The New York Yankees have a great history of starting pitching and relievers. They arguably have the best closer of all time and a top 5 pitcher in the league every decade.
Ace: Whitey Ford
Ford won 25 games in his CY Young award-winning season, which is almost unreachable in this day and age. He was probably the most consistent pitcher in the 50s and never had an ERA over 3.24, helping him win the ERA title twice.
He was also a 10-time all-star, 6-time World Series champion, and even won a World Series MVP. A sure hall-of-fame player if the game has ever seen one.
2nd Starter: Vernon “Lefty” Gomez
The triple crown is usually associated with hitters, but Gomez won the triple crown for pitchers twice! In 1934 and 1937, he led the league in wins, ERA, and strikeouts.
Gomez was also clutch when it counted, he did not lose a single postseason game in his career. This made him the main reason for the 5 World Series titles the Bombers won in the late ’30s.
3rd Starter: Ron Guidry
In 1978, Guidry had one of the best seasons ever for a pitcher. He won 25 games, had an astounding 1.74 ERA, and nearly 250 strikeouts. That is a type of dominance only a few pitchers have reached in their careers.
He was even a slick fielder throughout his career, earned himself 5 Gold Glove awards.
4th Starter: Charles “Red” Ruffing
Along with Babe Ruth, the New York Yankees stole another piece from the Red Sox, Ruffing helped them win 6 World Series and achieved 6 all-star appearances.
Ruffing and Gomez was a deadly one-two punch back then, both had 20-win seasons in the late ’30s. If they held their opponents to under 4 runs on average, them they were guaranteed to win a lot of games with Ruth, Gherig, and others in the lineup.
5th Starter: Andy Pettitte
The model for health and longevity, Pettitte led the majors in games started three times in his career. He pitched 200+ innings in 10 seasons of his career and even won 20 games, in 1996.
Pettitte, as well as other pitchers above, helped the Yankees win 5 World Series rings in the late ’90s and early and late 2000s. He pitched in and won many big games for the New York Yankees, making it hard to leave him out of this rotation.
An argument can be made for Spud Chandler, Mike Mussina, CC Sabathia, and Mel Stottlemyre to be in this rotation, but the five pitchers above allowed the Yankees to be. most successful throughout their history.
Long Reliever/Middle Reliever: Johnny Murphy
Murphy helped the ’30s New York Yankees win 6 World Series.
He even pitched 200 innings one season as a reliever, proving he can stay in games and consume innings. He led the league in saves four times as well.
Middle Reliever: David Robertson
His slider and ability to escape bases-loaded jams throughout the mid-2000s gives him a spot on this team. He could come out of the bullpen in the middle of an inning and let up no runs.
Robertson’s stuff allowed him to earn the second-best strikeout percentage in Yankees’ reliever history. He is the only active pitcher on this team.
Middle Reliever: Joe Page
Page only had an 8-year career, however, he led the majors in saves twice. He was also a 3-time all-star and lit up the radar gun.
Middle Reliever/Setup Man: Sparky Lyle
Lyle was a huge contributor to the 1977 and 1978 World Series Champion teams.
He led the league in saves in ’76 and would usually finish off games when he appeared. His most significant statistic was winning the 1977 CY Young award as a reliever.
Lyle could pitch multiple innings in relief, making him a good candidate for middle relief and setup man.
Setup Man: Dave Righetti
Beginning his career as a starter, Righetti was converted to the bullpen.
In 1986, Righetti led the majors in saves with 46. He won the 1981 Rookie of the Year award and reliever of the year twice.
He is second on the Yankees all-time saves list, behind none other than Mariano Rivera.
Setup Man: Rich “Goose” Gossage
He led the majors in saves three times, made 9 all-star appearances, and had his best years with the Yankees.
Gossage dialed up the radar guns and blew away hitters with his high 90s fastball. Not many pitchers in the league could throw with such velocity in the ’70s, making it even tougher to react to and make contact.
Closer: Mariano Rivera
There should be no argument here, Rivera won pretty much every award one can win as a reliever. He is the first unanimous hall of fame player in the history of Major League Baseball.
He has the most saves out of any closer ever (652), the most games finished (952), and the best ERA+ (205).
Any time “Enter Sandman” played on the loud-speaker, everyone in the budding knew the game was pretty much over. In 96 playoff appearances, Mo’ only lost one game.
He also had one of the most unhittable pitches ever, his cutter. He threw it inside on lefties and generated a lot of broken bats. He played on a level only a few relievers have reached in their careers.
When a bullpen consists of a Cy Young winner, two live arms, and the best closer ever, there is almost a guarantee the current game result as a win. A full 25-man all-time Yankees roster has been formed. This team could easily be the best group of players ever assembled.