Thursday, June 30, 2011

We Hardly Knew Ya

The following shows some Rox that barely wore the purple pinstripes long enough for us to remember them by and the idea was from a similar article generated by the Texas Rangers for their 50th Anniversary. Although not inclusive, the list has players who had fewer than 100 at bats or 9 innings pitched. This list included 75 batters and 46 pitchers and the 19 below include some well known names and some infamous appearances.

1. Craig Counsell – Drafted in 1992 by the Rox. Played in 4 games (3 in 1995 and 1 in 1996) collecting two at bats. Traded to Florida for Mark Hutton. Since then has played 16 seasons collecting almost 1,200 hits as a Utility Man Extraordinaire.

2. Dan Serafini – “Crafty” lefthander who pitched in 104 games over a seven year period. Out of baseball for three years when Rox picked him off the scrap heap in 2007 at age 33. Pitched in three games in September. He pitched to 4 batters (18 pitches) and got one out and has the Rox history of fewest innings pitched for a Rox pitcher at 0.1!

3. Mike Kelly – Signed as a free agent and played two games in April 1999. Batted twice and collected one hit (double).

4. David Moraga – Another LOOGY(?) drafted by the Expos in 1993 and signed as a free agent by Rox. Got into one game in September 2000. Faced eight batters, gave up 5 runs to the D-Backs and home run to Jay Bell. Never heard from again after his one inning of work.

5. Rene Gonzalez – Drafted in 1982 by Montreal Expos, signed as free agent by Rox in 1997 at age 36. Played in two games, had two at bats in September collecting one hit. Amazing to think a guy with a career 0.239 average and 19 homeruns can have a 13 year career.

6. Robin Jennings – Blink and you will have missed this player. Traded by Oakland for Ron Gant on July 3, 2001 and then was sent to Cincinnati Reds on July 19, 2001 with Todd Walker for Alex Ochoa. Played in left field for one game collecting 3 at bats and no hits.

7. Lariel Gonzalez – Six pitches thrown in his one inning of work in a September 1998 game against D-Backs. No hits, walks ,or strikeouts. Traded to the Mets in 2000 with Bobby Jones for Masato Yoshii.

8. Tim Olsen – 3 at bats in June 2005. Never played the field, was a pinch hitter and runner.

9. Brian Raabe – 4 at bats in September 1997, three as a second baseman. Contract was then purchased by Seibu Lions and player was never heard from again.

10. John Cangelosi – Signed in September 1999 at age 36 and had 6 at bats as a pinch hitter and played one game as pinch runner. Not sure why Rox signed this veteran but he got one hit!

11. Alan Cockrell – More known as Rox hitting coach during the miracle run of 2007. He did make it to the Big Leagues in 1996 at age 33 with 8 at bats and collected two hits.

12. Nate Field – Only pitcher in Rox history to throw exactly 9 innings for the team. He did this in 2006 with 14 appearances. Gave up 4 runs and struck out 14.

13. Elvis Pena - Signed in June 1993 as an amateur free agent as a 16 year old and got to the Big Leagues in 2000 as a Shortstop, played in 10 games with 10 at bats in September and was traded to Milwaukee with Mike DeJean and Mark Leiter for Juan Acevedo, Kane Davis, and Jose Flores. Rox resigned him in 2004 and 2005 but never made it back. Great name.

14. Eric Wedge – More known as a manager, Rox picked him up in the 1992 expansion draft from Boston Red Sox. Called up in September of the Rox rookie year and got 11 at bats and two hits as a catcher then later released. Second well known former Rox catcher who is now a Big League manager.

15. Valerio de los Santos – Not to be confused with Victor Santos who also started for the Rox in 2004. Signed as a free agent in 2008 as another aging lefty who had been out of baseball since 2005. He started two games pitched a total of 8 innings, loss both but did strike out 8 in one appearance.

16. Greg Vaughan – Signed as a free agent in 2003 at age 37 for what I am sure was “veteran presence.” He got in 22 games had 37 at bats and collected seven hits but three of those were homers padding his career total to 355.

17. Mac Suzuki – Pitched in three games for the Rox after having been traded to the Rox on June 24, 2001 with Sal Fasano from Kansas City for catcher Brent Mayne. Waived on July 12, 2001. He started one game and gave up 12 runs in 6.1 innings of work.

18. Dale Murphy – Another aging veteran picked from the scrap heap to add some value to the 1993 Rox rookie campaign. Had 49 at bats, collected 6 hits but could never manage to get those two elusive homers to get to 400.

19. Eric Byrnes – Best known for making the last out in the 2007 NL Championship (classic picture of him on the ground and Helton celebrating), he briefly stopped for cup of coffee for the Rox and wore the purple for 53 at bats. Traded to the Rox by Oakland along with Omar Quintanilla on July 13, 2005 for Joe Kennedy and Jay Witasick and then was traded July 30 to Baltimore for Larry Bigbie.

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