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The Brewer Advent Calendar #21: LaTroy Hawkins

Open door #4 and you will soon see, One LaTroy Hawkins for Milwaukee! (It rhymes!)

It may seem like LaTroy Hawkins has been pitching in MLB for the last 25 years, but in reality, LaTroy has been toeing the rubber for only the last 15. Here are some fun facts about LaTroy which you can share with your family and friends.

  • LaTroy is 37 years old, and a tall dude at 6'5" 195 lbs. He is right-handed, and wisely chooses to wear his glove on his left-hand.
  • LaTroy is the first and only LaTroy to play MLB
  • The Brewers signed LaTroy to a 2 yr. $7.5M contract, which is roughly about what he made in the last 2 seasons in New York (Yankees) and Houston.
  • The Brewers will be LaTroy's 8th team, having played previously for the Twins, Cubs, Giants, Orioles, Rockies, Yankees and Astros.

LaTroy started his career with the Twins in 1995, at the age of 22, where until 1999 he was employed exclusively by the Twins, as a starting pitcher/souvenir generator. In 2000 the Twins decided to move him into the bullpen, where he then became one of MLB's most reliable setup men.

From 1995 to 1999, LaTroy had the second highest ERA of all pitchers that had 50 or more decisions, (6.16).

Interestingly #1 Jason Bere, #4 Jimmy Haynes, #5 Jamey Wright and #6 Jim Abbott (Highest ERA, 50+ decisions 1995-99) all have something in common, can anyone guess what that is?

While as a starter, (50 or more decisions) LaTroy also had the worst SLGag. and OPSag. in MLB. After a beastish 6.66 ERA in 1999, the Twins astutely heralded the sign, and moved Troy to the bullpen (The 6.66 ERA was the worst ERA in 1995-99 from a starter making 30+ starts in MLB).

It is safe to say, LaTroy found his groove coming out of the bullpen since 2000.

  • Since 2000, only Dave Weathers (713) has more MLB appearances than LaTroy (654). Despite his 654 appearances, LaTroy has only 87 career saves, 50 blown saves, and 132 holds.
  • Since 2000, Hawkins has allowed 31% of his inherited runners to score. As a comparison, Trevor Hoffman allows 18%, Brian Shouse 28%, and Guillermo Mota 37% (at least 400 games).
  • Hawkins has a respectable BB/9 (2.77, 12th) in this timeframe, and throws strikes 65% of the time which is among the leaders. (at least 400 games).
  • While he throws strikes regularly, he doesn't necessarily generate a lot of strikeouts, only 6.58 per 9IP (49th for pitchers with at least 400 games)

LaTroy Hawkins joins teammate Jeff Suppan, in a small group of active pitchers that have made a start against the Brewers in County Stadium as part of an AL game in their career. (Wakefield, Moyer, and Pettitte are others).

Here is a story where LaTroy got tossed for plunking Luke Scott. Here is a story where LaTroy gets tossed for accusing the umps of favoring the Cubs. Here is a story where LaTroy reflects on his most embarrassing moment in MLB, getting tossed for not moving his chair. Here is a story where LaTroy gets tossed for trying to kick Tim Tschida's ass.

It may be safe to assume that LaTroy may run a little hot. He has been tossed out of games 7 times since 2000. It happens though, and maybe getting tossed now and then adds to a pitcher's longevity.

Welcome to Milwaukee LaTroy!