Happy Mother's Day, everyone!
When people think about the New York Yankees this season, the names that usually come up include Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano, CC Sabathia, and David Robertson, among the other "big" names.
While players like Mark Teixeira and Russell Martin are performing below expectations, there are a number of players that are performing above expectations. These players are the unappreciated, and sometimes even complained about members of the Yankees. Let's give some credit where credit is due.
First, we have Raul Ibanez, the player that many wanted cut in Spring Training after his putrid 2-37 start. Ibanez was signed to be a platoon DH, but when Brett Gardner went down with an injury, the Yankees placed Ibanez in left field for some games. While I won't bother defending Ibanez, his bat is a lot better than people are giving him credit for.
Ibanez launched seven dingers so far this season, while hitting 278./338./.583 vs.left handed pitchers (not including yesterdays game), the pitchers he was signed to face primarily. If Ibanez can consistently hit that way, when Gardner returns the Yankees can return him to only DH and the problem will be solved.
Speaking of players with specific roles on this team, Boone Logan has been fantastic as a lefty reliever in the Yankees bullpen this season. Logan struck out seventeen, walked six, and held lefties to a .226 BAA going into yesterdays game.
While he fills a role that many deem unnecessary on the Yankees roster, he does a great job filling it, and that's all we can ask of him.
Follow me after the jump for one more player.The last unappreciated player is a former Los Angeles Dodger that joined the Yankees last season. Sorry Russell Martin, but I'm talking about Mr. Cory Wade.
Wade joined the Yankees last season after Brian Cashman plucked him from the Tampa Bay Rays' system, a move that Cashman deserves praise for and the Rays likely regret.
After posting a terrific .221 BAA, 2.04 ERA, and 1.03 WHIP last season, Wade picked up right where he left off this season.
In Wade's role as a 6th inning guy/long reliever/flexible reliever, the right hander has struck out sixteen, walked two, and held hitters to a .196 BAA. Wade's 1.20 ERA is also stellar, and if it wasn't for Rafael Soriano Wade could have more important innings to pitch.
Overall, the Yankees roster is filled with the highly touted players like Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter, but it's players like Raul Ibanez, Boone Logan, and Cory Wade that help the Yankees consistently be among the best teams in baseball.