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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Monday, June 05, 2006

Mariners - Released Appier

Seattle Mariners - Released P Kevin Appier.


          W   L   IP   ERA   ERA+
Pre-Injury   104   78   1665   3.30   136
Post-Injury   65   59   930   4.53   100

This most likely is the end of Appier’s career, one of the biggest “What ifs” of our generation.  10 years ago, Appier was a HOF-quality pitcher who had spent his career on a bad team.  A lot of people wondered if Appier would get to 250 or so on a better team and if that would be enough to punch his ticket to Cooperstown.

Unfortunately, biology caught up with Appier and after a decade of almost feeling his arm hurt every time he threw a pitch, the Royal ace finally felt it, too.  Appier did get on the field just enough to put up 5 years of league-average play, contributing to a few good teams, but he never pitched the same again.  While you can assign some blame to the team with some of the other great pitchers that have burned out early, Appier wasn’t worked all that heavily and his delivery was an injury just waiting to happen.  Perhaps Appier will be remembered as the new Ewell Blackwell (though in fairness, Appier’s arm held together a little longer than the Whip’s).

While Appier would have been hard-pressed to maintain that career 136 ERA+ throughout the rest of his career even without the injury (only 15 starters have finished up at 136 or better, with 2 of the active pitchers close enough to drop below), it’s undeniable that he was a marvelous pitcher at one time.

Dan Szymborski Posted: June 05, 2006 at 01:14 AM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 05, 2006 at 02:50 AM (#2051512)
And I modeled my windup after his - the old school big windup, rock back your weight and push forward with your front leg coming at the batter all distracting. Despite not much talent, I was able to take it all the way to JV baseball!

Ape was one of my favorite Royals of all-time. I'll never forget the one-hitter he lost 1-0 because the only hit he gave up was a Raffy Palmeiro home run. That game epitomized his career with the Royals. It was always a piss poor offense or ragged armed bullpen that would blow his better games.

And for this great arm we got Brad Rigby, Jeff D'Amico and Brett Laxton. Thanks a f8ckin' lot Herk Robinson.
   2. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: June 05, 2006 at 03:11 AM (#2051520)
Didn't Blake Stein come over in that deal?
   3. Brandon in MO (Yunitility Infielder) Posted: June 05, 2006 at 03:13 AM (#2051521)
Yeah, Big Useless Blake Stein was a part of that deal.

The Appier trade was a huge anti-climax. It was sorta expected from 1995 onwards, and then finally happened in 1999, for far less than what Appier was really worth.

But then again, the results of the Appier trade top the results of "Cone for Stynes".
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 05, 2006 at 03:53 AM (#2051537)
Yea, it was Stein, not Laxton. I forget which crappy former A's pitchers were acquired in which deal.
   5. Brandon in MO (Yunitility Infielder) Posted: June 05, 2006 at 04:16 AM (#2051546)
Yeah, I think Laxton came to KC in exchange for Jeremy Giambi.
   6. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: June 05, 2006 at 09:00 AM (#2051613)
Laxton was definitely traded for Baby G. I remember getting into huge arguments about Laxton around that time, back on Usenet; John Sickels had given him a mediocre projection in one of his books, and this guy I used to spar with on Usenet said that this showed how out-of-it Sickels was.

Well, I took Sickels' side on 'im. Can't say I'm regretting that one.
   7. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: June 05, 2006 at 12:35 PM (#2051643)
FWIW, I used to think Blake Stein had dominance in his future. He had a hell of a fastball, and occasionally he even flashed a really intriguing breaking pitch.

I remember seeing the highlights of a game in Yankee Stadium in 2000 when Stein threw eight brilliant innings, surrendering only a couple of hits.

Of course, looking back at Retrosheet, I see that Stein had six walks against five Ks in that game. (He did give up only the two hits.) I wasn't as much of a stathead then, I guess.
   8. Dan Szymborski Posted: June 05, 2006 at 02:35 PM (#2051712)
Laxton was definitely traded for Baby G. I remember getting into huge arguments about Laxton around that time, back on Usenet; John Sickels had given him a mediocre projection in one of his books, and this guy I used to spar with on Usenet said that this showed how out-of-it Sickels was.


Ah, good old scout guru Stephen C. Smith. While he was arguing that Sickels was dumb for not liking Laxton, he also bashed Sickels for not evaluating smart, hard-working players like Nathan Haynes and Chris Barski that had unlimited potential.

Too bad he wasn't around long enough to point out to him that Haynes hit 276/345/302 for his minor-league career and Barski washed out of the minors after another year.
   9. Dan Szymborski Posted: June 05, 2006 at 02:40 PM (#2051717)
The best Sickels-related usenet threads were the ones in the Twins newsgroup where John was fighting with all those Twins fans that thought Brian Buchanan and Chad Allen were stars in the making.
   10. Brewers Now and 4ever Posted: June 07, 2006 at 09:03 PM (#2055462)
Let's not forget that Appier won a ring in 02 with the Halos. It was nice to see a once-dominant pitcher win a ring when he never had a shot on those shoddy Royals teams. His career is similar to one of my favorites who also won a ring with the Twins, Frank Viola. http://www.baseball-reference.com/a/appieke01.shtml

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