Yankees unsung heroes continue to drive the team’s success


The Yankees have a lineup with a few big guns and then lots of smaller guns. The role players don’t get the attention the power guys warrant, but they are, in their own way, just as critical, if not more crucial to the success of the team.

If the Yankees were to hold an Autograph Day where fans could meet their favorite players, it’s likely the pens would not run out of ink at the table where Chase Headley, Ronald Torreyes, and Didi Gregorius were sitting.

And yet, each player is having the kind of season, which when you step back, makes you wonder where the team would be without them.

Labeling Gregorius as a role player might raise a few eyebrows, but again, when you think about it, he is not the kind of player who can carry a team for weeks at a time. Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez are those types of players, as Judge proved over the first half and Sanchez is proving now.

What Gregorius, Headley, and Torreyes provide is a brand of consistent baseball, day in and day out with no drama and very few mistakes. Torreyes is not even a Yankees regular, and he’s only received playing time due to injuries, first when Gregorius missed the first month of the season and now as a replacement for second baseman, Starlin Castro.

Chase Headley (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images) /

Didi Gregorius is an All Star shortstop whose career took off last year, cementing him as a permanent fixture in the Yankees lineup for the next ten seasons. As mentioned before, he was slowed by an injury he incurred during the World Baseball Classic but picked right back up where he left when he returned in May.

Of late, Girardi has placed Gregorius in the clean-up spot, and that hasn’t fazed him a bit either. He’s on pace to easily surpass the 20 home runs he hit last season.

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And like the others, he has fielded his position flawlessly with only five errors in 850 innings played. He also leads his team batting at a .311 clip, earning him a spot in the league’s Top Ten.

Value comes in many different sizes

Every winning team can point to three guys who are the gasoline making the engines run. These are the players who have defined roles on their team. Their lockers in the clubhouse are usually not occupied by a swarm of reporters, and they can walk down the streets of New York unrecognized.

But if you remove .them from the team, the wheels will turn more slowly, and the big Bombers will find themselves coming to bat with no one on base more frequently, and hitting a solo shot instead of that difference maker, a three-run blast.

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The Yankees are fortunate to have the tandem of Gregorius, Headley, and Torreyes. And if there’s any doubt about their value to the team, focus on them for a game or two. You’ll see what I mean.

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