERA, 1 Strikeout, 4.1 Innings.
You may remember Sean Henn as the blue chip prospect who could throw in the triple digits and was left handed. Well, he never really panned out, and after he faltered out of the bullpen the Yankees let him go. But no need to worry, Henn ended up just fine having been called up to work out of the bullpen for Minnesota. Most recently, he pitched 1.1 scoreless innings against Boston. I'm almost positive he never did that for us.
Carlos Pena - Tampa Bay Rays: .239 BA, 16 HR, 40 RBI, .374 OBP.
What? You say. Yes, Carlos Pena was signed to a minor league deal with the Yankees in 2006. He had an out in his contract that if he wasn't called up by a certain date he could leave the team, which he did, and joined the Red Sox for the last couple months of the season. The Red Sox didn't see much value in him after the season, and he signed a minor league deal with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2007. He opened the season in the minors, but after some injuries forced a callup, he went on to hit 46 homeruns that year, and win a gold glove the next. Oh, and here's the kicker, he credits Yankee hitting coach Kevin Long for fixing his swing.
Dioner Navarro - Tampa Bay Rays: .215 BA, 2 HR, 11 RBI, .245 OBP.
Navarro was our top catching prospect before we traded him for Randy Johnson. Johnson was a mistake. But Navarro hasn't exactly made us regret it. He's a decent defensive player, and can call a game, but he's below average offensively. Since leaving the Yankees he's been a career .258 hitter.
Jeff Karstens - Pittsburgh Pirates: 5.19 ERA, 18 Strikeouts, 43.1 Innings, 8 GS.
He was a gritty player. Remember when he broke his leg, and he continued to try and pitch? Well, he's now with the Pirates, and gives them basically what he gave us. A few quality starts, a few horrible starts, and last year, a near no-hitter. I don't think he ever gave us a near no-hitter.
Ross Ohlendorf - Pittsburgh Pirates: 4.20 ERA, 27 SO's, 55.2 IP, 9 GS.
The Princeton sinkerballer, who could touch triple digits out of the bullpen got traded to the Pirates along with Jeff Karsten's, Jose Tabata, and Dan McCutchen. He's proved to be a decent starter for them going 7.2 innings and allowing 3 runs in his last start against the White Sox. Why did we trade him? Well we needed a reliable reliever and a sturdy outfielder to get us to the post season last year. How has that worked out?
Tyler Clippard - Washington Nationals: 5.79 ERA, 26 SO's, 37.1 IP, 8 GS.
You may remember Clippard for his funky delivery that included more arms and legs than a Hindu diety. He wears glasses now, but he's still struggling in the bigs with a 5.79 ERA in 8 game starts. He's still young however, and could figure it out.
Ron Villone - Washington Nationals: 0.00 ERA, 3 SO's, 11.2 IP.
I always liked Villone, and that didn't change when he showed up in the Mitchell Report. I was happy to find him pitching for the Nationals this year, and not just pitching, but pitching well. So far, he has yet to allow a run in 11.2 innings of relief. If only we had a reliever like that.
Wil Nieves - Washington Nationals: .283 BA, 0 HR, 6 RBI, .328 OBP.
You may remember Nieves, but I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't. He was our backup catcher in 2007 and took forever to get his first hit. He was let go because he couldn't hit, but ironically had the biggest offensive game of the season the day he was let go. Of course, he was being replaced by Jose Molina so there's no shame in that. Since leaving the Yankees he signed on with the Nationals and has been seeing regular big league duty ever since. Not only that, but he's been hitting for a decent average this season. He was a nice guy, and well liked in the club house, so we wish him the best in Washington.
Latroy Hawkins - Houston Astro's: 2.75 ERA, 18 SO's, 19.2 IP, 5 Saves.
Ah, Hawkins. He had the audacity to wear a number that wasn't retired by the Yankees to honor his hero Roberto Clemente. The number also belonged to Paul O'Neil 7 years earlier. The fans let him have it, and even O'Neil seemed slighted by it. He eventually gave it up, and took another number. He never really pitched well, and never really had a chance. He was traded to the Astro's where he went on to have a 0.43 ERA in 21 innings. This year, he's been closing games for them. So the moral of the story? Paul O'Neil is petty, the fans are douches, and now our bullpen sucks.
Ivan Rodriguez - Houston Astro's: .259 BA, 5 HR, 21 RBI, .303 OBP.
Pudge was only a Yankee for part of last season, and never really did well. Right now, he's catching for the Astro's and putting up average offensive numbers. With our recent catching injuries, it may have seemed like a good idea to keep him, but then we never would have discovered the magic that is Francisco Cervelli. Also, we never would have seen Kevin Cash's hilarious mound appearance with AJ Burnett.
Aaron Boone - Houston Astro's: Heart Surgery.
Boone isn't playing right now because he had heart surgery early in the spring. Boone was always a fringe player with the Yankees, and always considered expendable, but he gave us one of the greatest Yankee moments of this decade. We at the RJG wish him well in his recovery.
Bobby Abreu - Anaheim Angels: .309 BA, 1 HR, 19 RBI, .414 OBP.
People thought Cashman was crazy when he didn't offer arbitration to Abreu, but when he signed with the Angels for $5 million, we all saw the wisdom in his ways. He's doing what you would expect him to do. High average, good on base percentage, horrible defense etc. I liked Abreu when he was with the Yankees, but was glad to not see him in right field this year.
Juan Rivera - Anaheim Angels: .293 BA, 4 HR, 17 RBI, .335 OBP.
When he was with the Yankees, his most memorable moment was getting picked off at first as a pinch runner in the 9th to end a game. He's had some injury problems, and had trouble finding playing time in a loaded Angels outfield. Right now, he's getting regular playing time and is off to a decent start.
Alfonso Soriano - Chicago Cubs: .253 BA, 12 HR, 25 RBI, .314 OBP.
This one always hurt me. We traded him for A-Rod who has been quite an adventure for us, and not in a good way. He went to Texas, then Washington, becoming a left fielder along the way, and then as a free agent signed on with the Cubs. He still strikes out too much to be a legitimate leadoff guy, but his homeruns were always nice, and his speed legendary.
Ted Lilly - Chicago Cubs: 3.77 ERA, 47 SO's, 57.1 IP, 9 GS.
Lilly pitched for the Yankees in the early 2000's, but never well enough for the Yankees of that age to keep him. He was sent to Toronto and after becoming a free agent, looked like he wanted to come to New York. Instead, the Yankees signed Kei Igawa, and Lilly went to Chicago. I mean, why would the Yankees want a young left handed pitcher whose pitched in the AL East all his career?
Jason Giambi - Oakland Athletics: .212 BA, 5 HR, 22 RBI, .346 OBP.
His time with the Yankees was quite memorable. There was the steroid apology, the tumor, the comeback, the foot injury, then another steroid admission, and finally the mustache. Giambi was a good guy by all accounts, and he put some life into this team. Unfortunately, he couldn't play defense, and Mark Teixeira was a much needed upgrade. He's now with the Athletics, and having a bit of a slow start. I suspect he'll be fine.
Joe Torre - Los Angeles Dodgers: Current NL West Leaders.
Joe Torre ruined too many bullpen arms, and many fans were happy to see him go. Since then, Torre's Dodgers have played their way into the NLCS and are currently leading the NL West by 9 games. Yes its a weaker division, and blah blah blah, but the fact of the matter is, Torre did it with the Yankees and he's doing it with the Dodgers. Haters will always hate, but it was a mistake letting him go.