Eight former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, starting with a member of the first team in franchise history to win the World Series.
Bill Abstein, first baseman for the 1906 and 1909 Pirates. He played three seasons in the minors before he made his big league debut with the 1906 Pirates in late September. Abstein debuted with Houston of the Class-C South Texas League at 21 years old in 1904, where he hit .310 in 135 games, with 30 doubles, eight triples and 12 homers. He moved up to Shreveport of the Class-A Southern Association (highest level of the minors at the time) in 1905, where he hit .280 in 83 games. Pittsburgh purchased his contract in 1906 after he hit .311 in 127 games for Shreveport. Abstein was part of a group of seven new players announced on August 26, 1906, though at the time it said that he was being purchased for the 1907 season. He ended up joining the Pirates on September 25th, then went right into the lineup, where he batted .200/.200/.200 in eight September/October games. He was released to the Providence Grays of the Class-A Eastern League on February 16, 1907. He spent two full years there, hitting .276 over 281 games during that time. Abstein batted .279 in 1907, with 56 runs, 18 doubles, 12 triples, seven homers and 31 steals in 136 games. He had a .272 average over 145 games in 1908, finishing with 78 runs, 17 doubles, 19 triples, five homers and 26 steals. Pittsburgh owner Barney Dreyfuss got his contract back on August 7, 1908 from Providence, though he was allowed to finish out the minor league season before joining the Pirates. He was scheduled to report to the Pirates on September 21st, and manager Fred Clarke even wrote his name in the lineup that day, but he failed to show up to the team. Instead, Abstein decided to go home for the winter, after being worn down by playing 145+ games that season.
First base was considered to be the biggest hole in the Pirates lineup going into 1909, after they used four players there in 1908 with almost no success (the group combined for 0.4 WAR). The Pirates made Abstein the everyday first baseman in 1909. He would end up batting .260 in 137 games that year, with 51 runs, 20 doubles, ten triples, 70 RBIs and a .646 OPS, helping Pittsburgh to their second World Series appearance. Abstein hit .231/.310/.308, with three runs and two RBIs in the series against the Detroit Tigers. The Pirates took the World Series four games to three for their first title. Abstein was put on waivers following the 1909 season, where he was picked up by the St Louis Browns. He was a solid hitter for the deadball era, but the team and the fans had a lot of issues with his ability to play defense, which led to the move. It turned out to be a wise decision for the Pirates. He lasted just 25 games with the Browns in 1910, hitting .149/.169/.172, before returning to the minors, where he finished his baseball career in 1916. Abstein played two seasons for Jersey City of the Eastern League (1910-11), two years for for Memphis of the Southern Association (1912-13) and two years for Los Angeles of the Double-A Pacific Coast League (1914-15). He finished his career with Wichita/Colorado Springs of the Class-A Western League in 1916.
Abstein hit .261 for Jersey City in 1910, after his time with the Browns. He 27 extra-base hits in 118 games that season. He batted .247 in 1911, with 20 doubles, 13 triples and four homers in 153 games. His stats with Memphis in 1912 are limited to a .245 average in 138 games. Abstein hit .251 in 1913, with 59 runs, 19 doubles, 12 triples, five homers and 16 steals in 144 games. His first year with Los Angeles saw him play 202 games. He batted .308 that season, with 234 hits, 40 doubles, ten triples and one homer. He had a .192 average and seven extra-base hits in 57 games for Los Angeles in 1915, while spending the rest of the year with Seattle of the Class-B Northwestern League. He had a .247 average, one double and one homer in 20 games. He had a .248 average over 43 games with Wichita/Colorado Springs in 1914, finishing with four doubles and a triple.Abstein was a career .273 hitter over 1,501 games during his 12 seasons in the minors. He was a .242 hitter in 170 big league games, with 54 runs, 33 extra-base hits, 76 RBIs and 21 steals. In a sign of the times, he was referred to as “Big Bill” often, though he stood 6’0″, 185 pounds.
Troy Stokes Jr, outfielder for the 2021 Pirates. He was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers out of high school in the fourth round of the 2014 draft. At 18 years old, he was sent to the rookie level Arizona League, where he hit .262 in 47 games, with 29 runs scored, no homers, 18 RBIs, 19 steals and a .694 OPS. Stokes played for Helena of the short-season Pioneer League in 2015. He batted .270 in 62 games, with 51 runs, 19 extra-base hits, 27 RBIs, 26 steals and a .791 OPS. He was with Wisconsin of the Low-A Midwest League for the entire 2016 season. He hit .268 in 86 games that year, with 50 runs, 28 extra-base hits, 29 RBIs, 20 steals and a .753 OPS. Stokes split the 2017 season between High-A Carolina of the Carolina League, and Double-A Biloxi of the Southern League. In 135 games (100 with Carolina), he combined to hit for a .251 average, with 79 runs, 28 doubles, five triples, 20 homers, 74 RBIs, 31 steals, 63 walks and a .788 OPS. Stokes spent the entire 2018 season with Biloxi, hitting .233 in 129 games, with 74 runs, 23 doubles, 19 homers, 58 RBIs, 19 steals, 65 walks and a .773 OPS. Besides the low average, he also had the red flag of striking out 147 times, which was a much higher rate than his previous season. He played winter ball in Venezuela during the 2018-19 off-season and did well, hitting .298 in 28 games, with 21 runs, six extra-base hits, seven steals and an .838 OPS.
Stokes spent the 2019 season in Triple-A, playing for San Antonio of the Pacific Coast League. He hit .233 in 95 games, with 50 runs, 22 doubles, nine homers, 40 RBIs, 14 steals and a .726 OPS. The Detroit Tigers took him off of waivers in September of 2019. Stokes spent the shortened 2020 season recovering from a hand surgery. He was picked up by the Pirates on waivers in January of 2021, and he debuted in the majors on May 9th. He played eight games for the Pirates that year, batting .111/.200/.167 in 20 plate appearances. He was traded back to the Brewers in June of 2021, with the Pirates picking up minor league catcher Samuel Escudero in the deal. The Pirates also sent pitcher Jandel Gustave to the Brewers. Stokes spent the rest of the season in Triple-A, where he had troubles with both the Pirates and Brewers, combining to hit for a .199 average and a .606 OPS in 98 games. He hit just .169 in 29 games with Indianapolis before the trade, then batted .199 in 69 games with Nashville after the deal. He became a free agent after the season, and eventually signed with York of the independent Atlantic League. He played 113 games in 2022, finishing with a .274 average, 84 runs, 27 doubles, 19 homers, 62 RBIs, 31 steals and an .848 OPS.
Travis Snider, right fielder for the 2012-14 and 2015 Pirates. He was a first round draft pick of the Toronto Blue Jays in 2006 out of high school in Washington, taken 14th overall. It took him just two full seasons to get to the majors, making his big league debut at 20 years old on August 29, 2008. After signing, he played for Pulaski of the short-season Appalachian League, where he hit .325 in 54 games, with 36 runs, 12 doubles, 11 homers, 41 RBIs and a .979 OPS. He was rated as the 53rd best prospect by Baseball America going into 2007, but he would move far up that list in each of the next two years. Snider played for Lansing of the Low-A Midwest League in 2007. He batted .313 in 118 games, with 72 runs, 35 doubles, 16 homers, 93 RBIs and a .902 OPS. His total of 129 strikeouts at a low level could have been considered a red flag, but he still jumped to the #11 prospect in baseball going into 2008. Snider played in the Arizona Fall League after his first full season, where he hit .316/.404/.541, with 23 runs and 12 extra-base hits in 26 games. He spent a short time in both High-A with Dunedin of the Florida State League, and Triple-A Syracuse of the International League during the 2008 season, but the majority of his year (98 games) was spent with New Hampshire of the Double-A Eastern League. He did well at all three levels, combining to hit .275 in 133 games, with 89 runs, 31 doubles, 23 homers, 91 RBIs, 61 walks and an .838 OPS, though the strikeouts jumped to 154 that year. The Blue Jays gave Snider his first taste of the big leagues. He responded by hitting .301/.338/.446, with nine runs, six doubles, two homers and 13 RBIs in 24 games during his first trial in the majors.
Baseball America rated Snider as the #6 prospect after the 2008 season. He made the Toronto Opening Day roster in 2009, although he couldn’t stick for the entire season. He was sent to Triple-A Las Vegas of the Pacific Coast League in late May, then returned to the Blue Jays in August to finish the season. Las Vegas was a great park for hitters, but Snider went beyond expectations with a .337 average and a 1.094 OPS in 48 games. He hit .241 in 77 big league games, with 34 runs, 14 doubles, nine homers, 29 RBIs and a .748 OPS. Snider spent time on the disabled list in 2010, limiting him to 82 games in the majors and 25 rehab games over three levels in the minors. However, he batted .255 for the Blue Jays, while setting career highs with 20 doubles and 14 homers over his half season of work. He had 36 runs, 32 RBIs and a .767 OPS. Snider struggled in the majors in 2011, hitting just .225 in 49 games, with 23 runs, 14 doubles, three homers, 30 RBIs and a .616 OPS. He spent over two months in Las Vegas that year, putting up a .327 average and an .873 OPS in 61 games. He joined the Pirates during the middle of the 2012 season, coming over in a trade with the Blue Jays for pitcher Brad Lincoln. Snider played just ten big league games that year prior to the trade, though he had a .335/.423/.598 slash line in 56 games with Las Vegas. He did well during that brief time with Toronto, as three homers helped him to an .856 OPS.
Snider did poorly in 2012 after the deal, putting up a .652 OPS in 50 games with the Pirates, finishing with a .250 average, 17 runs, five doubles, one homer and nine RBIs. He had a platoon role in right field in 2013, playing 111 games that year, with 53 outfield starts. He had a career worst .614 OPS, while putting up a .215 average, with 28 runs, 12 doubles, five homers and 25 RBIs. Despite his -0.7 WAR in a regular role, the Pirates still made it to the playoffs for the first time in 21 years that season. Snider struck out in his only postseason at-bat. He played a career high 140 games in 2014, though half of his games were off of the bench (71 starts). He batted .264 that year, with a career high 37 runs, as well as 15 doubles, 13 homers, 38 RBIs and a .776 OPS. In 301 games with the Pirates over that three-year stretch, he had a .243 average, with 82 runs, 32 doubles, 19 homers and 72 RBIs in 711 at-bats. He was traded to the Baltimore Orioles in January of 2015, for minor league pitchers Steven Brault and Stephen Tarpley. Snider returned to the Pirates after being released by the Orioles in mid-August. At the time of his release, he was hitting .239 in 69 games, with 23 runs, nine doubles, three homers, 20 RBIs and a .659 OPS. He hit .192/.276/.423 in 18 games for the 2015 Pirates, with one run, three doubles, one home run and eight RBIs. That was his last action in the majors, though he was still an active player up until 2021. In 630 big league games over eight seasons, he was a .244 hitter, with 214 runs, 100 doubles, 54 homers and 212 RBIs.
Since leaving the Pirates the second time, Snider spent time at Triple-A with the Kansas City Royals (2016), Texas Rangers (2017), New York Mets (2017), Arizona Diamondbacks (2019) and Atlanta Braves (2021), as well as a stint in independent ball. He spent 2016 with Omaha of the Pacific Coast League, where he hit .246 in 85 games, with 36 runs, 21 extra-base hits, 29 RBIs and a .690 OPS. He split 2017 between Round Rock of the Pacific Coast League (Rangers affiliate) and Las Vegas (Mets). Snider combined to post a .296 average in 117 games, with 59 runs, 26 doubles, ten homers, 52 RBIs, 56 walks and an .807 OPS. He played independent ball in 2018 with Long Island of the Atlantic League, hitting .290 in 94 games, with 63 runs, 20 doubles, 13 homers, 71 RBIs and an .837 OPS. He was with Reno of the Pacific Coast League in 2019, where he hit .294 in 93 games, with 45 runs, 22 doubles, 11 homers, 41 RBIs and an .899 OPS. His final season was spent with Gwinnett of the old International League (MLB had a bad idea to change minor league names in 2021, and it quickly went back in 2022). Snider had a .174 average and a .610 OPS in 63 games that season.
Ronny Cedeno, shortstop for the Pirates from 2009 until 2011. He was signed as an international free agent by the Chicago Cubs in 1999 out of Venezuela at 16 years old. It took him six years before he made the majors, debuting with the Cubs in April of 2005. He debuted in pro ball in the Venezuelan Summer League in 2000 (no stats available), then jumped to the U.S. in 2001, where he played 52 games for the rookie level Arizona League Cubs and another 17 games with Lansing of the Low-A Midwest League. Cedeno hit .317 between both stops, with 45 runs, 22 extra-base hits, 19 RBIs, an .808 OPS and 17 steals in 29 attempts, with much better overall results at the lower level. He spent most of 2002 with Lansing, where he batted .213 in 98 games, with a .564 OPS. He also played 29 games for Boise of the short-season Pioneer League and put up almost identical results, with a .218 average and a .575 OPS. Between both stops, he had 61 runs, 22 doubles, 37 RBIs and 22 steals in 34 attempts. Cedeno played the 2003 season with Daytona of the High-A Florida State League. He batted .211 in 107 games, with 43 runs, 18 doubles, four homers, 36 RBIs, 19 steals and a .552 OPS. He advanced to Double-A in 2004, spending the season with West Tennessee of the Southern League. He hit .279 in 116 games that season, with 39 runs, 30 extra-base hits, 48 RBIs and a .729 OPS. He went 10-for-20 in steals. The Cubs sent him to the Arizona Fall League after the season (no stats available). Cedeno had multiple stints with the Cubs in 2005, though he played more often for Triple-A Iowa of the Pacific Coast League. He played 41 big league games that season, hitting .300/.356/.375, with 13 runs, three doubles, one homer and six RBIs in 80 at-bats. He had a .355 average and a .921 OPS in 65 games with Iowa.
Cedeno was the starting shortstop for the 2006 Cubs, batting .245 in 151 games, with 51 runs, 18 doubles, seven triples, six homers, 41 RBIs and a .610 OPS. Despite some solid overall numbers, he had a 17:109 BB/SO ratio, and he was successful in just half of his 16 stolen base attempts. He spent the winter playing full-time in Venezuela, giving him nearly 200 games for the year. He had a .660 OPS in 45 games that off-season. Cedeno spent more than half of the 2007 season in Iowa, where he put up a .359 average in 75 games. He had a much tougher time in the majors, batting .203 in 38 games, with six runs, two doubles, four homers, 13 RBIs and a .623 OPS that was actually 13 points higher than the previous season. He took more of a utility role in 2008, batting .269 in 99 games, with 36 runs, 12 doubles, two homers, 28 RBIs and a .680 OPS, while seeing time at five different positions. Cedeno was traded to the Seattle Mariners on January 28, 2009. He was struggling through the 2009 season, hitting just .167/.213/.290 in 59 games, when the Pirates acquired him in a seven-player deal just before the July 31st trading deadline. Jack Wilson went to Seattle in the trade, and Cedeno replaced him as the everyday starting shortstop. In 46 games after the deal, he hit .258/.307/.394, with 17 runs, four doubles, five homers and 21 RBIs.
While serving as the starting shortstop for the 2010 Pirates, Cedeno batted .256 in 139 games, with 42 runs, 29 doubles, eight homers, 38 RBIs, 12 stolen bases and a .675 OPS. He saw slightly less playing time in 2011, when he posted a .636 OPS in 128 games. He batted .249 that year, with 43 runs, 25 doubles, two homers, 32 RBIs and a career high 30 walks. Cedeno was granted free agency in October of 2011, then he signed with the New York Mets during the following January. In his 2+ seasons in Pittsburgh, he hit .254 in 313 games, with 102 runs, 58 doubles, 15 homers and 91 RBIs. He last played in the majors in 2014, seeing time with four different teams over his final three years. He spent 2012 with the Mets, where he hit .259 in 78 games, with 18 runs, 11 doubles, four homers, 22 RBIs and a .741 OPS. Cedeno split 2013 between the Houston Astros and San Diego Padres, combining to hit .242 in 89 games, with 24 runs, 14 extra-base hits, 21 RBIs and a .617 OPS. His final season (2014) was spent with the Philadelphia Phillies, which amounted to an 0-for-9 at the plate in seven games. He played 83 games at Triple-A that season, split between Lehigh Valley of the International League for the Phillies, and Reno of the Pacific Coast League for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He had a .313 average and a .799 OPS between both stops.
Besides his big league time after leaving Pittsburgh, Cedeno also saw minor league time with the St Louis Cardinals in 2013, the Diamondbacks in 2014 and San Francisco Giants in 2015. He played in Mexico in 2015 and Italy in 2016. He had a .261 average and a .673 OPS in 61 games for Sacramento of the Pacific Coast League (Giants affiliate) in 2015. He lasted 20 games in Mexico that year, putting up a .217 average and a .610 OPS. Cedeno put up big numbers during his time in Italy, hitting .358 in 27 games, with a .930 OPS. Since that 2016 season, he was active in winter ball up to the 2021-22 off-season in Venezuela, where he hit .275/.337/.360 in 41 games at 38 years old. He played a total of 16 seasons of winter ball during his 21-year pro career, which has helped him compile 2,335 games in pro ball, with 1,035 runs scored and 2,172 hits (those numbers are missing his season in Venezuela in 2000, and his Arizona Fall League stats). In 875 big league games over ten seasons, Cedeno had a .245 average, with 265 runs, 116 doubles, 40 homers and 239 RBIs. On defense he had a strong 2011 season with the Pirates, posting a 1.4 defensive WAR, but his career mark stood at 0.8, and he was usually slightly below average, which led to a career -1.6 WAR, despite a 1.9 WAR mark during his time in Pittsburgh.
Pat Clements, pitcher for the Pirates during the 1985-86 seasons. He was originally drafted by the New York Yankees in the 32nd round of the 1980 draft out of high school, but decided to attend college at the University of California instead of signing. The Yankees would eventually get their man, but not until after he played for the Pirates. Three years after being drafted the first time, the California Angels selected him in the fourth round of the 1983 draft, and he quickly signed. Just 22 months later, Clements was in the majors. He debuted in pro ball with Peoria of the Class-A Midwest League, where he went 4-7, 4.48 in 92.1 innings, with 67 strikeouts and four complete games. He jumped up to Double-A to play with Waterbury of the Eastern League in 1984, where he had a 4-2, 2.69 record in 67 innings. Clements started 14 of his 15 games in 1983, but he switched to relief in his first full season of pro ball, starting just two of his 43 appearances. He started his big league career in 1985 on the Angels Opening Day roster, going 5-0, 3.34 in 62 innings and 41 relief appearances. He was in the middle of his rookie season when the Pirates acquired him in a six-player deal in early August, which also included veterans John Candelaria and George Hendrick. Clements would go 0-2, 3.67 in 27 games for the Pirates to finish out that rookie year. He pitched a total of 96.1 innings, yet he had just 36 strikeouts. He pitched 61 innings over 65 appearances during the 1986 season, finishing with an 0-4, 2.80 record and two saves. He was dealt to the Yankees in a six-player trade in November of 1986, along with Cecilio Guante and Rick Rhoden. The Pirates received three young players back in the deal, including Doug Drabek.
Clements didn’t see any minor league time during the 1985-86 seasons, but he returned there for a short time in 1987, and then he spent most of 1988 in Triple-A with Columbus of the International League, where he made 16 starts and 16 relief appearances. He had a 3-3, 4.95 record and seven saves in 80 innings over 55 appearances with the 1987 Yankees, then allowed eight runs in 8.1 innings over six appearances during his brief big league time in 1988. That year he went 6-7, 2.75 in 144 innings with Columbus, putting up strong results, despite finishing with just 69 strikeouts. He was traded to the San Diego Padres over the 1988-89 off-season, and remained there until the middle of the 1992 season. He spent approximately half of his time with the Padres in the majors and the other half in Triple-A with Las Vegas of the Pacific Coast League. Clements went 4-1, 3.92 in 39 innings over 23 games (one start) for the 1989 Padres. He had a 4.09 ERA in 55 innings with Las Vegas that year. He made nine big league appearances in 1990, posting a 4.15 ERA in 13 innings. He pitched poorly in the minors over 13 starts and 13 relief appearances, going 4-3, 6.05 in 86.1 innings with Las Vegas. His 1991 season was limited to 23 relief appearances total, including 11 games with Las Vegas. He went 1-0, 3.77 in 14.1 innings with the Padres. He was out for much of the 1991 season with a shoulder injury.
Clements did well during the first half of the 1992 season, but the Padres still moved on from him after he posted a 2.66 ERA in 23.2 innings over 26 games. The Baltimore Orioles selected him off waivers on July 10, 1992. He finished up his big league time with Baltimore later that season, putting together a 3.28 ERA in 24.2 innings. Clements ended his eight-year Major League career with a 17-11, 3.77 ERA in 360.1 innings over 288 games, with 160 walks and 158 strikeouts. He started just two games in the majors, though he had 53 minor league starts, including three seasons with 13+ starts between 1983 and 1990. He collected seven saves during his one full season with the Yankees, then failed to pick up another save over the next five years in the majors. He briefly pitched in Triple-A with the Orioles in 1993 before retiring, allowing seven runs in 10.2 innings with Rochester of the International League. Clements pitched 92 games with the Pirates without picking up a win. No pitcher in team history comes close to that mark among the other 322 pitchers who failed to pick up a win (through the end of 2022) while playing for the Pirates. John Lamb is second with 47 games.
Manny Sarmiento, pitcher for the Pirates during the 1982-83 seasons. He played parts of five seasons in the majors before the Pirates purchased his contract from the Boston Red Sox after the 1981 season. Sarmiento was signed at 16 years old by the Cincinnati Reds out of Venezuela in 1972. He debuted in the Gulf Coast League in 1972, where he posted a 2-6, 2.92 record and 34 strikeouts in 40 innings over 18 relief appearances. He was still in short-season ball in 1973, playing for Seattle of the Northwestern League, where he had a 2-6, 2.15 record, 60 strikeouts and 14 saves in 67 innings over 36 appearances. He was in A-Ball in 1974, playing for Tampa of the Florida State League. He made nine starts and 30 relief appearances that year, going 10-9, 2.86 in 126 innings, with 11 saves and 80 strikeouts. The 1975 season was spent with Trois-Rivieres of the Double-A Eastern League, where he went 6-8, 2.58 in 64 games (one start), with 15 saves and 114 strikeouts in 129 innings. Sarmiento moved up to Triple-A Indianapolis of the American Association in 1976. He had an 11-5, 2.77 record, a 1.12 WHIP, 51 strikeouts and six saves in 65 innings over 43 games. He debuted in the majors that year, going 5-1, 2.06, with a 1.10 WHIP in 43.2 innings over 22 appearances.
Despite those strong results as a rookie, Sarmiento still spent half of the 1977 season back in Indianapolis, where he went 3-4, 6.69 in 35 innings, with 35 strikeouts. He pitched well for the Reds that season, posting a 2.45 ERA and an 0.97 WHIP in 40.1 innings over 24 appearances. His only full season in the majors prior to joining Pittsburgh was in 1978, when he went 9-7, 4.38 in 127.1 innings over 63 games for the Reds. He had 72 strikeouts and a 1.28 WHIP. His five saves that season ended up being his career high, and nearly half of his career total. After spending all of 1978 in the majors, Sarmiento was limited to 38.2 innings with the Reds in 1979. His 4.66 ERA was the highest of his career, as was his 1.40 WHIP. He spent half of that season back with Indianapolis, where he had a 2.37 ERA in 38 innings. He was released by the Reds at the end of Spring Training in 1980, then signed with the Seattle Mariners, where he made nine relief appearances during the 1980 season, posting a 3.68 ERA in 14.2 innings. Sarmiento got a lot of work with Spokane of the Pacific Coast League that season, going 8-7, 3.00, with 66 strikeouts and 13 saves in 63 innings, spread over 51 relief appearances. The Mariners traded him to the Boston Red Sox at the end of Spring Training in 1981. He spent the entire 1981 season in the minors, where he posted a 2.34 ERA, ten saves and 99 strikeouts in 96 innings over 47 relief appearances in Triple-A with Pawtucket of the International League.
Sarmiento was purchased by the Pirates on October 23, 1981. He began the 1982 season in Triple-A with Portland of the Pacific Coast League, making six appearances before being called up by the Pirates. He allowed one earned run over nine innings during that brief minor league time. Sarmiento was used by the Pirates out of the bullpen at first, then moved to the starting rotation in June, where he made a total of 17 starts that year. In his 35 total appearances, he went 9-4, 3.39 in 164.1 innings, with four complete games, a 1.21 WHIP and 81 strikeouts. He was moved to a bullpen role for 1983, where he had a 3-5, 2.99 record and four saves in 84.1 innings over 52 appearances. In his first inning of work during Spring Training in 1984, Sarmiento injured his elbow and missed the entire season. He returned for one season of Triple-A in 1985 and had decent results for Hawaii of the Pacific Coast League, finishing with a 3.18 ERA in 107.2 innings, but he never returned to the majors. He played in Mexico in 1986 before retiring. In his seven-year big league career, he went 26-22, 3.49 with 12 saves and 283 strikeouts in 513.2 innings over 228 appearances (22 starts). With the Pirates, Sarmiento went 12-9, 3.25 with five saves in 245 innings.
John Tudor, pitcher for the 1984 Pirates. He was in the majors with the Boston Red Sox for five seasons before the Pirates acquired him in December of 1983 in exchange for Mike Easler. He was originally drafted by the New York Mets in 1975 out of Georgia Southern University, taken in the 21st round. Back when the draft had a January phase as well, Tudor moved up to the third round just seven months later when he signed with the Red Sox. He reached Triple-A just one year later, but didn’t make his big league debut until two full years after his Triple-A debut. He spent his first season with Winston-Salem of the Class-A Carolina League, where he went 5-2, 2.74 in 82 innings over 25 games (five starts), with 76 strikeouts. He spent most of 1977 with Bristol of the Double-A Eastern League, going 6-5, 3.52 in 115 innings over 16 starts and 11 relief appearances. He also pitched four times in relief for Pawtucket of the Triple-A International League. He spent all of 1978 with Pawtucket, going 7-4, 3.09 in 105 innings spread over 12 starts and 14 relief appearances. He had 83 strikeouts and a 1.49 WHIP. Before he debuted in the majors in mid-August of 1979, Tudor had a 10-11, 2.93 record, a 1.21 WHIP and 103 strikeouts in 163 innings over 24 starts (one relief outing) for Pawtucket. He had a 6.43 ERA in 28 innings over six starts with the 1979 Red Sox.
Tudor spent half of the 1980 season in the majors, and he did well during that time. He went 4-5, 3.65 in 74 innings for Pawtucket that season. He had an 8-5, 3.02 record in 92.1 innings for the Red Sox, with 13 starts and three relief outings. He saw a slip in his production during the strike-shortened 1981 season, with a 4-3, 4.58 record in 78.2 innings, covering 11 starts and seven relief appearances. He finally saw full-time starting rotation work during the 1982-83 seasons, making a total of 64 starts during that two-year stretch. Tudor won 13 games each season, which set/tied a career high for victories that he would soon smash. He went 13-10, 3.63 in 195.2 innings in 1982, with six complete games and one shutout. His 146 strikeouts that year represented a career high at the time, and he topped that total just once in his career. Tudor had a 13-12, 4.09 record in 1983, with 136 strikeouts in 242 innings. He had seven complete games and two shutouts. The Pirates got him even up in a deal for veteran outfielder Mike Easler on December 6, 1983. Tudor went 12-11, 3.27 in 32 starts for the 1984 Pirates, throwing a total of 212 innings, with six complete games. He was one of four pitchers to win at least 12 games that season, playing for a club that would finish 12 games under the .500 mark. Almost a year to the day the Pirates traded for him, they dealt him to the St Louis Cardinals in a four-player deal that got them George Hendrick. It turned out to be a disaster, though the Pirates cut bait on Hendrick quickly before it could get much worse.
Tudor had a career year in 1985, leading St Louis to the World Series with 21 wins, a 1.93 ERA and ten shutouts. He never won more than 13 games in any of his other 11 seasons in the majors, and he threw just six other shutouts in his entire career. He also set career highs with 275 innings pitched and 169 strikeouts that season. He started five postseason games and won three of them, including two World Series victories. He finished second in the Cy Young voting and eighth in the MVP race. Tudor had a strong year in 1986 as well, going 13-7, 2.92 in 219 innings over 30 starts, with 107 strikeouts. It was the last time he topped 200 innings, and the last time he reached 100 strikeouts in a season. He was still effective for a time after that point, going on to help the Cardinals to the 1987 World Series, and the Los Angeles Dodgers to the 1988 World Series. He went 10-2, 3.84 in 96 innings over 16 starts during the 1987 season, but he missed three full months after getting crashed into while on the bench. New York Mets catcher Barry Lyons chased down a foul ball that led him into the St Louis dugout and right towards Tudor, who suffered a broken bone in his right leg. He had a 6-5, 2.29 record in 21 starts during the 1988 season, when the Cardinals traded him to the Dodgers for Pedro Guerrero in mid-August. Tudor went 4-3, 2.41 in 52.1 innings over nine starts after the deal. He made two postseason starts and allowed four runs in 6.1 innings, with no decision in either game.
Tudor’s career was sidetracked in 1989 when injuries limited him to just 14.1 innings. He had both elbow and shoulder surgery during the 1988-89 off-season, then missed time in July/August with a shoulder issue. He pitched well in 1990 while back with the Cardinals, going 12-4, 2.40 in 146.1 innings, but he decided to retire after the season due to lingering injury issues. He finished with a 117-72, 3.12 record in 1,797 big league innings over 281 games. He made 263 starts, threw 50 complete games and 16 shutouts, while racking up 988 strikeouts. Tudor was a talented pitcher, who relied later in his career on command and changing speeds. Multiple arm, knee and shoulder injuries/surgeries during his last few seasons had his fastball down to about 80 MPH average in his final season, which easily made him the slowest non-knuckleball pitcher in the game at that point.
Fred Waters, pitcher for the Pirates during the 1955-56 seasons. He was originally signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1949 as an amateur free agent, then moved on to the Milwaukee Braves early in 1953, before the Pirates traded for him later that same year. Waters debuted in pro ball at 22 years old with Greenwood of the Class-C Cotton States League in 1949. He went 18-6, 2.63 in 236 innings, with 218 strikeouts, 18 complete games and six shutouts. He played at three different levels in 1950, with limited time at both Double-A with Fort Worth of the Texas League and Triple-A with St Paul of the American Association, while spending most of the year with Class-A Elmira of the New York-Penn League. He combined to go 6-10, 4.54 in 123 innings, with 106 of those innings coming in Elmira. Waters played for three teams again in 1951, though this time it was all in the lower levels, including a majority of his time being spent back with Greenwood. His other two teams were both in Class-B leagues. He pitched 25 innings total for Asheville of the Tri-State League and Newport News of the Piedmont League. He combined to go 13-1, 2.33 in 135 innings. The 1952 season was spent with Mobile of the Double-A Southern Association. Waters had a 4-8, 4.88 record that year in 129 innings, which were spread over 11 starts and 27 relief appearances. Before joining the Pirates, the Braves purchased his contract from the Dodgers on April 17, 1953. He then spent the 1953 season with Lincoln of the Class-A Western League, where he went 10-10, 4.19 in 191 innings, with a 108:173 BB/SO ratio. He also played three games that year with Atlanta of the Double-A Southern Association.
Waters was one of six players, plus cash, that the Pirates received in return for second baseman Danny O’Connell on December 26, 1953. Waters pitched three games for Denver of the Class-A Western Association in 1954, while spending the majority of the year with Waco of the Class-B Big State League. He went 12-4, 3.18 in 116 innings for Waco. Waters spent a short time with Waco in 1955, but a majority of the season was spent with Mexico City in the Mexican League, where he went 18-3, 2.06 in 170 innings, before the Pirates called him up in mid-September of 1955. He joined the Pirates on September 11th, then pitched two games in relief during his first big league trial at 28 years old. He allowed two runs in five innings. He began the 1956 season back in the minors with Hollywood of the Pacific League, where he went 4-3, 3.25 in 72 innings. The Pirates called him up for a July 14th doubleheader, in which he pitched in both games. He would go on to pitch 23 games that season for the Pirates, five as a starter. He finished with a 2-2, 2.82 record in 51 innings. He had his contract sold to Hollywood of the Pacific Coast League on February 12, 1957, but he was still able to attend Spring Training with the Pirates that year, and he had a chance to win a job. Despite throwing seven shutout innings during Spring Training in 1957, Waters was one of the final cuts before Opening Day. He then returned to the minors for five more seasons before retiring as a player.
Waters went 5-7, 3.54 in 122 innings for Hollywood in 1957, with 11 starts and 28 relief appearances. He had a 5-3, 4.77 record in 83 innings for Mexico City of the Mexican League in 1958. He also pitched seven games for Chattanooga of the Double-A Southern Association that year. His 1959 season shows just three appearances with Mexico City. He was pitching with Pensacola of the Class-D Alabama-Florida League during the 1960-62 seasons. That was the equivalent of pitching in short-season ball now, so it’s no surprise that he dominated the league, going 41-13, 2.04, with 511 strikeouts in 516 innings during his final three years as a player, with his results getting better each season. He actually had to wait to sign with the team while the league decided to pass a rule allowing clubs to have two veteran players each. Waters was also coaching local high school ball at the same time. After he was done playing, he managed for 21 years in the Minnesota Twins farm system, starting act two of his career in 1964.