Originally posted on Bronx Pinstripes  |  Last updated 5/22/13
The oft-injured Carl Pavano was one of 28 pitchers used by the 2005 Yankees. (Photo: CC Flickr) In the last four years, Yankee fans have enjoyed endless milestones achieved by some of the team’s legendary players.  Derek Jeter broke the all-time franchise hit record in 2009, and then slugged his way to number 3,000 in 2011.  Mariano Rivera passed Trevor Hoffman that same year to top the MLB save list.  When he returns from the crowded disabled list, Andy Pettitte will get 26 more strikeouts to break Whitey Ford’s team mark of 1,956.  Individual accomplishments are always exciting, but the 2013 Yankees are on their way to breaking a team mark that was set just 8 years ago. The 2005 Yankees, on their way to a wild American League East title, managed to do so while using an astonishing 51 different players in the regular season.  As of May 22, the 2013 team has already seen appearances of at least one game by 36 different men, with number 37, Dellin Betances, waiting in the bullpen for his chance.  With the pending season debuts of Mark Teixeira, Derek Jeter (we hope), Alex Rodriguez, Michael Pineda, Cesar Cabral, and a cast of others, the Yankees may break this franchise mark before the September 1 roster expansion. But just who were these players who helped the ’05 team set this amazing statistic?  You’ll remember the basics.  There was Jeter, Hideki Matsui, a young kid named Robinson Cano, Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams, Mariano Rivera, and, oh yeah, a third baseman who won the American League’s MVP award.  The pitching rotation was not one of our greatest, with Randy Johnson serving as the “ace,” Carl Pavano making a few starts, Mike Mussina, Jaret Wright, Kevin Brown, Al Leiter, and the immortal Aaron Small.  That’s not all. Tony Womack was the team’s Opening Day second baseman, and Rey Sanchez took over before the call-up of Cano.  In the final year of his career, Russ Johnson appeared in 22 games for the Yanks, and Mark Bellhorn shaved his beard to join the team in September.  Outfielder Kevin Reese started a game against the Mets, and right-hander Tim Redding started a game at Fenway Park, allowing six runs in one inning.  Darrell May took the mound for the Yankees on Old Timers’ Day, but was hammered by the Cleveland Indians.  Mike Stanton tried a comeback with the team, and lefty Wayne Franklin was added to the pen over the summer.  Even Tanyon Sturtze recorded a save in August. The ’05 Yankees had what it took to win over 90 games and snag the A.L. East on the second-to-last day of the season in Beantown.  So far, the ’13 Yanks appear to be headed in the same direction.  But for record-chasers and milestone-watches, this year’s team leaves us with one question: Who will be number fifty-two?
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