Apr 3, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Yangervis Solarte (26) scores a run during the fifth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Stuff of Legend: The Yangy Clipper, Yangervis Solarte

It’s sometime in the distant future. I’m sitting, an old man and a Yankee fan, in an old chair around my grandchildren. “Gather ’round kids. I’m going to tell you the story of Yangervis Solarte, the Yangy Clipper.” Yes that’s the dream and it’s a beautiful one. Once upon a time Eduardo Nunez was looked at as the heir to Derek Jeter‘s shortstop thrown. The only problem was that someone forgot to tell Nunez, and instead of being the highly-touted player he was billed as he looked more like a player on a little league team. Ground ball to shortstop and Nunez would throw it to some guy in the stands. It wasn’t pleasant. So what happened you ask, kids? Well, one spring training, an infielder whose name ALMOST NO ONE knew let alone could pronounce opened the eyes of the New York Yankees. So much so that the Yankees decided that the fallen Prince Nunez was to be cast off and Solarte would make the big league squad. So, what happened to Nunez? No one knows. Some say Triple-A. Others say the Tigers, Rangers, Astros, THE METS, or into the abyss that is free agency. Who knows? We’re really not concerned with that right now. But Solarte rose to power from the ashes of his defeated predecessor and became… something else entirely.

Yangervis Solarte appeared in his first game on April 2nd and had one at-bat. He grounded into a double play but got the Yankees a run in the process. It was nice, but we wanted more. Solarte took the field for his first major league start and, while he left us wanting more, he did not disappoint. He collected 3 hits and a RBI as the Yankees earned the win against the Houston Astros. Then came the fans. Tweeps and bloggers, Facebookers and sports writers were calling for the return of the Yangy Clipper. Manager Joe Girardi put the 26-year-old in and oh boy was everyone excited. S0 what did Solarte do? Oh nothing… just got 3 more hits and another three RBI as he helped the Yankees to a 7 -3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays in Masahiro Tanaka‘s debut!

Solarte had been a career minor league player with the Twins and Texas Rangers since coming over from Venezuela in 2005. He became a minor league free agent before the start of the 2014 season, and signed his name to a contract with the New York Yankees. Despite a hot start in spring training, the general idea throughout baseball was that he would likely start the season in the minors.

Instead, he beat all odds and rose to the occasion to force the Yankees’ hand, causing them to abandon their once prodigal son, Eduardo Nunez. Even with the 2014 season still in infancy, the legend of Yangervis Solarte is wowing a lot of people. Recent unfortunate circumstances may cause the rising young star to see even more time on the field. Why not? He sure is fun to watch, and as long as he’s hitting and playing decent defense, Solarte will keep playing until the name of the Yangy Clipper is known far and wide.

 

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