Sunday, June 24, 2012

#189 Dan Schatzeder - Montreal Expos

Hey, who turned out the lights?  It looks like Topps pulled Dan Schatzeder out of bed and took his pic in a dark room.  Ok, ok, I see a portion of the reddish orange in the back-ground which looks like the same colors visible in the inset shot.  This is a pretty cool night card and maybe just the second one in the set so far.  This is Schatzeder's sixth Topps card and sometimes it's very difficult not to mention the mustaches these guys are sporting and this one is pretty epic. 

Player: The Expos drafted Dan Schatzeder in the 3rd round in '76 and he was in the big leagues just a year later.  He pitched in six games with three starts including a complete game shutout over the Cardinals on Sept 22.  He started the '78 season in the minors, was recalled in May, and after pitching effectively in long relief joined the rotation on June 28.  In 143.2 innings Schatzeder showed the ability to miss bats often, allowing only 108 hits.  He posted a 3.08 ERA (115 ERA+) but struck out just one more than he walked (69/68) and finished with a 7-7 record. 

Despite his early success in his first two seasons, Schatzeder was unable to crack the Expos starting rotation in '79 and was used a in long relief with a few starts before joining the rotation mid-season.  He excelled down the stretch with the Expos winning nine of his last eleven starts.  His K/BB ratio improved greatly (106/59) and with exactly 162 innings he snuck into third place in the ERA race with a 2.83 mark (130 ERA+).

After the '79 campaign the Expos traded the young lefty to the Tigers straight up for speedster Ron LeFlore.  Although Schatzeder started the year as the #2 starter, he struggled and was banished to the pen for a month during the middle of the season.  He finished with a 4.03 ERA and a 11-13 record.  Things really turned south in '81 and he posted a 6.06 ERA with a 1.444 WHIP.  The Tigers frustrated by Schatzeder's performance traded him and prospect Mike Chris to the Giants for Larry Herndon.

Schatzeder wasn't effective for the Giants (7.29 ERA) and was sold to his original team in Montreal in June of '82.  Pitching in middle relief he rebounded (3.50 ERA, 1.361 WHIP) and got his career back on track.  He worked the middle inning for the Expos in '83 and did well posting a 3.21 ERA (112 ERA+) in 87 frames of work. 

He spent the '84 and '85 seasons in and out of the rotation.  He was particularly effective in '84 with a 2.71 ERA (128 ERA+) while making 14 starts and 21 relief outings. Schatz struggled with injuries in '85 but posted a 3.80 ERA in 104 innings.

Schatzeder pitched effectively in relief for the Expos and Phillies in '86. He was traded to Philly in July in a four player deal.  He finished the year with a 3.26 ERA and 1.313 WHIP in 88 innings but had a notable year at the plate.  He batted 31 times with a .385/.486/.654 line and had five pinch hits, the most by a pitcher since Don Newcombe in 1956.

Again traded mid-season Schatz went from Philly to Minnesota.  He struggled with the Twins and despite allowing 83 batters in 43.2 innings they kept him on the postseason roster.  The veteran southpaw hurled 4.1 frames of scoreless relief over three ALCS games and pitched in games 3, 4, and 6 of the World Series and earned the win in Game 6 over the Cardinals.  He won his only ring when the Twins won Game 7.

Schatzeder spent the next four seasons bouncing around the majors.  He was with Cleveland in '88, but was released and picked back up by the Twins.  He spent '89 with Houston but did not perform well.  He pitched much better in 1990, as the 35 year-old Schatz recorded a 2.39 ERA and 1.313 WHIP in 64 innings and was dealt to help out the Mets in September.  He threw 5.2 scoreless innings but the Mets finished four games back of the Pirates.  He was ineffective with the Royals in '90 and finished his career in the minors at AAA Tidewater.

Stuff: Mid 80s fastball, tight curve, slider, change up

Flipside:  I always though Schatzeder was taller than 6'0". Maybe it was the long name and big 'stache that made him seem bigger.

Oddball:  Schatzeder was never noted for his durability as he never started more than 26 games in a season and logged over 162 innings just once.  Despite this he had two 10-inning outings in his career.  The first was a six hit, one run effort in a no-decision against the Cards on 9/15/79.  The second was a brilliant eleven strikeout, four hit shutout over the Cubs on 8/9/84.

History:  Schatzeder was one of those guys who had decent stuff but was never able to last an entire year in the starting rotation.  He was a decent swing man in his two stints with the Expos and won a championship with the Twins.  He finished his career with a 69-68 record and a 3.74 ERA (100 ERA+) in his career. 

No comments:

Post a Comment