Seven former Pittsburgh Pirates born on this date, including a key member of two World Series teams and an MVP.
Tommy Leach, third baseman/center fielder for the Pirates from 1900 until 1912, then again in 1918. He helped the Pirates to three straight pennants from 1901-03, then helped them to the 1909 World Series by leading the league with 126 runs scored. Leach played 1,574 games with the Pirates, scoring 1,009 runs, collecting 1,603 hits, 139 triples and 271 stolen bases. He ranks ninth in games played, at-bats and runs scored in Pirates history. He’s also seventh in triples and fifth in stolen bases.
Leach debuted in pro ball at 18 years old in 1896, playing a partial season in independent ball with Hanover of the Cumberland Valley League, and another 36 games with Petersburg/Hampton of the Class-B Virginia League, where he hit .250 with 18 runs scored, 12 extra-base hits and ten steals. He’s credited with 18 runs, nine extra-base hits and seven steals in 37 games with Hanover. His next two years in the minors don’t have any stats available. He spent the 1897 season with Youngstown of the Class-B Interstate League, and 1898 with Auburn of the New York State League. At the end of the 1898 season, he made his big league debut with three games for the Louisville Colonels, going 1-for-10 with a single. Leach spent six games with Worcester of the Class-A Eastern League in 1899, but the majority of the season was spent in the majors. He played 106 games that year for Louisville, batting .288 with 75 runs scored, 21 extra-base hits, 57 RBIs and 19 steals. He mostly played third base that season, but also played 25 games at shortstop. The Pirates acquired Leach as part of the 17-player deal made in December of 1899 with Louisville that also brought Honus Wagner, Fred Clarke, Rube Waddell and Deacon Phillippe back to Pittsburgh.
Leach was a role player during the 1900 season, seeing time at five different positions, while playing 51 games total. He batted just .213/.304/.263 in 16 plate appearances, and at times he was left in Pittsburgh while the Pirates went on road trips, which was a common practice with extra players to help save on travel expenses. It took him just one season to go from part-time to key contributor. Leach made 92 starts at third base in 1901, and he hit .305, with 64 runs scored, 27 extra-base hits, 44 RBIs, 16 steals and a .769 OPS in 98 games, helping the Pirates to their first National League championship. He played full-time in 1902 and ended up leading the league in both triples (22) and homers (six). In 135 games, he scored 97 runs and picked up 85 RBIs, while stealing 25 bases and posting a .767 OPS, which ranked eighth in the league. His 1.8 dWAR is the best at any position in the National League that season. The Pirates had their best season ever that year, going 103-36 for their second straight NL title. When the Pirates played the first World Series in 1903, Leach hit .298 that season in 127 games, with 97 runs scored, 16 doubles, 17 triples, seven homers, 87 RBIs, 22 steals and a .789 OPS. He hit .273 in the series with four triples and seven RBIs. Over the next five seasons, he would be a steady presence in the lineup, sometimes at third base, other times in center field, occasionally playing elsewhere if needed.
Leach hit .257 as the full-time third baseman in 1904, with 92 runs scored, 29 extra-base hits, 56 RBIs and 23 steals in 146 games. He played six positions during the 1905 season, with his most time coming at third base, though he also started 52 games in center field. Leach hit .257 that year in 131 games, with 71 runs, 26 extra-base hits, 53 RBIs, 17 steals and a .654 OPS. He saw time at five positions in 1906, but it was still mostly third base and center field. He hit .286 with 66 runs, 18 extra-base hits, 39 RBIs and 21 steals. The 1907 season was a strong one for Leach. In 149 games, he batted .303 with 102 runs, 19 doubles, 12 triples, 43 RBIs and 43 stolen bases, while mainly serving as the starting center field. His .756 OPS that year was sixth best in the league, his highest finish in that category. He finished second in the league in runs, just two behind the leader. He also finished four in steals, 18 behind league leader Honus Wagner. Leach batted .259 in 152 games in 1908, with 93 runs scored, 24 doubles, 16 triples, 41 RBIs, 24 steals and 54 walks, which was a personal best at the time. The Pirates won their first World Series in 1909 and he batted .261 with 43 extra-base hits, 43 RBIs, 66 walks, 27 steals and a league leading 126 runs. He posted a .705 OPS for the second straight season. He hit .360 in the World Series against the Detroit Tigers and he scored eight runs.
Leach batted .270 in 135 games in 1910, with 83 runs, 24 doubles, 52 RBIs and 18 steals. He saw a drop in his production in 1911 at 33 years old, batting .238 with 60 runs, 43 RBIs, 19 steals and a .646 OPS in 108 games. He started off 1912 by hitting .299/.376/.381 with 24 runs and 18 RBIs in 28 games. On May 30, 1912, Leach was traded to the Chicago Cubs, along with Lefty Leifield, in a deal that wasn’t popular among fans. They received young pitcher King Cole and veteran outfielder Solly Hofman. Neither player worked out well in Pittsburgh, so the unpopular deal became even worse over time. Leach hit .242 with 50 runs scored and 35 RBIs in 82 games with the 1912 Cubs, finishing the year with a .717 OPS in 106 games. He batted .287 in 131 games in 1913, with a league leading 99 runs scored and a career high 77 walks. He had 39 extra-base hits, 21 steals, and his .812 OPS was a career best, good for eighth best in the league. He played 153 games in 1914 and led the league with 676 at-bats. Leach hit .263 that season and increased his career high with 79 walks. He scored 80 runs, collected 40 extra-base hits and drove in 46 runs, while posting a .726 OPS.
Leach was released in February of 1915 and ended up playing for the Cincinnati Reds that season, hitting just .224 in 107 games, with 42 runs scored, 12 extra-base hits, 17 RBIs and 56 walks. He had 20 steals, though he was caught stealing 14 times that year. He spent 1916-17 in the minors, then returned to the Pirates for 30 games during the 1918 season. Leach hit .244 with 30 extra-base hits in 115 games for Rochester of the Double-A International League, which was the highest level of play in the minors at the time. He played for Kansas City of the Double-A American Association, where he hit .244 with 30 extra-base hits in 117 games, nearly matching all of his numbers from the previous season. He began the 1918 season with Chattanooga of the Southern Association, but when the league shutdown early due to the war effort, their players were sold off in late June, and Leach ended up back in Pittsburgh. He hit just .194 in his final big league season, mostly playing left field. The average was a little misleading, as he drew 19 walks in his limited time and scored 14 runs.
Leach finished his playing career in the minors in 1922 at 44 years old. He batted .265 with 16 extra-base hits in 67 games for Shreveport of the Class-B Texas League in 1919. He played for Tampa of the Florida State League during his final three seasons. That league was Class-D in 1920 and Class-C during the 1921-22 seasons. Leach was also the team’s manager at the time. He batted .283 with 13 extra-base hits in 47 games in 1920. That was followed by a .388 average and six extra-base hits in 27 games in 1921, then a .326 average in 46 at-bats over 20 games in 1922. He had five triples and three doubles among his 15 hits. From 1911 until 1913, Leach led all NL outfielders in fielding percentage. Earlier in his career, he twice led all third baseman in assists, once in putouts, and three times he had the best range among NL players at the hot corner. He finished his 19-year big league career with 2,143 hits and 1,355 runs scored. He hit .269 with 266 doubles, 63 homers, 812 RBIs, 820 walks, 361 steals and 172 triples, which ranks 23rd all-time in big league history. Leach managed for nine seasons in the minors, including four years as a player/manager. He put up a career 47.1 WAR, which put him one spot above Hall of Famer Kiki Cuyler at 47.0, though Cuyler played nearly 300 fewer games to get to that mark.
Dick Groat, shortstop for the Pirates in 1952, then again from 1955 until 1962. The Pirates signed him as an amateur free agent in June of 1952 out of Duke University and brought him right to the majors. He also played in the NBA that year as a first round draft pick, averaging 11.9 points per game in 26 games for the Fort Wayne Pistons. He hit .284 with 38 runs, eight extra-base hits, 29 RBIs and a .632 OPS in 95 games that rookie season, which led to a third place finish in the National League Rookie of the Year voting. He missed all of the 1953-54 seasons to military service, then he focused just on baseball when he returned. From 1955-57 the Pirates were very bad teams and Groat was a decent everyday player, although his 1957 season earned him a 15th place finish in the NL MVP voting. He batted .267 with 45 runs, 28 doubles, 51 RBIs and a .669 OPS in 151 games in 1955. Modern metrics rate him as an above average defender that season, though he led the league with 32 errors at shortstop. On the positive side, he also led with 330 putouts. In 1956, he led the league again in errors (34), but again he rated above average on defense. He hit .273 in 142 games, with 40 runs, 19 doubles, 37 RBIs and a .638 OPS. He had a solid season at the plate in 1957, batting .315 in 125 games, with 58 runs, 30 doubles, five triples, seven homers, 54 RBIs and a .787 OPS.
Groat batted .300 in 151 games in 1958, with 67 runs scored, 36 doubles, nine triples, 66 RBIs and a .735 OPS. He made his first All-Star appearance in 1959 when he batted .275 with 74 runs, 34 extra-base hits, 51 RBIs and a .673 OPS. The 1960 season would be a career year for Groat. Not only did he win an MVP award and make his second All-Star appearance (technically his third and fourth appearances since they played two All-Star games during the 1959-62 season), he also led the NL in hitting with a career high .325 average. His 85 runs scored that season set a career high, and he also added 32 extra-base hits and 50 RBIs. As most of you know, the Pirates also won a World Series title that year. That season also rates as his best season on defense according to modern metrics, with a 2.6 dWAR. In 1961, Groat hit .275 in 148 games, with 71 runs, 37 extra-base hits, 55 RBIs and a .687 OPS. He made his third All-Star appearance (six total games) in 1962, and he got some MVP attention as well, finishing 16th in the voting. He played 161 games that season, hitting .294 with 76 runs scored, 34 doubles, 71 RBIs and a .686 OPS. Shortly after the season ended, the Pirates traded him and pitcher Diomedes Olivo to the St Louis Cardinals for pitcher Don Cardwell and infielder Julio Gotay.
Groat’s first season in St Louis was a big year, with an All-Star appearance and a second place finish in the MVP voting, thanks to a .319 average, 85 runs scored and a league leading/career high 43 doubles. He also set personal bests with 201 hits, 11 triples, 73 RBIs, 56 walks and an .827 OPS. He would win a second World Series title in 1964 with the St Louis Cardinals, who beat the New York Yankees that year. Groat batted .292 in 161 games, with 70 runs, 35 doubles, 70 RBIs and a .706 OPS. He also made his final All-Star appearance that season. He didn’t have much postseason success either year against the Yankees, batting .204 with a .555 OPS in 14 games total. He saw a drop in his production in 1965, hitting .254 with 55 runs scored, 26 doubles, five triples, 52 RBIs and 56 walks. His .632 OPS was a low to that point, matching his rookie season total. Groat was traded after the season to the Philadelphia Phillies in a six-player deal that also included Bob Uecker and Bill White. In 1966, Groat batted .260 in 155 games, with 58 runs scored, 27 extra-base hits, 53 RBIs and a .631 OPS. He would be sold to the San Francisco Giants mid-1967, in what ended up being his final season. He combined to hit just .156/.236/.188 in 44 games that year.
Groat hit .290 over his nine seasons in Pittsburgh, with 554 runs, 226 doubles, 40 triples, 30 homers and 454 RBIs in 1,258 games. In his 14-year career, he was a .286 hitter in 1,929 games, with 829 runs, 352 doubles, 67 triples, 39 homers and 707 RBIs. Despite being athletic enough to play big league shortstop and play in the NBA, Groat was not a fast runner. He was successful on just six of his 27 stolen base attempts while with the Pirates and he went 14-for-41 in his career. He led NL shortstops in errors six times during his career, while also leading in double plays five times and putouts four times. He finished with 36.9 career WAR. After his playing days, he announced college basketball for the University of Pitt for 40 years. He turns 92 years old today.
Eddie Basinski, second baseman for the 1946 Pirates. Basinski spent a total of 16 seasons in pro ball and played 2,165 games total, with 203 of those games coming in the majors. Basinski debuted in pro ball at 21 years old in the majors after only having limited semi-pro experience. He played his first two seasons in the majors (1944-45) with the Brooklyn Dodgers, hitting .261 in 147 games. He hit .257/.310/.314 in 39 games for the Dodgers in 1944, but they thought he needed some minor league experience. He saw some time with Montreal of the Double-A International League (highest level of the minors at the time) during the second part of the 1944 season, and actually had slightly better stats in the majors. His .617 OPS in 68 games with Montreal was seven points lower than his mark with the Dodgers. The entire 1945 season was spent in the majors, where he hit .262 in 108 games. It was an empty average, with low power/walk numbers leading to a .606 OPS. He had 30 runs, 13 extra-base hits, 33 RBIs and 11 walks. Basinski was playing shortstop for the Dodgers at the time, a spot that was left vacant for three years when Hall of Fame Pee Wee Reese entered the military during WWII. When Reese returned, Basinski ended up spending the entire 1946 season in Triple-A (new level in 1946) with St Paul of the American Association, where he put up a .252 average and a .653 OPS in 136 games.
Basinski was traded to the Pirates in December of 1946 for pitcher Al Gerheauser. Basinski was the everyday second baseman for the Pirates for 2 1/2 months, then spent the next week on the bench. On July 10th, the Pirates acquired pitcher Mel Queen from the New York Yankees and agreed to send Basinski to Newark of the International League, which was considered the farm team for the Yankees. After 12 games, he ended up playing out the season with Portland of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. Basinski batted .199/.279/.335 with 15 runs, four homers and 17 RBIs in 56 games during his time with the Pirates, which ended up being his last year in the majors. Despite playing his final big league game with the Pirates on July 4, 1947 at 24 years old, his pro career was far from over. He played his final pro game in 1959, spending 12 1/2 seasons in the Pacific Coast League. Basinski batted just .200 in his 12 games with Newark, then finished off 1947 with a .278 average and a .697 OPS in 59 games for Portland. He ended up playing for Portland every season from 1947 through 1957, including nine full seasons (1948-56). He saw a lot of time during that stretch, as the PCL played a longer schedule than the majors.
Basinski played 175 games in 1948, hitting .277 with 83 runs, 31 extra-base hits and 50 RBIs. In 1949, he played 164 games and hit .267, with 74 runs, 32 doubles, seven triples, 12 homers and a career best 79 RBIs. He hit .240 in 202 games in 1950, getting a total of 822 plate appearances. He had 80 runs, 39 doubles, 15 homers and 75 RBIs. Basinski hit .266 in 169 games in 1951, with career bests of 109 runs and 16 homers, along with 32 doubles, 73 RBIs and a .732 OPS. He batted .246 in 1952, with 60 runs, 25 doubles, ten homers and 58 RBIs in 166 games. The 1953 season saw him hit .240 in 156 games, with 49 runs, 25 extra-base hits and 61 RBIs. Basinski batted .258 in 1954, with 73 runs, 34 doubles, 14 homers and 54 RBIs in 157 games. In 1955, he hit .271 in 98 games, with 31 runs, 21 extra-base hits and 33 RBIs. In his final full season in Portland in 1956, he hit .259 in 114 games, with 32 runs, 19 extra-base hits and 25 RBIs. The 1957 season was split between Portland and Seattle of the PCL, with a large majority of the time coming with Seattle. He hit .271 with 53 runs, 22 doubles, ten homers and 42 RBIs. His highest batting average in a season of pro ball was .277 until he managed to hit .301 in 107 gamesat age 35 in 1958 for Seattle. Basinski put up a career best .818 OPS that season. Surprisingly, he had just 43 games left, as he finishing his career hitting .138 with Vancouver of the PCL in 1959. He passed away at 99 years old in January of 2022. At the time he was the second oldest living former baseball player.
Spook Jacobs, second baseman for the 1956 Pirates. He got his nickname from his ability to hit weak bloopers just over infielders heads, which people called spooky because of how often he did it. He signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1946, but didn’t make his Major League debut until 1954 with the Philadelphia Athletics. His baseball career got a bit of a late start due to service in the Army during WWII. He debuted at 20 years old in 1946 with Thomasville of the Class-D North Carolina State League, where he hit .256 with 35 runs and 11 extra-base hits in 68 games. He moved up one level to Johnstown of the Middle Atlantic League in 1947, batting .318 in 125 games that season, with 114 runs, 28 doubles, 50 RBIs, 54 walks, 33 stolen bases and a .794 OPS. Jacobs was in Class-B in 1948, playing for Asheville of the Tri-State League. He hit .328 in 137 games that season, with 111 runs scored, 21 doubles, 13 triples, 92 RBIs, 47 steals and an .820 OPS. The 1949 season was the first of four straight year spent with Mobile of the Double-A Southern Association. He hit .265 with 60 runs, nine extra-base hits, 22 RBIs and ten steals in 99 games that year. In 1950, Jacobs batted .304 with 36 doubles and four triples in 150 games. The next year he hit .298 with 108 runs, 32 extra-base hits, 41 RBIs, 24 steals, 76 walks and a .772 OPS in 142 games. In 1952, he batted .316 in 120 games with Mobile, finishing with 22 doubles among his 26 extra-base hits. He also played 17 games with St Paul of the American Association that year, his first Triple-A experience. He hit .232 there, with 13 runs and ten walks. He returned to Double-A in 1953, playing for Fort Worth of the Texas League, where he hit .282 in 154 games, with 102 runs scored, 28 extra-base hits, 40 RBIs, 28 steals, 58 walks and a .676 OPS.
Jacobs was taken by the Philadelphia A’s in the Rule 5 draft after the 1953 season. That was after spending eight years in the minors with affiliates of the Dodgers. That 1954 season would end up being his only full season in the majors. He hit .258 in 132 games, with 63 runs, 12 extra-base hits (11 doubles), 26 RBIs, 60 walks and 17 stolen bases. Those were decent stats for a second baseman at the time, plus he made a lot of contact at the plate, striking out just 22 times in 575 plate appearances. The next season the A’s moved to Kansas City and Jacobs played just 13 Major League games that year, spending the rest of the season in Triple-A with Columbus of the International League, where he put up a .316 average and an .801 OPS in 122 games. He hit .261/.370/.261 in his brief time with the A’s. Jacobs made the A’s Opening Day roster in 1956, but was he sent to the minors in late May after hitting .216/.321/.247 in 32 games. On June 23, 1956 the Pirates traded pitcher Jack McMahan and second baseman Curt Roberts to the A’s to acquire Jacobs. He lasted just 11 days before being sent to the minors, where he spent the next 2 1/2 seasons with Pirates affiliates. Jacobs hit .162/.225/.216 over 41 plate appearances during his short stay in Pittsburgh. His replacement at second base was a 19-year-old named Bill Mazeroski, who was getting called up for the first time. Jacob’s minor league stats split between Columbus of Triple-A International League and Hollywood of the Pacific Coast League show a .342 average and an .822 OPS in 106 games.
Jacobs went to Spring Training with the Pirates in 1957, but on March 30th he was sent outright to Hollywood (along with pitcher Bob Garber) in exchange for catcher Hardy Peterson. Jacobs did well with Hollywood in 1957, putting up a .295 average, 88 runs and 72 walks in 135 games. He moved on to Columbus again in 1958-59, with that team switching affiliates from the A’s to Pirates since he played for them in 1956. He hit .292 in 150 games in 1958, with 86 runs, 25 extra-base hits, 41 RBIs and a .702 OPS. His performance dropped off at 33 years old in 1959. He hit .239 that year in 85 games, with 28 runs, five extra-base hits and 14 RBIs. He finished up his career by batting .306 in 125 games for Chattanooga of the Double-A Southern Association in 1960. Jacobs played a total of 188 Major League games over three season, hitting .247 with 87 runs, 16 doubles, one triple, 33 RBIs, 80 walks and 22 steals. He played 1,735 minor league games and finished with a .300 average. He hit nine homers in pro ball, all of them coming in the minors during the 1946-52 seasons. While he wasn’t much of a big league player, how could you not like a player named Spook Jacobs, especially when you find out his real name is Forrest Vandergrift Jacobs.
Logan Easley, pitcher for the 1987 and 1989 Pirates. He was a 20th round draft pick of the Yankees in 1981 out of the College of Southern Idaho. Easley spent 11 seasons in pro ball, including a brief stint in Mexico during his final season (1991). He spent his first two seasons of pro ball in Paintsville of the short-season Appalachian League. At 19 years old in 1981, he had a 3.91 ERA in 53 innings over 22 games, with one starts, two saves and 26 strikeouts. In 1982, he switched from relief to starting, where he went 7-4, 2.56 in 84.1 innings, with four complete games, a shutout and 59 strikeouts. Easley moved up to Greensboro of the Class-A South Atlantic League in 1983. He had a 14-8, 4.04 record in 158.1 innings, with 116 strikeouts. He completed seven of 22 starts, with four shutouts and seven relief appearances. The next year he pitched in the Class-A Florida State League with Fort Lauderdale, where he put together a 5-7, 3.85 record in 131 innings, with just 57 strikeouts. He made 19 starts and 13 relief appearances. The 1985 season was split between Fort Lauderdale and Albany-Colonie of the Double-A Eastern League, with most of his work coming in relief. Easley had a combined 6-4, 2.77 record in 104 innings, with four saves and 74 strikeouts. He spent the entire 1986 season with Albany-Colonie, getting plenty of work as the team’s closer. He went 8-7, 1.51 with 18 saves and 73 strikeouts in 77.2 innings. The Pirates acquired him in the six-player Doug Drabek/Rick Rhoden trade with the New York Yankees after the 1986 season.
Easley made the Opening Day roster for the Pirates in 1987 without any Triple-A experience, making his big league debut in the second game of the season. He was with the Pirates until the end of May. He was bothered by an elbow injury for much of 1987 and pitched sparingly after being sent to the minors. Easley had a 5.47 ERA in 26.1 innings over 17 appearances with the Pirates, while throwing a total of 28.1 innings with Vancouver of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. He had an off-season operation and then only pitched 28 times in relief in Triple-A (Buffalo of the American Association) during the 1988 season, though he was doing some long relief work, throwing a total of 68.2 innings. He went 1-3, 3.93 with two saves and 32 strikeouts that season. Easley rejoined the Pirates shortly after the 1989 season started and he made his final ten big league appearances between April 22nd and May 28th. His last two outings consisted of two shutout innings on May 26th and three no-hit frames two days later. He was released in November of 1989 and never made it back to the big leagues. He had a 4.38 ERA in 12.1 innings for the 1989 Pirates. In his only two seasons in the majors, he had a 2-1, 5.12 record in 38.2 innings over 27 appearances, with two saves and 27 strikeouts. Easley had a 4.28 ERA and 13 saves in 33.2 innings for Buffalo in 1989. He had trouble in the thin air in Denver in 1990, playing for the Triple-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers, where he had a 5.79 ERA in 74.2 innings, with more walks (41) than strikeouts (39). He pitched briefly for the Cleveland Indians in Double-A Canton-Akron of the Eastern League in 1991 (15 innings over six appearances), while also seeing very brief time that season with an independent team from Reno of the California League (three games). He also had a short stint with Mexico City of the Mexican League during his final season in pro ball.
John Grabow, pitcher for the 2003-09 Pirates. He was a third round draft pick by the Pirates in 1997 out of high school, who topped 60 appearances each year with the Pirates from 2004 until 2009. He made 133 starts in the minors, including nine in 2003, before transitioning to a relief role before his first trip to the majors. He did not have a lot of success during his first four full seasons in the majors, but he eventually established himself for a short time as a solid reliever. He debuted in pro ball in the Gulf Coast League at 18 years old, going 2-7, 4.57 in 45.1 innings over eight starts and three relief appearances. He moved up to the Low-A South Atlantic League in 1998, where he pitched for Augusta for one year, then Hickory the next when the Pirates switched affiliates. He had a 6-3, 5.78 record and 67 strikeouts in 71.2 innings in 1998, followed by a 9-10, 3.80 record in 156.1 innings, with 164 strikeouts in 1999. His WHIP went from 1.65 in 1998, to 1.18 in 1999. The next year saw him advance to Altoona of the Double-A Eastern League. Grabow had an 8-7, 4.33 record and 109 strikeouts in 145.1 innings that year over 24 starts. The 2001 season was odd, with the year starting and ending in Altoona, but an elbow injury in May caused him to spend the middle part of the season doing six rehab starts in the Gulf Coast League and seven with High-A Lynchburg. He combined to go 3-9, 4.53, with 86 strikeouts in 99.1 innings over 23 starts. He had some control issues that season, with a career high 69 walks, despite pitching more innings in four other seasons.
Grabow spent the entire 2002 season in Altoona, posting an 8-13, 5.47 record in 146.1 innings, with 97 strikeouts. Most of 2003 was spent back in Altoona, as he made the mid-season change to relief. He had a 3.36 ERA in 83 innings in Altoona, before putting together a 4.74 ERA in 17 appearances in Triple-A Nashville of the Pacific Coast League. He finished the season in the majors with three runs over five innings in five games. Grabow spent the 2004 season with the Pirates, going 2-5, 5.11 in 68 games, finishing with 64 strikeouts in 61.2 innings. In 2005, he had a 2-3, 4.85 record and 42 strikeouts in 52 innings over 63 games. His ERA improved in 2006 and he saw more mound time, going 4-2, 4.13 in 69.2 innings over 72 games, with 66 strikeouts. He slid back a bit in 2007, with a 4.53 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 51.2 innings over 63 appearances. Grabow had his best year in the majors in 2008, posting a 6-3, 2.84 record and 62 strikeouts in 76 innings over 74 appearances. That year he picked up four of his six career saves. He was doing well in the middle of 2009 when the Pirates sent him to the Chicago Cubs in a five-player deal that brought Josh Harrison back to Pittsburgh.
Grabow had a 3-0, 3.42 record and 41 strikeouts in 47.1 innings over 45 games before the trade, then put up solid numbers over the rest of 2009 with the Cubs, with a 3.24 mark in 25 innings and 30 outings. He signed a two-year free agent deal with the Cubs in 2010 and really struggled during the first year, going 1-3, 7.36 in 25.2 innings over 28 appearances. He sprained his left knee that season and didn’t pitch after June 28th. Grabow played his final big league season in 2011, going 3-1, 4.76 in 62.1 innings over 58 games. He signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers for 2012, but he was released during Spring Training. In his 2 1/2 seasons in Chicago, he had a 5.02 ERA in 113 innings over 116 games. He made 390 relief appearances while with the Pirates, posting a 20-15, 4.09 record in 363.1 innings, with 326 strikeouts.
Chris Resop, pitcher for the 2010-12 Pirates. He spent eight years in the majors as a reliever, including three in Pittsburgh. Resop was a fourth round draft pick out of high school by the Florida Marlins in 2001. It took him four years to make the majors, though his first full season didn’t come until 2011 with the Pirates. While he is known as a pitcher, he was drafted as an outfielder. He hit just .124 in 28 games in short-season ball (26 games in the Gulf Coast League) as a rookie in 2001, with 36 strikeouts in 99 plate appearances. In 2002, he hit .264 in 28 games in the Gulf Coast League, with a .686 OPS. He split the 2003 season between pitching and hitting with Low-A Greensboro of the South Atlantic League. He hit .191/.209/.292 in 37 games, and he had a 4.97 ERA and 15 strikeouts in 12.2 innings over 11 appearances. He was full-time pitching in 2004, returning to Greensboro, where he posted a 3-1, 2.11 record and 13 saves in 42.2 innings over 42 appearances. Resop struck out 71 batters in his limited time that year. He moved up to Carolina of the Double-A Southern League in 2005, where he had a 3-2, 2.57 record, 24 saves, and 56 strikeouts in 49 innings over 43 appearances. He ended up jumping over Triple-A to the majors that year and had an 8.47 ERA in 17 innings over 15 games for the Marlins. The 2006 season saw him post a 3.81 ERA in 49.2 innings over 40 games for Triple-A Albuquerque of the Pacific Coast League, and a 3.38 ERA in 21.1 innings over 22 appearances for the Marlins. He had 16 walks and ten strikeouts during his big league time that year.
Resop was traded to the Los Angeles Angels in December of 2006 and he appeared in just four big league games during the 2007 season, spending the rest of the year in Triple-A with Salt Lake City of the PCL. He gave up two runs over 4.1 innings with the Angels, and he had a 4.57 ERA in 45.1 innings with Salt Lake City. He was selected off of waivers by the Atlanta Braves just after the 2007 season ended. He had a 5.89 ERA in 18.1 innings over 16 games with the 2008 Braves, while spending part of the year in Japan, where he had a 4.45 ERA in 32.1 innings. He also saw brief time with Richmond of the Triple-A International League with the Braves. Resop spent all of 2009 in Japan, going 1-1, 5.21 in 19 innings. He then returned to the U.S. for the 2010 season back with the Braves. He spent most of that year in the minors, getting one appearance with the Braves in which he allowed five runs in two innings. He made two starts with Mississippi of the Double-A Southern League and 15 starts for Gwinnett of the International League, combining to go 6-3, 2.19 with 93 strikeouts in 86.1 innings.
The Pirates then took Resop off of waivers in August of 2010, and he finished the year by posting a 1.89 ERA in 19 innings over 22 games. He went 5-4, 4.39 in 76 games with the 2011 Pirates, compiling 79 strikeouts in 69.2 innings. The next season saw him go 1-4, 3.91 in 61 games, with an alarming drop in his strikeouts, going from 10.2 per nine innings in 2011 ,down to 5.6 per nine innings in 2012. On November 30, 2012, he was traded to the Oakland A’s for minor league pitcher Zach Thornton. Resop had a 6.00 ERA in 18 innings over 18 games with the 2013 A’s, which ended up being his last big league experience. He didn’t do any better with Triple-A Sacramento of the Pacific Coast League that year, posting a 6.81 ERA in 35.2 innings over 26 appearances. His career ended in the minor leagues with the Boston Red Sox in 2014, going 4-1, 4.42 in 38.2 innings over 25 appearances for Pawtucket of the International League. He had a 3.88 ERA in 162.1 innings over 159 appearances with the Pirates. He had a career 10-12, 4.62 record in 235 appearances, with 204 strikeouts in 243.1 innings. He saved two games, both while with the Pirates.