Friday, April 3, 2009

Pack Sixteen

Pack 16 +12
89 Cory Snyder
473 Robby Thompson
450 Dennis Rasmussen
305 Rob Dibble
320 Jim Deshaies
29 Luis Rivera
178 Steve Sax
84 Pete O’Brien
391 Mike Maddux
433 John Ericks
292 Curt Wilkerson
296 Mitch Webster

I didn't mean for this to be so late, I've gotten hooked on Guitar Hero again. Hopefully I'll be getting my grubby little hands on the Metallica Guitar Hero for Wii sometime soon... actually, the money I'm saving for a box of Heritage may/probably/very likely will go into that game.

I started playing yesterday afternoon and the next thing I knew it was 3:30am, then today I had every intention of watching the Simpsons re-runs at 5pm and then it was 10:30. D'oh.

Anyhoo, cards... Nothing much to speak of today. I saw Maddux and was hoping for Greg, but it was just the Rangers pitching coach. Oh well.

For that very reason I feel sorry for Mike Maddux. He didn't have the kind of career that his brother did, but he played Major League Baseball for fifteen seasons and now he's a pitching coach at the Major League level. There aren't a lot of people who can say that about their life. That's pretty damn special, no matter who your brother is.

Since Bowman's focus today is on draft picks and prospects, from this point forward, unless I have something important to say, the main feature of this site will be the rookies. It should be fun to look at guys that very few of us have ever heard of.

Today, I give you John Ericks.

Ericks was the 22nd pick in the first round of the June 1988 draft by the St. Louis Cardinals out of the University of Illinois. He pitched relatively well through the end of the 1990 season, with his best year coming in 1989. That year, pitching for Savannah of the South Atlantic League, he went 11-10 with a 2.04 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 211 strikeouts in just over 167 innings of work. Not too shabby.

Things started going downhill for him in 1991 when he went 5-14 with a 4.77 ERA for Double-A Arkansas in the Texas league. 1992 wasn't a whole lot better and he was released on September 8.

The Pirates picked him up on February 12, 1993 but he didn't pitch in the Pirates orginazation until the 1994 season. He finished the '94 season at Double-A Carolina of the Southern League.

He began the 1995 season at Triple-A Calgary but on June 24, 1995 he made his Major League debut as the Pirates starter against the Expos. He pitched 3 2/3 innings, giving up four runs (all earned), five hits, struck out two and walked two. He gave up his first Major League home run in the bottom of the first to David Segui with a runner on first.

His first win was a solid performance against the Phillies on July 4, 1995. In seven innings of work he gave up four hits, no runs, and struck out eight. Four days later he pitched the only complete game of his Major League career against the Mets.

He spent some time in the minors in both '96 and '97, and was used mostly out of the bullpen at the Major League level those years. He was granted free agency on October 15, 1997 and signed with the Cleveland Indians on January 8, 1998 but never pitched for them at any level.

His Major League stat line reads (for three season): 8-14, 4.78 ERA, 132 strikeouts.