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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen
Monday, June 05, 2006
Mariners - Released Appier
Seattle Mariners - Released P Kevin Appier.
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.
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