Yankee reserves over the years: A graphical look

Yankees to wear 1912 throwbacks for Fenway Park's 100th anniversary
Why not pursue Hiroki Kuroda?

In the comments of my graphical look at Yankee starters’ ERAs over the last several years, reader Mike Myers asked if I could do a headshot graph for the Yankee relievers or bench players. Well, in the spirit of the holiday, ask and ye shall receive, so today comes a graphical look at the primary players the Yankees have employed as members of their bench since the 2003 season. Why have I been using that as a cutoff? Admittedly it was fairly arbitrary, but pulling these charts and headshots together is a pretty labor-intensive process, so I’m plenty happy to not go any further back. As you’ll see, the graph gets pretty crowded as it is.

In order to define who made the cut, seeing as how the Yankees generally utilize anywhere between five and 15 different part-time players over the course of the season between cuts, trades and September call-ups, I initially used 100 PAs as a benchmark. While I mostly stuck to that parameter, I did end up getting a bit lenient so that I could include some memorable names that perhaps didn’t quite reach the 100 PA threshold, but came close enough. I did not end up using anyone below 50 PAs, so this should at least be a fairly representative sample of the primary players the Yankees looked to to give a boost (or not) off the bench during their respective seasons.

As for how I graded them out, I decided to go with fWAR, to take into account both offensive and defensive contributions. It’s not perfect, but being that it also takes playing time into account I felt it’d help give a reasonably accurate picture of who helped and hurt the most in limited duty.

(click to enlarge)

While not an exact science, here’s how the individual fWARs for the players selected tally in each season:

2003 1.1
2004 0.3
2005 -6.7
2006 -2.5
2007 0.5
2008 0.3
2009 -0.1
2010 1.3
2011 1.0
  • I still don’t know how the 2005 team — who gave over 1,000 combined PAs to Tony Womack, Bernie Williams and Ruben Sierra and got -5.6 fWAR — won 95 games.
  • Enrique Wilson wins the honors for worst Yankee of the decade, minimum 100 plate appearances. He accrued -2.4 fWAR over the 2003-04 seasons, which means he owes the Yankees $7.1 million for letting him anywhere a professional baseball field. Tony Womack was a close second, at -2.3 fWAR in just one terrible, terrible season. In fact, Womack’s 2005 is the worst season in Yankee history, minimum 100 PAs!
  • And if we expand the list of cumulative numbers to go all the way back to 1901, Enrique Wilson remains dead last, which means he’s the worst player in Yankee history!
  • The 2010 bench was arguably the best of this lot, with 2003 (paced by Juan Rivera, John Flaherty and Ruben Sierra) and 2011 right behind it. Although 2011 would’ve been tops by a strong margin had I not included Ramiro Pena and his -0.9 fWAR.
Yankees to wear 1912 throwbacks for Fenway Park's 100th anniversary
Why not pursue Hiroki Kuroda?
  • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

    Very nice work, but did you purposely try to make this look like a map of the US? :)

  • MannyGeee

    wow… that is a whole shit ton of mediocrity shoved in that there graphic…

    sidebar, Sal Fasano’s mustache makes it all the pain worth while. Well done, Larry

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joe Pawlikowski

    Aaron Guiel ruled.

  • Matt DiBari

    If there was a way to put Cervelli’s offensive contributions into the body of someone that can actually catch…

    • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

      Now imagine if we could do that with Montero…

  • http://twitter.com/#!/DiscGolfHero the tenth inning stretch

    Going back a few more years, Luis Sojo was always one of my personal faves.

  • Johnny O

    But enrique wilson OWNED pedro martinez!!!!
    -Joe Torre

    • BigDavey88

      Pedro’s Bane (TM)

  • Johnny O

    Can someone please add this article to Enrique Wilson’s wikipedia page?? The world needs to know he is the worst yankee of all time.

  • Mike Myers

    Thanks Dude!

    Sal Fasano has to be on top of the ugly yankee charts at least!

    Look at Andruw Chillin by himself.

  • http://twitter.com/AnaMariana42 Ana

    Bernie not knowing when to hang it up makes me want to cry.

    • Mike Myers

      They never do…and who could blame them. Its not easy to turn away millions of dollars, fans screaming for you and bangin hotties on the road.

  • CJ

    I think this has a lot to do with Girardi. Girardi has an actual thought out strategic plan for utilizing his bench and bullpen. Joe Torre (4 rings) was much more of a “feel” manager. Obviously, I’m not knocking Torre, he won big but he made so many moves that made you scratch your head. That doesn’t happen with Girardi.

    • MannyGeee

      Montero’s 2ABs in the ALDS would respectfully disagree with this assessment of Girardi’s bench usage.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Having historically great teams helped Torre too.

  • Wil Nieves Number 1 Fan

    It’s about goddamn time Wil Nieves gets the recognition he deserves. Respect, Larry…respect.

  • LarryM.,Fl.

    Larry nice work with the graph and computation of the fwar. Amazing how Pena has hung around for three years. Some folks may throw Cervelli in with Pena but I believe the young man has done a decent job for the Yankees disregarding some of his defensive gems. Had some key hits and has been hit and run over a few times for the team. His days are surely numbered.