What do Yankee fans and other teams think when they hear these names? John Wetteland, Mariano Rivera, Graeme Lloyd, Mike Stanton, Jeff Nelson, David Robertson, Dellin Betances and now Andrew Miller. If you don’t have the lead after six innings, the game is pretty much over. Mariano Rivera joined the Yankees bullpen full time in 1996 after not having great success as a starting pitcher the year before. He was the setup man for the eventual 1996 world series MVP John Wetteland.
The Yankees were tough to score on when these two were on the mound late in the game. In the playoffs throw in Ramiro Mendoza and left handed specialist Graeme Lloyd and this bullpen was one of the biggest reason the Yankees won the title in ’96. In 1997 the team decided not to re-sign Wetteland, handing the closer duties to Rivera full time and the rest is history.
Mariano Rivera went on to be the best closer in baseball history. His reign of terror against other clubs went on until 2013 where he eventually retired even though he was still pitching at a high level and received Comeback Player of the Year in 2013.
Career Highlights and Awards:
13× All-Star (1997, 1999–2002, 2004–2006, 2008–2011, 2013)
5× World Series champion (1996, 1998–2000, 2009)
World Series MVP (1999)
ALCS MVP (2003)
5× AL Rolaids Relief Man Award (1999, 2001, 2004–2005, 2009)
3× Delivery Man of the Year (2005–2006, 2009)
AL Comeback Player of the Year (2013)
3× MLB saves leader (1999, 2001, 2004)
Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award (2013)
New York Yankees #42 retired
MLB record for career saves (652)
The Yankees are looking like the Bronx Bombers that the fans have been accustomed to. They are scoring runs, bashing it out of the ballpark and their back end of the bullpen resembles something they had for those runs in the late 90’s to early 2000’s, they have been outstanding.
Dellin Betances, who made the All-Star team for his second straight year, has been lights out as the set-up man. When Andrew Miller went down with a forearm strain, it seems the team didn’t miss a beat with Betances closing.
Betances’ career numbers are very impressive, he’s 11-2 with a 1.82 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 228 SO in 148.0 IP. The guy is big, tall and intimidating, throws very hard and is just simply almost un-hittable. Miller, before his stint on the DL, was one of the reasons he Yankees were in first place. He had a 1.03 ERA with 17 saves, 43 strikeouts and just eight hits allowed in 26.1 innings. He is picking up where he left off and also hasn’t missed a beat. This 2015 New York Yankees ball club is drawing a lot of comparison to previous Yankees championship teams.
Everyone expects Cashman to be active before the deadline and there are many big name players associated as possible targets for the Yankees. One thing for sure is if the Yankees break their two year playoff drought which seems more than likely, some say they could be favorites to come out of the American League with that strong back end of the bullpen.