Earlier today Caitlin asked Pinstripe Alley readers to choose their personal favorite team from the four remaining postseason clubs. To help with that decision, I curated a list of former Yankees that are still playing October baseball.
Did you know that Erik Kratz ranks fifth on the Yankees’ all-time OPS leaderboard, holding for a minimum of one plate appearance? The catcher had two at-bats in pinstripes in 2017, and he doubled both times. Kratz’s 2.500 OPS with the Bombers means it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he hit .625/.625/.750 (1.375 OPS) in the NLDS. Hooray for extremely small sample sizes!
Kratz also has a very good sense of humor, making it real easy to root for him.
Brewers backup C Erik Kratz, at 38, became the oldest position player to make his postseason debut since Lave Cross in 1905. “We played together in rookie ball,” Kratz joked.— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) October 7, 2018
In addition to Kratz, the Brewers also have Curtis Granderson on their roster. Granderson joined the Brew Crew at the August 31 deadline. While he has yet to collect a hit this postseason, The Grandyman hit 220/.407/.439 with two homers down the stretch for Milwaukee. He was a fan favorite in New York and remains extremely likable to this day.
Have you ever tried to name all of the relievers the Yankees used in 2014? No, that’s just me? Well, let me tell you, the Bombers used 20 different arms out of the bullpen. That’s astonishing. While most of the pitchers in that group faded away into obscurity, Rich Hill experienced a career renaissance.
The 38-year-old pitched to a 3.66 ERA (3.97 FIP) over 132.2 innings with the Dodgers this season. He also made one start in the NLDS, allowing two runs against the Braves over 4.1 innings. The left-hander issued five walks and struck out three batters.
Editor’s note: If you’re interested in trying to name all of the 2014 Yankees, you can give it a go with this Pinstripe Alley Sporcle quiz.
The defending world champions have a long history with the Yankees. Not only did they eliminate the Bombers from the 2017 postseason, but they did so with two notable former Yankees. This year, however, they’re down to just one, as Brian McCann remains as Houston’s catcher.
McCann battled injuries and played in only 63 games this season. He struggled at the plate when healthy, hitting just .212/.301/.339 with seven home runs. Although McCann never quite lived up to the lofty expectations placed on him, I always liked him. I guess sitting through a season of Chris Stewart as starting catcher will do that to you.
I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all seen enough of Eduardo Nunez, Steve Pearce, and Nathan Eovaldi. No thank you.
All things considered, I’m rooting for Kratz and Granderson. How about you? Which former Yankees are you cheering for in the Championship Series? Let us know in the comment section below.