This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History: August 5th, Nelson Briles and a Noteworthy Trade with the Padres

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

The Transaction

On this date in 1980, the Pittsburgh 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 previously played for the Pirates in 1974, coming over in the four-player Nelson Briles trade. 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, where he played his final four big league seasons. The Pirates got 0.4 WAR from their two players and Lancelotti had -0.4 WAR with the Padres, so the trade seems fairly even for those parts of the deal. However, Salazar had 6.3 WAR in five seasons before they used him in a seven-player trade following the 1984 season, so this was a win for 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. He was a 17th round draft pick in 1998 of the Chicago Cubs out of the University of Arkansas. Hinske spent most of his first pro season in the short-season New York-Penn League with Williamsport, where he hit .298 with 46 runs, 20 doubles, nine homers and 57 RBIs in 68 games. He also played six games with Rockford of the Low-A Midwest League and put up a 1.339 OPS. In 1999, he spent the year in the High-A Florida State League, hitting .297 with 76 runs, 28 doubles, 19 homers, 79 RBIs, 62 walks and a .900 OPS in 130 games for Daytona. Hinske also had a .913 OPS in four games for Iowa of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. He spent the 2000 season in Double-A with West Tennessee of the Southern League, where he batted .259 with 50 extra-base hits, 76 runs, 73 RBIs, 78 walks, an .859 OPS and 14 steals. He was traded to the Oakland A’s right before Opening Day in 2001 and played in Triple-A that season with Sacramento of the Pacific Coast League. Hinske batted .282 with 71 runs, 27 doubles, 25 homers, 79 RBIs, an .893 OPS and 20 steals in 121 games. Just eight months after the A’s traded for him, they dealt him to the Toronto Blue Jays. His best season in the majors came during his rookie year in 2002, when he hit .279 with 38 doubles, 24 homers, 84 RBIs, 77 walks, an .845 OPS and 13 steals in 14 attempts. That performance led to him winning the American League Rookie of the Year award.

Hinske batted .243 in 124 games in 2003, with an incredible 45 doubles (nearly a record pace over 162 games), while also adding 74 runs, 12 homers, 12 steals, 63 RBIs, 59 walks and a .765 OPS. A right hand injury in May cost him five weeks of the season. In 2004, he played in a career high 155 games. He hit .246 that year, with 66 runs, 41 extra-base hits, 69 RBIs, 54 walks and a .688 OPS. Hinske was a third baseman during his first three seasons, then moved to first base in 2005. He batted .262 with 79 runs, 31 doubles, 15 homers, 68 RBIs and a .763 OPS in 147 games that year. He moved to right field in 2006 and split the year between the Blue Jays and the Red Sox, after a mid-August purchase sent him to Boston. He hit .271 between both stops, with 32 extra-base hits, 34 RBIs and an .840 OPS in 109 games, with better results in Toronto. In 2007, he played first base and the corner outfield spots, seeing less playing time as his average dropped to .204 in 84 games. He had 21 extra-base hits in limited time, leading to a respectable .714 OPS. He became a free agent after the season and signed with the Tampa Bay Rays.

In 2008, Hinske hit .247 with 59 runs, 21 doubles, 20 homers, 60 RBIs and a .798 OPS 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 as a free agent on January 30, 2009. He hit just .255 with one homer in 54 games for Pittsburgh, though with nine doubles and 17 walks in 126 plate appearances, he had a solid .741 OPS. The Pirates dealt him on June 30th to the New York Yankees for two minor league players, one turning out to be Eric Fryer, who played 52 games over three years in Pittsburgh. Hinske played with the Yankees until the end of 2009, batting .226 with seven homers, 14 RBIs and an .828 OPS in 39 games after the deal. He then spent three season with the Atlanta Braves, with his playing time dropping each year. He started with a .256 average in 131 games, with 38 runs, 21 doubles, 11 homers, 51 RBIs and a .793 OPS in 2010.  Hinske then hit .233 with ten doubles, ten homers and 28 RBIs in 117 games in 2011, when he had 264 plate appearances. He final season in Atlanta saw him hit .197/.272/.311 in 147 plate appearances, with two homers and 13 RBIs in 91 games. He finished his career with the 2013 Arizona Diamondbacks, hitting .173/.259/.288 with one homer in 52 games, with three starts all season. He made it to the postseason each year from 2007 until 2010, even though he was playing for a different team each year. Despite being on the roster for ten rounds of the playoffs during that time, he had just nine plate appearances, and never started a postseason game. Hinske hit .249 over 12 seasons and 1,387 games in the majors, with 549 runs, 240 doubles, 137 homers and 522 RBIs. He had 4.0 WAR during his rookie season, and finished with 7.8 career WAR.

John Wasdin, pitcher for the 2007 Pirates. He was originally drafted in the 41st round in 1990 out of high school by the New York Yankees. Wasdin decided to head to college, where he was a first round draft pick (25th overall) in 1993 of the Oakland A’s out of Florida State. He made his Major League debut two years later as a starter. He played at three different levels during his first season, starting once in the Arizona League, before moving up to Madison of the Low-A Midwest League for nine starts, before topping out at High-A with Modesto of the California League. Between those stops, he had a 2-6, 2.39 record in 67.2 innings over 13 starts. In 1994, he had a 1.69 ERA in 26.2 innings over six games (four starts) with Modesto to start the year, then went 12-3, 3.43 in 121.2 innings in Double-A with Huntsville of the Southern League to finish the year. In 1995, Wasdin went 12-8, 5.52 in 174.1 innings for Edmonton of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. The team ERA was 5.13, so he was just above average in a high offense environment. The A’s called him up in August of 1995 and he had a 4.67 ERA in 17.1 innings over two starts and three relief appearances. He made 21 starts and four relief appearances for the 1996 A’s, going 8-7, 5.96 in 131.1 innings, which ended up being his career high for innings and starts in a season. He was traded to the Boston Red Sox in the 1996-97 off-season in an even up deal for Jose Canseco.

Wasdin made seven starts and 46 relief appearances for Boston in 1997, going 4-6, 4.40 in 124.2 innings. That was the last time he reached 100 innings in a season. It was also the only season in which he didn’t play in the minors during his 12-year big league career. He had a similar role the next year, with eight starts and 39 relief outings. He had a 6-4, 5.25 record in 96 innings. He pitched strictly in relief in 1999, with 45 outings and an 8-3, 4.12 record in 74.1 innings. He was traded to the Colorado Rockies in the middle of 2000 and finished the year 1-6, 5.38, with 71 strikeouts in 80.1 innings, putting up similar results for both teams. His 8.0 strikeouts per nine inning rate was the highest of his career. Wasdin had a 7.03 ERA in 24.1 innings over 18 appearances early in 2001 for the Rockies before being released. He finished the year with the Baltimore Orioles, posting a 4.17 ERA in 49.2 innings.

Wasdin headed to Japan for the 2002 season and had a 4.54 ERA in 37.2 innings. After one year overseas, he returned to the states, signing a contract with the Pirates. He went to Triple-A, where he threw a perfect game in his debut for Nashville of the Pacific Coast League on April 7, 2003, in a game that included 15 strikeouts. Three months later, without an appearance in the majors, he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for minor league outfielder Rich Thompson. Wasdin made just three appearances for the 2003 Blue Jays (in July) and they couldn’t have been much worse. He allowed 13 earned runs in five innings. After finishing 2003 with Toronto’s Triple-A club, Wasdin then pitched parts of three years for the Rangers (2004-06), going 7-8, 5.38 in 55 games (21 starts), seeing most of his time during the 2005 season. He pitched 240 innings at Triple-A Oklahoma during that three-year stretch. He went 2-4, 6.78 in 65 innings over ten starts and five relief appearances for the 2004 Rangers. In 2005, he had a 3-2, 4.28 record in 75.2 innings over six starts and 25 relief outings. Wasdin then went 2-2, 5.70 in 30 innings for the 2006 Rangers, making five starts and four relief appearances.

Wasdin 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, posting a 6.37 ERA in 35.1 innings with Indianapolis of the International League. Wasdin pitched two more years, one in the minors and one in Japan, before retiring. He was with Triple-A Memphis of the Pacific Coast League (St Louis Cardinals affiliate) in 2008, going 9-6, 3.51 in 110.1 innings. He had a 4.05 ERA in 109 innings during his final season in Japan. In 12 seasons, he had a 39-39, 5.28 record in 793.1 innings over 328 Major League games, 65 as a starter. He threw two complete games and had seven saves.

Bernie Carbo, pinch-hitter for the 1980 Pirates. He was a first round draft pick (16th overall) in 1965 by the Cincinnati Reds, the team he hit two big home runs against in the 1975 World Series. Carbo was selected out of high school in Michigan at 17 years old and he reported to Tampa of the Class-A Florida State League, where he batted .218 in 71 games, with 52 walks and a .638 OPS. Back when the Fall Instructional League was an actual league with stats, he hit just .143 in 51 games during the fall of 1965. He played in the Class-A Carolina League with Peninsula in 1966 and hit .269 with 30 doubles, 15 homers and 108 walks in 132 games, leading to an .887 OPS. The next two seasons were spent in the Double-A Southern League with Knoxville (1967) and Asheville (1968). Carbo batted .201 with 14 extra-base hits and a .605 OPS in 93 games in 1967, then hit .281 with 87 runs, 20 doubles, 20 homers, 66 RBIs, 91 walks and a .917 OPS in 127 games in 1968. He moved up to Triple-A in 1969 and had an incredible year for Indianapolis of the American Association, hitting .359 in 111 games, with 83 runs, 37 doubles, 21 homers, 76 RBIs, 69 walks and a 1.069 OPS. He came up to the Reds that September, but they gave him just three at-bats in four games. In 1970, he was the starting left fielder for Cincinnati and he finished second in the National League Rookie of the Year voting with his .310 average, 54 runs, 19 doubles, 21 homers, 63 RBIs, 94 walks and a 1.004 OPS. His .454 OPS was tied for the league leader, though Carbo dropped to fourth place overall because he fell just short of the minimum plate appearances required to qualify for league leaders. In the 1970 NLCS against the Pirates, Carbo went 0-for-6 at the plate, following that up with an 0-for-8 at the plate in the World Series. That year ended up being his best season in the majors, finishing with 4.5 WAR.

Carbo had a horrible sophomore slump, hitting just .219 with 20 doubles, five homers and 54 walks in 106 games. His OPS dropped 327 points from his rookie season. In 1972, he was traded to the St Louis Cardinals in early May. He hit .251 with 44 runs, 21 extra-base hits, 63 walks and a .742 OPS in 118 games that year, while leading all National League outfielders with 15 assists. In 1973, Carbo platooned in right field and batted .286 with 42 runs, 18 doubles, eight homers, 40 RBIs, 58 walks and an .819 OPS in 111 games. Shortly after the season ended, he was part of a four-player trade with the Boston Red Sox that also included Reggie Smith and Rick Wise. Carbo batted .249 in 117 games in 1974, with 40 runs, 20 doubles, 12 homers, 61 RBIs and 58 walks, leading to a .778 OPS. He’s most known in baseball history for what happened after the 1975 season. During the regular season that year, he hit .257 with 64 runs, 21 doubles, 15 homers, 50 RBIs, 83 walks and an .892 OPS in 107 games. He wasn’t used at all in the ALCS, but he got his chance to redeem himself from his poor showing in the 1970 postseason and made the most of it. He hit a pinch-hit homer in game three that helped the Red Sox come back from a 5-1 deficit and send the game to extra innings. Then in his next at-bat seven days later, he hit a three-run homer that tied the score 6-6 in the bottom of the eighth in game six, setting up the famous home run by Carlton Fisk.

Despite his heroics, Carbo was traded early in the 1976 season to the Milwaukee Brewers. He batted .235 with 25 runs, 11 doubles, five homers and 41 walks in 86 games that season. He was traded back to the Red Sox in the 1976-77 off-season and hit .289 with 36 runs, 15 homers, 34 RBIs, 47 walks and a .931 OPS in 86 games in 1977. He was sold to the Cleveland Indians mid-season in 1978, and combined to hit .282 with 28 runs, 11 doubles, five homers and 22 RBIs in 77 games. He became a free agent after the season and rejoined the Cardinals. 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, resulting in just 76 plate appearances all year. He batted .281/.368/.438 in his limited time that year. In 1980, St Louis used him 14 times through the end of May, all as a pinch-hitter. He went 2-for-11 with a walk. Carbo was released by the Cardinals in late May, then signed with the Pirates on September 1st to be a bat off of 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 Detroit Tigers. Carbo was a .264 hitter with 140 doubles, 96 homers, 358 RBIs, 372 runs scored and 538 walks in 1,010 Major League games. He finished with a .387 OBP and an .814 OPS.

Nelson Briles, pitcher for the 1971-73 Pirates. He signed with the St Louis Cardinals at 19 years old in 1963 as an amateur free agent. He began his pro career in Double-A in 1964 and it ended up being his only minor league time. He went 11-6, 2.79, with 132 strikeouts in 171 innings for Tulsa of the Texas League. He was in the majors in 1965 and he went 3-3, 3.50 in 82.1 innings over 35 appearances (two starts) as a rookie. He made 17 starts and 32 relief appearances in 1966, saving six games, while posting a respectable 3.21 ERA in 154 innings, though it came with a 4-15 record on a team that finished four games above the .500 mark. Things flipped for him in a hurry after that rough year for his record. Briles went 14-5 in 1967, leading the National League in winning percentage with a .737 mark. He had a 2.43 ERA, two shutouts and six saves in 155.1 innings, making 14 starts and 35 relief appearances. He finished 15th in the MVP voting. The next year he won 19 games (with 11 losses) and threw a career high 243.2 innings, while also setting a high with 141 strikeouts. All 33 of his games that year were as a starter. He set career bests by completing 13 games and throwing four shutouts. Once again he earned mild MVP support, finishing 20th in the voting. In 1969, Briles went 15-13, 3.52, with 120 strikeouts in 227.2 innings over 33 starts and three relief outings. He had ten complete games and three shutouts. His 1970 season saw him split between starting (19 games) and relief (11 appearances). He went 6-7, 6.24 in 106.2 innings. He actually did even worse as a starter than those numbers indicate, but he had an 0.82 ERA in 22 innings of relief work.

The Pirates acquired Briles in a four-player deal on January 29, 1971 that saw them give up Matty Alou. Briles had a 61-54, 3.42 record in 969.2 innings while with the Cardinals. He had 16 saves and split his time almost down the middle between starting and the bullpen, making 118 starts and 116 relief appearances.  During his first season in Pittsburgh, he made 14 starts and 23 relief appearances, going 8-4, 3.04 in 136 innings. He had nine complete games, two shutouts and one save. 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 went 14-11, 3.08 in 195.2 innings during the 1972 season. In 28 games (27 starts), he had nine complete games and two shutouts. He started game three of the NLCS that year and got a no-decision, giving up two runs over six innings. He was even better in 1973 when he went 14-13, 2.84 in 218.2 innings. All 33 of his appearances came as a starter that year. He completed seven games and tossed one shutout. The Pirates traded him to the Royals on December 4, 1973 in a five-player 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 Baltimore Orioles.

In his first year in Kansas City, Briles went 5-7, 4.02 in 103 innings over 17 starts and one relief outing. After making just two starts, he had knee surgery that cost him two months of the season. The next year he was 6-6, 4.26 in 112 innings over 16 starts and eight relief appearances. He was traded over the off-season to the Texas Rangers and had an 11-9, 3.26 record in 210 innings during the 1976 season. He made 31 starts that season. Briles went 6-4, 4.24 in 108.1 innings over 15 starts and 13 relief appearances in 1977 before being sold late in the year to the Orioles, where he pitched just twice before the season ended, giving up three runs over four innings. In 1978, he was 4-4, 4.64 in 54.1 innings over eight starts and eight relief appearances. The Orioles released him over the off-season and he never pitched again. He had a career 129-112, 3.44 record, pitching 452 games and throwing 2,111.2 innings. He made 279 starts, finishing with 64 complete games, 17 shutouts and 22 saves. With the Pirates he went 36-28, 2.98 in 550.1 innings.

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