Five former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date. Before we get into them, current Pirates player Drew Maggi turns 34 today. He debuted this year in the majors.
Williams Jerez, pitcher for the 2019 Pirates. He was born in the Dominican Republic, but he was a 2011 draft pick of the Boston Red Sox, selected in the second round out of high school in Brooklyn, NY. Jerez was an outfielder during his first three seasons of minor league ball, failing to get out of short-season ball, while watching his OPS drop each year. He hit .248 while playing in the rookie level Gulf Coast League in 2011, finishing with 12 runs, five extra-base hits, 12 RBIs and a .595 OPS over 32 games. He moved up to Lowell of the New York-Penn League in 2012, where he hit .241 in 23 games, with six runs, three doubles, five RBIs and a .553 OPS. He had a .177/.203/.235 slash line over 38 games with Lowell in 2013. He failed to hit a homer for the third straight season, while drawing just 12 walks total in three years. Jerez switched to pitching in 2014. He had a 2.88 ERA, 40 strikeouts and a 1.28 WHIP in 34.1 innings, while still remaining in short-season ball, splitting the year between the Gulf Coast League and Lowell. He finally made it to full-season ball with Greenville of the Low-A South Atlantic League in 2015. He ended up running through three levels that year, finishing with Portland of the Double-A Eastern League. His stop between those levels with Salem of the High-A Carolina League was brief, and saw him allow one earned run in 12.1 innings. Jerez had a combined 2.54 ERA, a 1.34 WHIP and 86 strikeouts in 88.2 innings over 41 appearances during the 2015 season. He spent all of 2016 in Portland, posting a 4.71 ERA, a 1.54 WHIP and 65 strikeouts in 65 innings over 40 appearances. He began 2017 in Portland, before moving up to Pawtucket of the Triple-A International League late in the season. Between the two levels, he had a 3.27 ERA, a 1.29 WHIP, four saves and 57 strikeouts in 63.1 innings over 38 games.
Jerez pitched winter ball in the Dominican for the first time during the 2017-18 off-season. He made ten relief appearances, though he threw just 5.2 innings total. He began 2018 in Pawtucket, where he made 34 appearances before he was traded to the Los Angeles Angels on July 30th, as part of a deal to acquire Ian Kinsler. Jerez had a 3.63 ERA, a 1.38 WHIP and 69 strikeouts in 52 innings at the time of the deal. He reported to Salt Lake City of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League after the trade, but the Angels soon brought him to the majors for the first time. He put up a 6.00 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP in 15 innings over 17 appearances during his first trial in the majors. The Angels traded him to the San Francisco Giants at the end of Spring Training in 2019 for Chris Stratton, who became his teammate with the Pirates just 4 1/2 months later. Jerez spent most of the 2019 season in Triple-A with Sacramento of the Pacific Coast League. He appeared in six games with the Giants spread out over three stints between May and August. He gave up two runs in 6.2 innings during that time, while posting a 3.86 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP in 56 innings for Sacramento.
The Pirates acquired Jerez via waivers on September 13, 2019. He made six appearances for the 2019 Pirates, allowing three runs in 3.2 innings. He was with the Pirates during Spring Training in 2020, but he wasn’t part of the 60-man player pool during the season, so he didn’t participate in any games during that pandemic shortened season. He became a free agent once the 2020 season ended. Jerez pitched winter ball in the Dominican during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 off-seasons, making a total of 28 relief appearances. He signed a minor league deal with the Seattle Mariners for 2021, but struggled badly with an 11.32 ERA and a 2.08 WHIP in 19 appearances. He pitched for Staten Island of the independent Atlantic League in 2022, where he allowed ten runs in 4.2 innings. He had a 2.38 ERA and an 0.79 WHIP over 11.1 innings in the Dominican during the 2022-23 off-season. Jerez then signed to play with Charleston of the Atlantic League in 2023, where he gave up four runs over one inning in his debut.
Mitch Webster, Pirates outfielder in 1991. He was a 23rd round draft pick of the Dodgers in 1977 out of high school in Kansas, but he was taken in the minor league draft by the Toronto Blue Jays in 1979 before he played in Los Angeles. The switch-hitter Webster hit .351 over 55 games with Lethbridge of the short-season Pioneer League in 1977, with 45 runs, four doubles, 31 RBIs, 13 steals, 36 walks and an .841 OPS. Despite those outstanding results, he spent half of 1978 back in the Pioneer League. He also played part of the year with Clinton of the Class-A Midwest League, combining between both stops to post a .283 average, with 76 runs, ten extra-base hits, 27 RBIs, 26 steals, 64 walks and a .718 OPS in 100 games. Webster spent all of 1979 in Clinton, putting up a .326 average in 123 games, with 95 runs, 26 extra-base hits, 40 RBIs, 54 steals, 58 walks and an .808 OPS. In his first season in the Blue Jays system, he split the year between Kinston of the Class-A Carolina League and Syracuse of the Triple-A International League. He hit .265 in 114 games between the two stops, with 66 runs, 16 extra-base hits, 40 RBIs, 20 steals and a .636 OPS. He had much better results that year at the lower level. His odd progress saw him spend all of 1981 in Double-A with Knoxville of the Southern League, after skipping that level during the previous season. He hit .294 that year, with 89 runs, 26 doubles, 42 RBIs, 52 steals and a .720 OPS in 140 games. Webster then moved back to Triple-A Syracuse in 1982, where he batted .281 in 137 games, with 95 runs, 41 extra-base hits, 68 RBIs, 67 walks and a .796 OPS. The 1983 season was spent back in Syracuse, where he hit .260 in 135 games, with 77 runs, 43 extra-base hits, 45 RBIs, 67 walks, 21 steals and a .764 OPS. That performance got him a September call-up to the majors, where he went 2-for-11 in 11 games for the Blue Jays.
Webster was with the Blue Jays for the first six weeks of the 1984 season, then came back in September after being sent to Syracuse. He didn’t start a single game during his first stint, then started twice during the final month. He did well with Syracuse that year, hitting .300 in 95 games, with 60 runs, 30 extra-base hits, 25 RBIs, 16 steals, 51 walks and an .801 OPS. His big league stats amounted to 23 plate appearances and a .670 OPS over 26 games. Webster played four early-season big league games in 1985, before being dealt to the Montreal Expos in late June. That move not only brought him back to the majors, it gave him a chance to play regularly. He was hitting .275/.346/.381 over 47 games with Syracuse at the time of the trade. He played 74 games for the Expos over the final 3+ months of the 1985 season, hitting .274 during that time, with 32 runs, eight doubles, 11 homers, 30 RBIs, 15 steals and an .821 OPS. Webster batted .290 over 151 games in 1986, with 89 runs, 31 doubles, eight homers, 49 RBIs, 36 steals, 57 walks, a .786 OPS and a league-leading 13 triples. He led all National League center fielders with 12 assists. He played a career high 156 games in 1987, when he set personal bests with 101 runs scored, 15 homers, 63 RBIs and 70 walks. He hit .281 that year, with 30 doubles, eight triples, 33 steals and a .796 OPS.
Webster’s stats dropped off in 1988, before he was traded mid-season to the Chicago Cubs. He hit .260 in 151 games between both stops, with 69 runs, 30 extra-base hits, 39 RBIs, 55 walks, 22 steals in 36 attempts, and a .693 OPS. He became a platoon player in 1989, when he hit .257 in 98 games, with 40 runs, 19 extra-base hits, 19 RBIs, 14 steals and a .695 OPS in 308 plate appearances. He was traded to the Cleveland Indians during the 1989-90 off-season. He showed remarkable consistency by posting a .693 OPS in 128 games in 1990. It was his third straight season with a .693-.695 OPS. He had a .252 average during the 1990 season, with 58 runs, 20 doubles, 12 homers, 55 RBIs and 22 stolen bases. The Pirates acquired Webster on this 32nd birthday from the Indians in exchange for pitcher Mike York. He was in his ninth season in the majors at the time, hitting just .125/.200/.125 through 13 games with Cleveland. Webster’s stay in Pittsburgh was a short one. Just 48 days after the trade, he was dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers for outfielder Jose Gonzalez. The odd part about those two being swapped is that they played for the same three teams that season, just in reverse order. Webster played 36 games in Pittsburgh, mostly in right field, hitting .175/.245/.320 in 106 plate appearances, with nine runs, eight extra-base hits and nine RBIs.
Webster remained with the Dodgers until 1995, mostly as a bench player. He finished out the 1991 season hitting .284/.361/.419 in 58 games for the Dodgers, though that amounted to 84 plate appearances. He then batted .267/.334/.420 in 304 plate appearances during the 1992 season, collecting 33 runs, 23 extra-base hits, 35 RBIs and 11 steals in 135 games. His playing time dropped each of the next three years, starting in 1993 when he .244 in 88 games, with 26 runs, ten extra-base hits, 14 RBIs and a .630 OPS. Webster had a .274 average and an .808 OPS in 93 plate appearances during the strike-shortened 1994 season, collecting 16 runs, four doubles, four homers and 12 RBIs over 82 games. He hit just .179/.246/.286 in 63 plate appearances during the 1995 season. He started just three of the 54 games he played the year, in what ended up being his last season in the majors. He started just 100 games total during his 4 1/2 seasons in Los Angeles. Webster ended his 13-year big league career with a .263 average, 504 runs, 155 doubles, 55 triples, 70 homers, 342 RBIs and 160 stolen bases in 1,265 games. He accumulated 14.3 WAR, despite rating below average defensively. He managed to compile 1.9 dWAR in 1990, yet he finished with -0.6 dWAR during his career.
Bob Patterson, Pirates pitcher during 1986-87 and the 1989-92 seasons. He was a 21st round draft pick of the San Diego Padres in 1982 out of East Carolina University. He started in the rookie level Gulf Coast League for eight games, before finishing with Reno of the Class-A California League, skipping over one level in the process. Patterson has similar results with both teams, combining for a 3.14 ERA, a 1.29 WHIP and 75 strikeouts in 77.1 innings. He spent the entire 1983 season with Beaumont of the Double-A Texas League, where he had an 8-4, 4.01 record, a 1.23 WHIP and 97 strikeouts in 116.2 innings, splitting his time between nine starts and 34 relief outings. He moved up to Las Vegas of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League for 1984, where he made seven starts and 53 relief appearances. Patterson picked up 13 saves, while putting together an 8-9, 3.27 record in 143.1 innings, with 97 strikeouts and a 1.16 WHIP. Those stats were fairly impressive considering that he was playing in a hitter-friendly league/park. He stayed with Las Vegas in 1985, splitting his time evenly between starting and relief. Patterson went 10-11, 3.14, with a 1.28 WHIP and 146 strikeouts in 186.1 innings. He received a September call-up that did not go well, allowing 11 runs over four innings and three appearances. The Pirates acquired him just before the start of the 1986 season in exchange for outfielder Marvell Wynne.
Patterson was with the Pirates for two weeks in late April/early May of 1986, before being sent down to the minors. He returned in September to make another five starts. He had a 9-6, 3.40 record, a 1.22 WHIP and 137 strikeouts over 156 innings with Hawaii of the Pacific Coast League that year. He posted a 4.95 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP in 36.1 innings with the 1986 Pirates. He was the Opening Day starter in 1987, then hung around Pittsburgh for the first five weeks of the season, before being sent to the minors. He returned in September for a second straight season, although this time he was a reliever. He had a 2.12 ERA, a 1.03 WHIP and 92 strikeouts over 89 innings with Vancouver of the Pacific Coast League (Pirates Triple-A affiliate for the 1987 season). Between both stints with the Pirates, he had a 6.70 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP in 43 innings. Patterson was one of the last cuts during Spring Training of 1988, then missed most of the season with an arm injury. He made just four starts all season with Buffalo of the Triple-A American Association, posting a 2.32 ERA and an 0.97 WHIP in 31 innings. He went 12-6, 3.35, with 103 strikeouts and a 1.20 WHIP over 177.1 innings at Buffalo in 1989, before getting recalled in September. He pitched often for the Pirates over the last month, making three starts and nine relief appearances. He went 4-3, 4.05 in 26.2 innings, with 20 strikeouts and a 1.16 WHIP. Patterson finally spent a full season in the majors in 1990. He helped the Pirates get to the playoffs, by putting up a 2.95 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP in 55 outings, covering a career high 94.2 innings. He picked up five saves and eight wins. He struck out 70 batters that year, which was also a career high. He had two scoreless appearances in the 1990 NLCS, although he did allow three of the five batters he faced to reach base.
Patterson wasn’t as effective during the 1991 season, posting a 4.11 ERA, 57 strikeouts and a 1.25 WHIP in 65.2 innings over 54 appearances. The Pirates made the playoffs again, where he threw two shutout innings against the Atlanta Braves. The 1992 season was a strong one for Patterson. He posted a 6-3, 2.92 record in 60 games, with nine saves, 43 strikeouts and a 1.29 WHIP over 64.2 innings. He made two appearances in the playoffs, allowing one run over 1.2 innings. The Pirates released him following the 1992 season, then he signed with the Texas Rangers as a free agent. He had a 4.78 ERA over 52.2 innings in 1993, with 43 strikeouts and a 1.33 WHIP in 52 appearances. That turned out to be his only season with Texas, before moving on to the California Angels for two seasons. Patterson was average during his first season, posting a 4.07 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP in 42 innings during the strike-shortened 1994 season. He put up a 5-2, 3.04 record, a 1.14 WHIP and 41 strikeouts over 53.1 innings in 1995, when he got into 62 games. He finished sixth in the American League in games pitched during both seasons with the Angels. He signed with the Chicago Cubs in 1996, where he had a role as a lefty specialist, though he also was used as the closer for a time. Patterson went 3-3, 3.13 that year, with eight saves, a 1.24 WHIP and 53 strikeouts in 54.2 innings over 79 appearances. He finished second in the league in games pitched that year. He had a slightly expanded role in 1997, throwing 59.1 innings over 76 games (fifth most in the National League). He went 1-6, 3.34, with no saves, 58 strikeouts and an 0.96 WHIP. He was released by the Cubs in July of 1998, after posting a 7.52 ERA and a 2.36 WHIP through 33 appearances and 20.1 innings. That season ended his pro career. He pitched a total of 13 seasons in the majors, finishing with 559 appearances and a 39-40, 4.08 record in 617.1 innings pitched. He went 25-21, 3.97 for the Pirates, with 17 saves, a 1.30 WHIP and 237 strikeouts in 331 innings over 207 appearances (21 starts).
Rick Rhoden, pitcher for the 1979-86 Pirates. He was a first round draft pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1971, selected 20th overall at 18 years old out of Atlantic HS in Florida. The Dodgers started him with Daytona Beach in the Class-A Florida State League, where he had a 3.98 ERA, a 1.44 WHIP and 67 strikeouts in 61 innings over 11 starts. Rhoden split his first full season in pro ball between El Paso of the Double-A Texas League and Albuquerque of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, going 13-5, 3.56 in 167 innings, with 144 strikeouts and a 1.30 WHIP, posting similar results in both spots, though his WHIP was much better in El Paso. Despite the fast ascent, he stalled for a bit. He spent all of 1973 in Albuquerque, going 4-9, 4.50 in 116 innings, with 68 strikeouts and a 1.61 WHIP. He was back in Albuquerque for a third season in 1974, putting up a 9-10, 4.40 record, a 1.47 WHIP and 106 strikeouts in 178 innings. The Dodgers called him up mid-season in 1974. He pitched once on July 5th, then returned to the minors until September, when he returned for three relief appearances over the final two weeks of the season. Rhoden gave up two runs over nine innings in his brief big league time that year. He was in the majors to stay from that point forward, except for rehab work after injuries. He split the 1975 season between the rotation and bullpen, before becoming an All-Star starting pitcher in 1976. He made 11 starts and 15 relief appearances in 1975, putting up a 3-3, 3.08 record in 99.1 innings, with 40 strikeouts and a 1.27 WHIP. He made 26 starts (and one relief appearance) in 1976, completing ten of those outings, while throwing three shutouts. He went 12-3, 2.98 in 181 innings that season, with 77 strikeouts and a 1.20 WHIP. Rhoden helped the Dodgers to the World Series in 1977 by going 16-10, 3.74 in 216.1 innings over 31 starts, finishing with 122 strikeouts and a 1.32 WHIP. In the two rounds of the postseason, he allowed just two runs over 11.1 innings.
Rhoden went 10-8, 3.66 over 164.2 innings in 1978, making 23 starts and seven relief appearances. He dropped down to 79 strikeouts, though he improved slightly to a 1.28 WHIP. The Dodgers once again made it to the World Series, though he only pitched during the NLCS, allowing one run over four innings. The Pirates acquired him on April 7, 1979 in exchange for veteran pitcher Jerry Reuss. Rhoden did not have a good start in a Pittsburgh uniform, needing shoulder surgery after just one start, which caused him to miss the rest of the 1979 season. He began the year in the minors on rehab in 1980, making ten starts with Portland of the Pacific Coast League before being recalled by the Pirates. He had a 6-3, 2.94 record in 52 innings before joining Pittsburgh. Rhoden went 7-5, 3.84 in 126.2 innings that season for the Pirates, making 19 starts and one relief appearances. He had 70 strikeouts and a 1.37 WHIP. He then improved his record to 9-4, while posting a 3.89 ERA, 76 strikeouts and a 1.47 WHIP in 136.1 innings over 21 starts during the strike-shortened 1981 campaign. The 1982 season saw him set career highs with 230.1 innings pitched and 35 starts, while improving to a 1.34 WHIP. His record was below .500, finishing at 11-14, 4.14, for a Pirates team that finished six games over the .500 mark. His 128 strikeouts were a season high at the time, though he would soon top that number.
Rhoden upped his career best in innings pitched to 244.1 in 1983, while making 35 starts again. This time he finished 13-13, 3.09 on the year, while posting a 1.33 WHIP. He also picked up his only career save during his one relief appearance of the year. He had 153 strikeouts that year, which ranked him eighth in the league. It was the only time that he finished in the top ten for the league in strikeouts. The Pirates went 75-87 in 1984, but Rhoden was able to post a 14-9 record in 33 starts, with six complete games and three shutouts. His 2.72 ERA over 238.1 innings ranked fourth in the National League. He had 136 strikeouts that year, while his 1.17 WHIP was his best to that point. The strange thing about that season was that four of the Pirates five starting pitchers had winning records, yet the team finished well below the .500 mark. Rhoden saw his ERA rise to 4.47 in 213.1 innings over 35 starts in 1985. With the Pirates winning just 57 games all year, his 10-15 record that season was actually a better winning percentage than the team’s overall number. He bounced back to have a big season in 1986, going 15-12, 2.84 in 253.2 innings, with career bests of a 1.13 WHIP and 159 strikeouts. He was the only Pirates pitcher to win in double figures that year. His ERA ranked fourth in the National League, while he finished second in the league with 12 complete games. He was elected to the All-Star team for the second time during his career, with ten years between appearances in the mid-season classic.
Rhoden was dealt to the New York Yankees on November 26, 1986, along with fellow pitchers Pat Clements and Cecilio Guante, in return for young pitchers Doug Drabek, Logan Easley and Brian Fisher. Rhoden went 16-10, 3.86 in 181 innings for the 1987 Yankees, with a 1.35 WHIP and 107 strikeouts. He then had a 12-12, 4.29 record in 197 innings over 30 starts during the 1988 season, when he had 94 strikeouts and a 1.33 WHIP. He finished his career with the 1989 Houston Astros, going 2-6, 4.28 in 96.2 innings over 17 starts and three relief outings. In his 16-year career, Rhoden went 151-125, 3.59 in 2,593.2 innings, with 380 starts, 33 relief appearances, 69 complete games and 17 shutouts. With the Pirates, he went 79-73, 3.51 in 1,448 innings. He finished with 1,419 strikeouts, including 852 with the Pirates, which ranks 11th all-time in Pirates history. He ranks 20th in team history in innings pitched, and 14th in starts (213). He was known as a strong hitting pitcher, three times winning the Silver Slugger award (1984-86). He was even used as a DH once while with the Yankees. He had a .238 career average, with nine homers and 75 RBIs. He batted over .300 in three seasons, including a .375 average with the 1980 Pirates. Despite his strong bat, he was used just 13 times as a pinch-hitter in his career. He finished with 35.3 career WAR.
Rick Reuschel, pitcher for the 1985-87 Pirates. He was a third round draft pick of the Chicago Cubs in 1970 out of Western Illinois University. It took him 42 starts to make it to the majors by June of 1972. He debuted in pro ball with Huron of the short-season Northern League, where he went 9-2, 3.53 in 14 starts, with 88 strikeouts and a 1.16 WHIP in 102 innings. He had an 8-4, 2.31 record in 1971, with an 0.99 WHIP and a 15:81 BB/SO ratio over 121 innings with San Antonio of the of the Double-A Dixie Association. He had a 9-2, 1.32 record, 72 strikeouts and an 0.96 WHIP in 102 innings with Wichita of the Triple-A American Association to start the 1972 season, before the Cubs came calling. Despite debuting in the majors on June 19th, he still managed to reach ten wins as a rookie. Reuschel went 10-8, 2.93 in 129 innings, throwing five complete games and four shutouts for the Cubs. He had 87 strikeouts and a 1.21 WHIP. He went 14-15, 3.00 in 36 starts during the 1973 season, with a 1.29 WHIP over 237 innings pitched. He had seven complete games and three shutouts, while finishing ninth in the league with a career high 168 strikeouts. Reuschel had a 13-12, 4.30 record, a 1.43 WHIP and 160 strikeouts in 1974. He set a career high with 38 starts (also made three relief appearances), while throwing 240.2 innings. That’s a strong total, but it was a mark he would top five times in his career. The Cubs finished 12 games below .500 in 1975, when he had an 11-17 record, which resulted in him leading the National League in losses. He posted a 3.73 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP in 234 innings, while finishing ninth in the league with 155 shutouts. Reuschel went 14-12, 3.46 in a career high 260 innings in 1976. He made 37 starts that year, finishing with nine complete games and two shutouts. He had a 1.25 WHIP, and his 146 strikeouts ranked tenth in the league.
Reuschel’s best season came in 1977 for a Cubs team that finished at an even .500 record. He went 20-10, 2.79 in 252 innings, picking up his only 20-win season. He was an All-Star for the first time, and he finished third in the Cy Young voting, which included him getting one first place vote. He also received (mild) MVP support for the only time in his career, finishing 21st in the voting. He won the National League Pitcher of the Month award in both June and July. He had a 1.22 WHIP, and he finished eighth in the league with 166 strikeouts. Reuschel dropped down to a 14-15 record in 1978, putting up a 3.41 ERA, 115 strikeouts and a 1.19 WHIP in 242.2 innings over 35 starts. From 1972 through 1980, those 35 starts were his lowest total in a season, showing how much of a workhorse pitcher he was during this time. The Cubs were 80-82 in 1979, but Reuschel went 18-12, 3.62 in 239 innings, with 125 strikeouts and a 1.36 WHIP. He completed five of his 36 starts, which was his lowest complete game total since his rookie season. He led the league with 38 starts in 1980, when he posted an 11-13, 3.40 record, 140 strikeouts and a 1.39 WHIP in 257 innings. As you may have guessed by his record, the Cubs were bad that year, finished 64-98 on the season. He was traded to the New York Yankees during the strike-shortened 1981 season, switching teams the day after the strike started, in a deal for two players and cash. He had a 3.47 ERA in 85.2 innings that season with the Cubs and a 2.67 ERA in 70.2 innings with the Yankees. Between both stops, he went 8-11, 3.11 in 156.1 innings, with 75 strikeouts and a 1.25 WHIP.
Reuschel missed the entire 1982 season due to rotator cuff surgery. He was then released by the Yankees in June of 1983 without pitching a big league game that season. He did poorly for Columbus of the Triple-A International League, posting a 5.06 ERA and a 1.69 WHIP in four starts. He signed with the Cubs two weeks later, then reported to Quad Cities of the Class-A Midwest League, where he had a 2.42 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP over 13 starts. He made four starts for the Cubs before the year ended, posting a 3.92 ERA in 20.2 innings. He went 5-5, 5.17 in 92.1 innings over 14 starts and five relief appearances for the 1984 Cubs. He had 43 strikeouts and a 1.58 WHIP. He already had 12 seasons of Major League experience when the Pirates signed him as a free agent on February 28, 1985. From his rookie season in 1972 until 1980, Reuschel won at least ten games every season, 125 victories in all. He had an amazing season for the 1985 Pirates that no one could’ve expected from him when he signed. That was partially due to his high ERA and limited work in 1984, but also due to compiling just 14 wins total over the 1981-84 seasons. He was pitching for a 1985 Pirates team that went 57-104 on the year, yet he managed to go 14-8, 2.27 in 194 innings, with 138 strikeouts and a 1.06 WHIP. Reuschel helped make that record possible by completing seven of his wins. He threw a total of seven straight complete games from August 15th until September 15th, winning five of those games. He also won his first of two Gold Glove awards that season. What is even more amazing about that season is that the Pirates signed him to a minor league deal. He made eight starts for Hawaii of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League before his season debut in the majors, going 6-2, 2.50 in 54 innings. That win total gave him a combined 20 wins for the season.
The Pirates were slightly better as a team in 1986 compared to the year before, but Reuschel saw his ERA slip to 3.96 in 215.2 innings. His record suffered as well, finishing 9-16 on the season. He had 125 strikeouts and a 1.34 WHIP. He began the 1987 season in Pittsburgh, winning eight of his 25 starts, before he was dealt to the San Francisco Giants in August for pitchers Jeff Robinson and Scott Medvin. Before he left, Reuschel was a representative of the Pirates in the 1987 All-Star game, which was his first selection in ten seasons. He also won his second Gold Glove, while leading the league with 12 complete games and four shutouts. That all led to his second third place finish in the Cy Young voting, which was the highest he finished for that award over his career. He was 8-6, 2.75 in 177 innings before the trade, with 80 strikeouts and a 1.12 WHIP. He wasn’t great after the deal, going 5-3, 4.32 in 50 innings, but he was much better during the next two years. Reuschel went 19-11, 3.12 in 245 innings for the 1988 Giants, while leading the league with 36 starts. He had 92 strikeouts and a 1.16 WHIP. He was an All-Star at age 40 in 1989, when he went 17-8, 2.94 in 32 starts and 208.1 innings pitched, with 111 strikeouts and a 1.20 WHIP. He finished eighth in the Cy Young voting that season. Age and injuries caught up to him over his final two seasons in the majors. He pitched a total 97.2 innings for the 1990-91 Giants, before being released in June of 1991, ending his career. Most of those innings came in 1990 when he had a 3.92 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP over 13 starts and two relief appearances. His time in 1991 was limited to four games, with one start. He had a 4.22 record and a 2.25 WHIP in 10.2 innings.
Reuschel finished with 214-191, 3.37 record in 3,548.1 innings over 529 starts and 28 relief appearances. He threw 102 complete games and he had 26 shutouts. He ranks 36th all-time in games started, and he’s 68th in innings pitched. He had six seasons in which he finished among the top ten in innings, and five times he was among the top ten in wins and strikeouts. While he was never considered to be a future Hall of Famer during his career, modern metrics have given him a case. His 68.1 WAR has him ranked 37th all-time for pitchers, putting him ahead of 46 pitchers enshrined in Cooperstown. His brother Paul pitched five years in the majors and was his teammate on the 1975-78 Cubs.