I'll be honest. Coming into the season, I wasn't exactly confident in where the Yankees would stand as a ball club. I knew it wouldn't be easy to watch, given all the injuries and the lack of spending. I knew that we would have to meet some new, young faces.
But as I write this, the Yankees are in first place and we've already seen a handful of players make their major league debuts this season. And ya know what. I'm very happy with how the young players have performed.
Preston Claiborne was called up on May 3rd to replace an injured Joba Chamberlain. Claiborne made his major league debut on May 5th against the Oakland Athletics, in which he pitched two perfect innings out of the bullpen.
After Wednesday night, he's appeared in 5 big league games and has yet to allow an earned run. Only 5 hits, 4 strikeouts, and not a single walk over 7 innings this season.
"He's been in some tough situations," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "It's not like we put him in when we're down six runs to just go out and get some work. He's done a really good job. I've been really impressed with what he's doing."
It may be a small sample size, but that doesn't take away the fact that he's pitched well when needed. Mariano Rivera won't be here next season and Claiborne could make a case to become to closer of the future, if not a huge piece of the bullpen puzzle.
Another impressive pitching piece is Vidal Nuno. Nuno made his debut back on April 29th against the Houston Astros.
He threw 3 shutout innings that night and just like Claiborne, he's been perfect since then. Nuno made his 1st big league start on Monday for the Yankees in the 2nd game of a double header with the Indians. Tossing 5 shutout innings, Nuno continued to impress the Yankees.
Unfortunately, Nuno was sent down by the Yankees on Tuesday. When he'll be back, we don't know. But when he he does return, the 25-year old lefty will be ready to go.
"It was good, just knowing that I can pitch up here; I showed everybody that I belong here," Nuno said. "It's just day by day and start by start. That's what I can handle, and that's what I'm thinking. I don't think anybody is thinking anything else."
I heard so many good things about Nuno when he was called up. His ability to throw strikes and attack the zone. His teammates would compare his control, to that of a video game. Just setup a spot and he'll hit the glove.
Speaking of gloves, 26-year old infielder David Adams made his major league debut for the Yankees Wednesday night. A man that was nearly sent to Seattle in a Cliff Lee deal, he's finally getting his chance to play in pinstripes.
"We like his bat," Girardi said of Adams. "We've always liked his bat, so he's going to get a shot. He knows how to play the game, we like the way he swings the bat and he's had success in his career offensively. We think he can help."
He showed off his bat on last night, as he collected his 1st major league hit. A hard lined single into center field off of the Mariners Hisashi Iwakuma in the 6th inning, making his 26th birthday even that much more special.
Adams started and played 3rd base in his major league debut. In my opinion he did a great job at 3rd base. He showed a good arm from deep in the corner and made all the plays he attempted.
Now, these are just a few of the guys that have began their big league career with the Yankees this year. But these are the guys that have stood out the most in my mind.
People always say that the Yankees farm system isn't in a great shape. But I disagree. I don't care if the Yankees won't ever spend millions of dollars again. I'm excited for the future, and the future is now.