These recent ex-Yankees are dominating to start 2024 and it boggles the mind

Not saying they all should've been kept, but...........come on with this.
Cincinnati Reds v Philadelphia Phillies
Cincinnati Reds v Philadelphia Phillies / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

The New York Yankees have gotten off to a red-hot start to the 2024 season, fueled in large part by several culture-changing additions they made over the winter, as well as unexpected contributors (especially in the bullpen).

Still ... when you look around the game and see former Yankees dominating -- some of them also rans, some of them injury-riddled for their entire multi-year tenures in the Bronx -- the self-loathing fan within comes out once again. How can this keep happening?

Add in Boston's surprisingly competent start, lowest ERA in baseball, and the cosmic reality of a 2004 anniversary/inexplicable Netflix documentary, and it's surprisingly easy to trip into Angst Mode. Not hard at all, actually. The FANS. Were threatening to BOYCOTT.

Phew. No time for that now, though. Time to get unnecessarily angry at some recent Yankees who were not Dawgs but were, in fact, regular dogs. And now they're great, less than 15 games into the 2024 regular season, while playing for other teams.

Former Yankees from 2023 roster are dominating on rivals and it feels really bad

Greg Weissert, Boston Red Sox

Remember Greg Weissert? Local boy, Fordham student with the frisbee slider who seemed unhittable at Triple-A and decidedly hittable in the big leagues? Often, it seemed like his stuff was too nasty to harness; his MLB debut came on the road in Oakland, and resulted in Aaron Judge blocking the camera so it wouldn't focus on Weissert in the dugout, post-wildness.

He, along with pitching prospect Richard Fitts, were sent to Boston in exchange for Alex Verdugo, who's been a welcome addition to the Yankees thus far, despite a cold start with the bat.

Fitts received the honor of appearing in one of the Red Sox final exhibition games of the spring in the Texas Rangers' ballpark, and it went well; he whiffed three men in 3 1/3 shutout innings. And let's just check on Weissert real quick, probably in the minors, probably not doing mu -- nope, 4 2/3 innings, five strikeouts, 0.00 ERA, 1.07 WHIP through Boston's 7-3 start. Great. Clip my toenails with a laser beam.

Ben Rortvedt, Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays, looking to complete an epic-but-not-stunning-because-it's-Coors-Field comeback in Colorado to open the season, turned to former Yankees backup catcher Ben Rortvedt down two runs with the game on the line.

Rortvedt, traded in a three-way swap to get Jon Berti to the Bronx because he was out of minor-league options, ended up Tampa's backup catcher by almost happenstance. It made sense, though. The über-jacked Yankee, oft-injured, looked the part of a third catcher on a roster that couldn't afford to carry that many, especially with other 40-man-rostered catchers like Carlos Narvaez and Agustin Ramirez in the minors.

Anyway, with the game on the line, Rortvedt did this.

No Yankees has taken a ball off the dirt like that for a hit in 20 years.

Rortvedt, in a tiny sample, is 7-for-19 so far with a .929 OPS. Trevino, who the team would never in a million years have ditched in favor of Rortvedt, is 1-for-18. Shave my hair off with a spoon.

Frankie Montas, Cincinnati Reds

And here's the big kahuna: Frankie Montas, viewed as a backup option for the 2024 Yankees' rotation coming off a year and a half spent largely away from the game rehabbing from shoulder concerns. He was reportedly a model citizen during his rehabilitation, hanging around the Yankees' clubhouse in Florida and instructing younger players. Sure, a new contract would be a risk, but a few million on a flyer could turn out to be absolutely worth it -- I'm sorry, he signed with the Reds for $16 MILLION?! Did they sleep through 2023?

So far, so great for Montas, the Reds' Opening Day starter. As if that honor wasn't jarring enough, he's pitched like one, too, posting an 0.77 ERA and 1.03 WHIP across his first two starts, striking out nine in 11 2/3 innings. In his third outing on Wednesday, he allowed three runs (five earned) against Milwaukee.

Sure, he dominated the Nationals in the opener, but then he worked over the Phillies' lineup, too, walking three and allowing a single earned run in 5 2/3 frames, whiffing five. Remember that one 2022 start where he was good against the Rays (five innings, one hit, seven Ks) before being rocked by them the next time out (5 2/3 innings, nine hits, four earned runs)? Yeah. That's what he's become.

$16 million is still a lot to pay for some April games against the Nationals, but ... regrettably ... wash my pants with acid.