We’ve seen a lot of left-handed pitchers come through the Bronx over the last 15 years or so, but few of them had the pedigree of Donovan Osborne. He was the 13th overall pick back in 1990, twice rated a top 100 prospect by Baseball America (#42 in 1991 and #35 in 1992), and was the Cardinals’ Opening Day starter in 1999. Osborne made just six starts that year due to injury, and was out of baseball entirely until 2002. He appeared in eleven games for the Cubs in 2002, got hurt again, and missed all of 2003. The Yankees rolled the dice and signed him to a minor league contract on this date in 2004.
Unsurprisingly, Osborne was pretty terrible for the Yankees. He made the team out of Spring Training as a reliever, spending time as both a lefty specialist and mop-up man in April. Injuries and ineffectiveness forced him into the rotation in mid-May, which resulted in a pair of clunkers against the Mariners (6 R in 1.1 IP then 6 R in 5 IP). The Yankees had enough by then, releasing Osborne about a week later. In two starts and seven relief appearances with the team, he allowed 16 runs and 32 baserunners in 17.2 IP. He never pitched in the big leagues again.
Osborne was a forgettable Yankee, but I will always remember him for one thing: he wore #46. Remember, this was 2004, so Andy Pettitte had just fled for the Astros. The team reissued his number immediately, and that always struck me as disrespectful. Then again, George Steinbrenner always seemed to be trying to trade Pettitte through the late-90s and early-2000s, so I guess Andy was used to it by then.
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Here is tonight’s open thread. All three hockey locals are in action, plus the final game of the Caribbean Series is on ESPN3.com and ESPN Deportes. The Dominican Republic already clinched the series title, so tonight’s game is meaningless. Talk about that stuff or anything else you want here. Have at it.