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Case History until 2001 Spring Training, Agent Steve Avery (P)

Career Pitching Stats

Steven Avery
Career Notes

1990
Avery made his MLB debut on June 13 after being called up from AAA Richmond.
First Win on June 26 vs. Dodgers.
Finished season 3-11 with a 5.64 ERA.

1991
Went 18-11, youngest Braves pitcher in the century to have won 18 games.
Won his last 5 decisions, maintained a 2.14 ERA over his last eight games.
Named NLCS MVP after throwing 2 shutouts vs. Pirates
His 16-1/3 scoreless innings set a record for a single LCS
Pitched 2 NDs in WS
In last 12 starts of season (incl. NLCS & WS), went 7-0 with a 1.94 ERA

1992
Bad start to season, 2-5 with 3.57 ERA
Braves scored only 25 runs in his 11 losses over the season
Six scoreless innings vs. Pirates in NLCS gave him a record 22-1/3 consecutive shutout innings (going back to 1991)
Knocked out of game 5 of NLCS after 1/3 inning (allowed 4 runs on 5 hits)

1993
Went 18-6
Youngest Braves pitcher to win 50 games
Won 8 straight from May 12 - June 25 with a 2.11 ERA
Pitched in All-Star game
Atlanta won 21 of 23 games he pitched from May 2 through Sept. 2
Thre 18 straight walkless innings, June 2 - 13
Finished 5th in NL with 2.94 ERA
Led NL with 15 pickoffs
2.77 ERA in two starts against Philadelphis in NLCS

1994
Won 5 of first 6 decisions with a 2.94 ERA
Tied for 4th in NL, opponents BA with a .227
Ked a career-high 11 batters in 8.0 innings on August 8 at Cinncinnati
Finished season with 122 Ks, 9th best in NL

1995
Got only 16 runs of support in first 7 starts (2.3 per game)
Threw Complete Game Shutout May 19 vs. Florida (won 4-0)
4 game losing streak August 28 - Sept. 12
Bounced back with CG win Sept. 18 vs. Mets (won 7-1, 4H, 1R, 1ER, 2BB, 8K)
Picked off 13 batters (9 by assist)

1996
18 scoreless innings streak April 21 - May1
Hit 2 HRs for the second straight year
Placed on 15-day DL — pulled left oblique muscle on July 23, was out until Sept. 2
Allowed 12 earned runs in 1.1 innings pitched in final two starts

1997
Signed with Red Sox as a free agent on Jan 10, 1997.
Was expected to fill the shoes of the departed Roger Clemens.
At Press Conference, Avery said:
"If Jimy (Williams, manager of Sox) decides that he wants to put me in that spot, I'm comfortable with it. In Atlanta, we were expected to win every day. And that's what I think a Number One starter is."
One year contract for 4.85 million, 18 starts gave him an option to stay for an extra year in Boston or try free agency.
Went 6-7 with a 6.43 ERA in his first 17 starts and was pulled from rotation.
September 25, 1997, Jimy Williams allowed Avery to make his 18th start at Detroit Tigers stadium.
The move "could have cost the manager his job". (Jimmy Golen of the Associated Press, 3/19/98)
Had until November 10, 1997 to decide whether he wanted to stay in Boston.

1998
Open competition in Spring for starting rotation.
Became apparent that Avery would not crack starting rotation because of erratic control and velocity.
In 9 Spring appearances, Avery pitched only 4 2/3 innings with an ERA of 9.64
Williams: "If Steve doesn't make it with us as a starter, then he's going to help us as a reliever...I told him I'd still keep that door open."
Avery: "He's a good man (WIlliams), no matter what happens. Wherever I end up, it's not Jimy Williams' fault. I wouldn't blame him for anything that happens. I think he's always been on my side. (But) To be my best, I need to start. If not here, then maybe somewhere else. I'm tired of worrying about stuff I can't control. I've been worrying too much about the wrong things. The more things you think about, the tighter you get, and the harder it is to concentrate."
April 28 — Avery accepts a demotion to AAA Pawtucket
May 16 — Avery throws 5 scoreless innings, allowing just 3 hits, in a 5 - 0 shutout of Kansas City. Avery: "There are plenty of bullets left, I just dropped my gun for a while." Unnamed scout: "He did it with mirrors. He threw some good changeups, but the Royals did a good job getting themselves out. You didn't hear any glass breaking, did you?" Jimy Williams: "This was his first start in some time, and he put five eggs on the wall to help us win a game."
Avery finished the season with 10 wins to 7 losses and a 5.02 ERA
Filed for free agency, picked up by the Cinccinnati Reds

1999
Avery went 6 - 7 with a 5.16 ERA for Cincinnati in 19 games
Held opponents to a .222 average
Had 78 BB in 96 IP
Had arthroscopic surgery to repair a slight tear in his left rotator cuff on August 5, missed the rest of the season

2000
Detroit Tigers looked at Avery in Spring. GM Randy Smith: "We have nothing to lose watching a pitcher who has been successful in the past."
Signed to a minor league contract with the Atlanta Braves. Avery: "I feel confident with them, and that's real important this year. They will look at me as a person more than a pitcher, and I can be more honest with them than I might be with some teams. If I need to take a couple of days off, I can tell them."
2-24-00 — the AP reported that Avery threw on the sideline with no pain.
Avery: "All the age must have gone to my left arm.
Pitching coach Leo Mazzone: "He was a big part of it when we all grew up together. I admit it. I absolutely am (partial). There's always something you remember about the innocent young Atlanta Braves. For six years, (Avery) was a huge part of it."
Greg Maddux: "He's one of the guys you might actually hang out with when it's all said and done, and there's only two or three in here like that. It's great to see the organization give him a chance pretty much based just on what he did. You don't see a lot of that in baseball. Everybody's pulling for him."
Avery: "I'm lucky to be here. I guess they're going to give me every opportunity to try to get healthy and help this team."
No record of regular season appearances for Avery in 2000.

2001
In 11 innings over 6 games for the Braves in Spring 2001, Avery went 0 - 1 with a 5.73 ERA.
He allowed 9 hits, 7 earned runs, walked 8 and struck out 5.
"After being released by the Braves on March 30, STeve Avery announced he would take a year off and possibly try to come back next spring. Avery, 30, is 1 1/2 years removed from shoulder surgery and has failed in comeback attempts each of the last two years. He struggled with velocity and control and watched his ERA rise to 6.75." - USA Today Baseball Weekly, April 4—10, 2001 issue.
Avery: "I didn't deserve to be here. I didn't throw well enough to stay."
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