This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History: August 5th, Nelson Briles

Four former Pittsburgh Pirates born on this date and one transaction of note.

The Transaction

On this date in 1980, the Pirates traded two minor leaguers, outfielder Rick Lancellotti and infielder Luis Salazar, to the San Diego Padres for infielder Kurt Bevacqua and pitcher Mark Lee. Bevacqua had played for the Pirates in 1974, coming over in the Nelson Briles trade (see below). He was being used mostly off the bench by the Padres in 1980, getting 79 plate appearances in 62 games. Lee was 7-5, 3.72 in 102 games for the Padres between 1978-79, but he had spent all of 1980 in the minors. Neither Salazar nor Lancellotti, who were both 24 years old, had played in the majors yet.

After the deal, Lancellotti played just 36 Major League games over three seasons, 17 of those games as a member of the 1982 Padres. Salazar spent 13 years in the majors, playing for the Padres three different times. He played 1,302 major league games, 704 while with San Diego. He was a .261 hitter with 455 RBIs and 117 stolen bases. Lee was actually a player to be named later, joining the Pirates seven days after the deal was made. He pitched 16 games for Pittsburgh over two years, going 0-3, 3.20 in 25.1 innings. Bevacqua played 51 games for Pittsburgh over two seasons before being released at the end of the 1981 season. The next April, he re-signed with the Padres

The Players

Eric Hinske, outfielder for the 2009 Pirates. He spent seven seasons in the AL East, playing for the Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays, prior to joining the Pirates in January of 2009 as a free agent. His best season came during his first year, when he hit .279 with 24 homers, 84 RBIs and 77 walks, winning the AL Rookie of the Year award. In 2008, Hinske hit .247 with 20 homers and 60 RBIs in 133 games for Tampa Bay. His time with the Pirates paled in comparison to earlier success. He was traded exactly five months after signing, hitting .255 with one homer in 54 games for Pittsburgh. The Pirates dealt him to the Yankees for two minor league players, one turning out to be Eric Fryer, who played 16 games over two years in Pittsburgh. Hinske played with the Yankees until the end of 2009, then spent three season with the Atlanta Braves, before finishing his career with the 2013 Arizona Diamondbacks. He made it to the postseason each year from 2007 until 2010, despite playing for a different team each year. Hinske hit .249 over 1,387 games, with 137 homers and 522 RBIs.

John Wasdin, pitcher for the 2007 Pirates. He was originally a first round draft pick in 1993 of the Oakland A’s. He made his Major League debut two years later as a starter. He played in the majors until 2001, before going to Japan for the 2002 season. After one year overseas, he returned to the states, signing a contract with the Pirates. Wasdin went to Triple-A, where he threw a perfect game in his debut for Nashville on April 7, 2003, in a game that included 15 strikeouts. Three months later, he was traded to the Blue Jays for minor league outfielder Rich Thompson. After finishing 2003 with Toronto, Wasdin then pitched parts of three years for the Rangers (2004-06), going 7-8, 5.38 in 55 games. He was re-signed by the Pirates in November of 2006 and he made the 2007 Opening Day roster. He would end up pitching 12 games in relief for Pittsburgh over two separate stints with the team. He had a 5.95 ERA in 19.2 innings in the majors and got hit hard in seven minor league starts. Wasdin pitched two more years, one in the minors and one in Japan, before retiring. He had a 39-39, 5.28 record in 328 Major League games, 65 as a starter.

Bernie Carbo, pinch-hitter for the 1980 Pirates. He was originally a first round draft pick in 1965 by the Reds, the team he hit two big home runs against in the 1975 World Series. In the 1970 NLCS against the Pirates, Carbo went 0-for-6 at the plate, following that up with an 0-for-8 in the World Series. During the 1970 season, he finished second in the NL Rookie of the Year voting with his .310 average, 21 homers and 94 walks. That ended up being his best season in the majors. By the time he reached the Pirates in 1980, he was being used mainly as a pinch-hitter. The Cardinals used him 52 times in 1979, just seven times as a starter. In 1980, they used him 14 times through the end of May, all as a pinch-hitter. Carbo was released by the Cardinals in late May, then signed with the Pirates on September 1st to be a bat off the bench down the stretch. Pittsburgh ended up finishing that year on a 13-25 run, putting them well out of first place. Carbo went 2-for-6 at the plate with a walk in his seven pinch-hit appearances. Those would be his last games in the majors. He finished his career in the minors the next year with the Tigers. Carbo was a .264 hitter with 96 homers in 1,010 major league games.

Nelson Briles, pitcher for the 1971-73 Pirates. The Pirates acquired Briles in a four-player deal on January 29, 1971, that saw them give up Matty Alou. He had pitched the first six seasons of his career with the Cardinals, going 61-54, 3.42 with 16 saves, making 118 starts and 116 relief appearances. Briles went 14-5 in 1967, leading the NL in winning percentage with a .737 mark. The next year he won 19 games and threw a career high 243.2 innings.  During his first season in Pittsburgh, Briles made 14 starts and 23 relief appearances, going 8-4, 3.04 in 136 innings. He pitched just once in the postseason, but it was an impressive outing, throwing a complete game shutout in game five of the World Series. Briles won 14 games in 1972, and then again in 1973, making a combined 60 starts with over 400 innings pitched. The Pirates traded him to the Royals on December 4, 1973 in a deal that included Kurt Bevacqua coming to Pittsburgh. Briles went on to pitch another five seasons in the majors, finishing his career with the 1978 Orioles. He had a career 129-112, 3.44 record, pitching 452 games and throwing over 2,100 innings. With the Pirates he went 36-28 with a 2.98 ERA.