Tuesday, October 30, 2012

#238 Bud Black - Kansas City Royals

This is Bud Black's Rookie Card!  Okay, so it isn't as glamorous as a Boggs, Gwynn, or Sandberg rookie, but it's always cool to view the rookie card of long time player and current manager.  He looks so different now sans mustache.

Player:  Bud Black was originally property of the Mariners who used him primarily as a relief pitcher in the minors.  He pitched two games for Seattle in '81 and was dealt to KC for Manny Castillo after the season.  The former 17th round pick was a spot starter and long reliever in 1982, but didn't do anything to distinguish himself with a 4.58 ERA in 88 innings.
Black started the '83 season in AAA but was called up in May and made 24 starts for the Royals and won 10 games with a 3.79 ERA (108 ERA+).  The lefty was the Royals opening day starter in '84 and won 17 games with a 3.12 ERA (128 ERA+). He had the lowest WHIP (1.128) among AL starters but took the loss in his only start of the '84 ALCS. 
He was tabbed again as KC's opening day starter in '85 but pitched more like a back of the rotation man.  He won 10 with a 4.33 ERA but did work 205 innings for the AL West winning Royals.  In the postseason, Black made two starts and relieved in three others, taking the loss in Game 4 of the World Series when the Cards blanked the Royals.  Although not his best year, Black got the pleasure of helping bring the Royals their first (and so far only) championship.
Used in middle and short relief in '86 Black did well with a 3.20 ERA and 9 saves.  He was used off and on as a starter in '87 and delivered a 3.60 ERA (127 ERA+) in 122 frames.  In 1988 Black was struggling in the pen when he was traded to the Indians in June for Pat Tabler.  He did no better for the Tribe and finished the year with a 5.00 ERA in 88 innings. 
With his career seemingly headed downhill Black got his groove back in Cleveland.  He made the Indians rotation and won 12 games with a 3.36 ERA (118 ERA+) in '89.  He had a similar year the follwoing season and the Indians traded high, swapping Black to the Blue Jays for three prospects in a September deal.
Now a free agent, Black signed with the Giants.  He sported ERA's just under four his first two years while winning 12 and 10 games for San Fran.  Injuries limited him to just 26 starts over the next two years and he was without a contract as the '95 season approached.  He signed with the Indians who had a potent offense but needed pitching.  Black was given 10 starts to prove himself but disappointed and was released in July with a 6.85 ERA which was how his career ended. 
Stuff:  Mid to high 80s Fastball, slider, curve, change.  Later in his career he added a cutter and forkball.
Flipside:  You can see on the back that the Mariners really didn't hold Black in high esteem.  When you see a minor league pitcher who is neither a full time starter or closer their future usually isn't that bright.  But Black had a decent career and the Mariners had pitching problem throughout the 80's and sure could have used him in Seattle.  
Oddball:  Black, like a lot of lefties had a great pickoff move but also balked.... a lot.  He balked 7 times in just 22 games his first year and the beleaguered rookie was quoted after his last one of the year: 
"I think I've balked every possible way. This time my foot crossed the rubber. Once you do that, you can't throw to first."
Black got things under control but was occasionally dogged by balks throughout his career, balking 43 times in total. 
In fact Black, now the Padres skipper, still seems confused on balk calls as he was ejected from a game in April for arguing Clayton Richard's balk. 
History:  Black was never an All-Star and never received any CY votes but he won double digits seven times en route to a 121-116 record.  He earned 18.8 WAR with a career 3.84 ERA (104 ERA+).  The southpaw had a 15 year career and won a World Series ring as a Royal. 
Through the 2012 season, Black has a 464-509 record as the Padres manager and won the NL Manager of the Year in 2010. 

1 comment:

  1. great write-up as always! Man, Bud Black straight up for Manny Castillo... Castillo hurt the Mariners enough in '82-'83 even before you take into account that he robbed them of 250 pretty decent major league innings during those years, and a very fine 1984