Duchscherer with the Oakland Athletics
|Born: November 19, 1977|
Aberdeen, South Dakota
|July 25, 2001, for the Texas Rangers|
|Last MLB appearance|
|April 29, 2010, for the Oakland Athletics|
|Earned run average||3.13|
|Career highlights and awards|
Duchscherer (nickname: "The Duke of Hurl") was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 8th round (241st overall) of the 1996 Major League Baseball draft out of Coronado High School in Lubbock, Texas. His high-80s fastball made him one of the hardest throwers in the area, but his velocity soon ranked as only average as he entered the minor leagues.
In 1998, he went 7-12 with a 4.79 ERA in 30 appearances (26 starts) for Single-A Michigan. As Duchscherer continued to struggle in the low levels of the minor leagues, he was beginning to look more like a roster filler than a big-league prospect. But in 2001, he turned his career around. He went 6-3 with a 2.44 ERA in 12 starts for Double-A Trenton before being traded to the Texas Rangers for catcher Doug Mirabelli. He finished the year pitching well with the Texas organization, going 4-0 for Double-A Tulsa and sporting a 2.84 ERA after his call-up to Triple-A Oklahoma. He received his first major league call-up in 2001, a very forgettable one. He went 1-1 with a 12.27 ERA for the Rangers.
In spring training 2002, Duchscherer was traded to the Oakland Athletics for Luis Vizcaíno. After suffering a lower back injury in 2002, Duchscherer bounced back in 2003, going 14-2 with a 3.25 ERA for Triple-A Sacramento.
In his last year of Triple-A, he started the All-Star game even though the chosen starting pitcher was Harden. A few hours before the game, Harden got called up to the major leagues, clearing the way for Duchscherer to start the game. On September 9, 2003, he made a start for the A's in place of ace Mark Mulder against the Anaheim Angels in the heat of a tight division race. He pitched 7 scoreless innings to earn his first win. That same day, his wife gave birth to their first son, Evan Duchscherer.
In the spring of 2004, the A's chose Duchscherer over Chad Harville, and traded Harville to the Houston Astros for Kirk Saarloos. Duchscherer appeared in 53 games out of the bullpen, sporting an ERA of 3.27. In 2005, he was selected to the American League All-Star team, the A's lone representative, but did not pitch in the game. He finished the year with 7 wins out of the bullpen and a 2.21 ERA as the top setup man for rookie closer Huston Street.
For the 2008 season, Duchscherer returned to the starting rotation for the A's. Duchscherer spent about three weeks on the disabled list with an inflamed biceps in April. After returning to the rotation, Duchscherer was outstanding and, at one point, led the major leagues in ERA. He was selected to the 2008 MLB All Star Game.
In his second outing of the 2010 season, Duchscherer went 7 shutout innings, defeating Seattle 4-0. He missed most of the season and became a free agent on November 2.
- Duchscherer rejects arbitration with A's
- Stein, Mark (2009-12-30). "A's, Duchscher agree on one-year deal". MLB.com. Retrieved 2009-12-30.
- Ghiroli, Brittany (2011-02-05). "Duchscherer excited to have fresh start with O's". MLB.com. Retrieved 2011-02-08.
- Nicholson-Smith, Ben. "Orioles Release Justin Duchscherer". MLBTradeRumors.com. Retrieved 2 August 2011.