With two days left in 2013, I thought we’d spend the next 48 hours or so looking back at the past year. We’ll interrupt our regularly scheduled programming if any news breaks or the Yankees actually announce one of the signings we already know about, but let’s start the day planning to look back at some of the notable and quirky things that happened in the past 12 months.
To kick it off, consider this lineup based on things that actually happened this year.
Ichiro Suzuki CF
Zoilo Almonte LF
Robinson Cano SS
Vernon Wells 3B
Francisco Cervelli C
Ben Francisco DH
Lyle Overbay RF
Mark Reynolds 2B
Corban Joseph 1B
RHP Alberto Gonzalez
2. Nothing particularly unusual about Zoilo Almonte in left field, but he was also the Yankees No. 2 hitter three times last season. Such was the state of the Yankees lineup that a hot start by a rookie deserved top-of-the-order placement.
3. The Yankees often played without a true backup infielder, and on April 13, that short-handed risk forced Robinson Cano to play shortstop while Francisco Cervelli handled second base.
4. Twenty four starts as the Yankees cleanup hitter for Vernon Wells, but that’s not what stands out. More glaring is the fact he once had to play third base late in a game (he also got a third of an inning at second base and actually started a game at first).
5. No non-catcher had to get behind the plate this year, but it is worth noting that at the time of his broken hand, Francisco Cervelli had taken control of the position and was hitting enough that the Yankees actually batted him fifth four times. He batted .100 in those games, but actually did have a homer from the No. 5 spot.
7. When Mark Teixeira came off the disabled list, Lyle Overbay‘s bat was actually so potent against right-handers that the Yankees stuck him in right field. He made four starts out there, something he’d never done in 12 previous big league seasons.
8. On August 27, Mark Reynolds was a late-inning, emergency replacement at second base. The next night, he actually started at the position. He’d played some middle infield in the minors, more than a half decade earlier.
9. How’s this for a Major League debut? Corban Joseph was called up to help out in a double header, and made his first big league start at first base, a position he’d played three times in the minor leagues.
10. Not only was Alberto Gonzalez on the Yankees roster, but he got 34 at-bats — that’s more than J.R. Murphy — and played five different positions including both outfield corners and a May 15 relief appearance when he came straight from shortstop to retire his one and only batter.
Associated Press photos