Great Yankee debuts of the recent past


Looking back at great MLB debuts in the last twenty Yankee years.

The Yankees have a reputation for having all the luck. In a tight pennant race? Count on the Orioles' Jack Cust to beat a 12th inning rundown between third and home, and then trip and fall before he can score.

Starting rotation in shambles and no offense in the infield? Call up Chien-Ming Wang and Robinson Cano.

Trailing in a playoff game? Send Bucky Dent, or Aaron Boone, or Chad Curtis, or Raul Ibanez to the plate.

And as Yankee fans, count on pinstripes to breathe life into faded careers. In a season with incredible debuts from Betances, Solarte and Tanaka, I thought it might be fun to look back at some of great MLB debuts in Yankees history.

2007: Before the injuries and the inconsistencies and the extra weight, Joba Chamberlain was electric. It's easy to forget, but I was there with all of old Yankee Stadium, chanting for a middle reliever in the 7th or 8th inning. He struck out 34 in 24 innings, back before strikeouts ballooned to the point where every elite reliever is striking out one per inning. And he was the future.

2005: On May 6th of 2005, the Yankees were OLD and FINISHED, sitting at 11-19. Robinson Cano and Chien Ming Wang were called up as warm bodies from a barren farm system. The Yankees went 84-48 the rest of the way (a .636 winning percentage, if you're scoring at home). Cano at 22 showed no patience, but could rake, with 34 doubles and 14 home runs. Wang was an enigma. He gave up a ton of hits, but everything stayed down, and his 4.02 ERA was second on the team to the 41 year old Randy Johnson (gah, we could have had the young Carlos Beltran instead). With no walks for Cano and no strikeouts for Wang, I didn't pick either to repeat their performances.

1998: Shane Spencer hit .373/.411/.910 as a September call up for the greatest team in history. He slugged 10 home runs (3 grand slams), and re-energized a team that had clinched their playoff spot in August and was coasting through September playing .500 ball.

Honorable mentions: Andy Pettitte and Derek Jeter, Alfonso Soriano, Adam Warren.

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