The 2011 Yankees’ starting rotation wasn’t exactly built to last. After the team missed out on Cliff Lee, Andy Pettitte retired (for the first time), and the Yankees were forced to ressurect Bartolo Colon’s career and give the reinvented and old Freddy Garcia a chance. Add in A.J. Burnett who was pitching his way off the team, and the rotation was a mess. It’s no surprise that by June 15, the Yankees were looking for someone to start for them, but it’s a surprise that the someone was a 32-year-old, outfielder-turned-pitcher with zero career major league starts.
Former Yankees pitcher Brian Gordon joined me to talk about transitioning from the outfield to the mound after a decade in the minors, how Nolan Ryan helped him change positions, his first call-up the majors as a reliever with the Rangers, his unbelievable 2011 season in Triple-A, the June 15 opt-out that allowed him to be a Yankee, making his first career start in Yankee Stadium, playing in the KBO in Korea and what his post-playing career has been like.
My book The Next Yankees Era: My Transition from the Core Four to the Baby Bombers is now available as an ebook!