Stephen Christopher Trachsel (born October 31, 1970) is an American former Major League Baseball pitcher with the Chicago Cubs, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Mets and the Baltimore Orioles between 1993 and 2008. He batted and threw right-handed.
Trachsel with the Baltimore Orioles in 2008
|Born: October 31, 1970|
|September 19, 1993, for the Chicago Cubs|
|Last MLB appearance|
|June 7, 2008, for the Baltimore Orioles|
|Earned run average||4.39|
|Career highlights and awards|
Trachsel graduated from Troy High School in Fullerton, California in 1988. He attended Fullerton College and Long Beach State University. In 1991, he led Long Beach to a spot in the College World Series. He was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 1991 Major League Baseball Draft
Minor League BaseballEdit
He began the 1993 season with the Triple-A Iowa Cubs where he went 13-8 with a 3.95 ERA and 135 strikeouts in 27 games, 26 starts. Trachsel was promoted to the Major Leagues in September and made his debut on September 19 against the Florida Marlins going seven innings with five strikeouts while giving up two earned runs and taking the loss.
Trachsel would play most of the 1994 season with Chicago, pitching just two games in Iowa going 0-2 with a 10.00 ERA. His Major League stats were much better however as he went 9-7 with a 3.21 ERA in 22 games, all starts. He also had one complete game and struck out 108 total over the season.
In 1995 Trachsel spent his first full season at the Major League level. He went 7-13 with a 5.15 ERA, 117 strikeouts and two complete games in 30 games, 29 starts.
Trachsel was named to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game and posted a career-best 3.03 ERA in 1996. He also finished the season with a record of 13-9 with two shutouts, three complete games and 132 strikeouts in 32 games, all starts. His first shutout was a one-hit game against the Houston Astros on May 14 where he surrendered the only hit on a lead-off double to Brian Hunter. He also pitched two games with the Double-A Orlando Cubs where he went 0-1 with a 2.77 ERA.
In 1997 Trachsel started a career-high 34 games with the Cubs, a record he has tied twice. He went 8-12 with a 4.51 ERA and 160 strikeouts. He led the National League in home runs allowed and was second in hits allowed.
He had a record of 15-8 in 1998 with an ERA of 4.46, 149 strikeouts and one complete game.
Also in 1998, on September 8 Trachsel allowed Mark McGwire's record breaking 62nd home run, breaking Roger Maris' longtime record of 61. McGwire hit the pitch 341 feet over the left field wall, his shortest of the year. McGwire went on to hit 70 home runs that year.
New York MetsEdit
Trachsel's beginning with the New York Mets in 2001 was so poor (including becoming the only pitcher in Mets history to allow four home runs in one inning) that he was sent to the minor leagues. Upon returning to the Mets, his career was reborn. He finished 2001 well and continued to shine in 2002 when he had a 3.37 ERA. His success continued with 16 wins (including his 100th career win) in 2003. Trachsel was even named the National League Player of the Week on August 25, 2003, following a 16.1 inning span in which he allowed no walks, no runs and only six hits. However, after starting well in 2004, he suffered a herniated disc in his back, the first major injury of his career, which also cost him much of the 2005. He underwent a microdiscectomy in March 2005 and returned for the final six starts of the season, posting a league-average 4.14 ERA and going 1-4.
In 2006, Trachsel recovered to start 30 games and tied Tom Glavine for the team lead with 15 wins, despite an earned run average near five. On September 18, 2006, he had one of his best performances of the season as the Mets clinched the National League Eastern Division Championship. He pitched 6⅓ innings, allowing three hits and three strikeouts in the 4-0 win over the Florida Marlins. He also started the clincher of the NLDS, but was shaky and removed in the 4th inning. In Game 3 of the NLCS, he gave up five runs in just one inning before being hit by a hard ground ball. The Mets lost the game 5-0.
Baltimore Orioles and Chicago CubsEdit
Trachsel was signed by the Baltimore Orioles as a free agent on February 12, 2007, after Orioles starter and fellow former Mets right-hander Kris Benson was diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff that kept him sidelined for the 2007 season. On August 31, 2007, Trachsel rejoined the Chicago Cubs by being traded for minor league players Rocky Cherry and Scott Moore. On February 11, 2008, he signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training with the Baltimore Orioles. On March 27, he was added to the 40-man roster. He was designated for assignment on June 10, 2008. He was released on June 13, 2008.
Trachsel was known for the long amount of time he took to deliver the ball to home plate in between pitches. Games in which he pitched were known to be considerably longer than most games, leading to his nickname "the Human Rain Delay."
Trachsel currently resides in Poway, California.
- Webber, Jeff; Gozdecki, Steve & Gillies, Steve "Return of the Human Rain Delay + Five Reasons to Keep Following the Sox Down the Stretch + Another Dose of Reality and a Game You Have to See," Gapers Block (Sept. 4, 2007).
- Wanna Be Sports Guy. "Steve Trachsel: The Human Rain Delay" The Wanna-Be Sports Guy (10 July 2010).
- "Florida Marlins vs Chicago Cubs September 19, 1993 Box Score". Baseball-Almanac. Retrieved 2009-12-02.
- "Baseball; Chicago's Trachsel One-Hits the Astros". The Associated Press. The New York Times. May 14, 1996. Retrieved 2009-12-02.
- "New York Mets' Steve Trachsel named National League Pepsi Player of the Week". Major League Baseball. August 25, 2003. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
- Fordin, Spencer. "Major shakeup in rotation for O's: Benson downed by shoulder injury; Trachsel to sign," MLB.com (02/12/07).