The Milwaukee Brewers were a tough team to follow around the turn of the century. Years of mismanagement by the front office lead to rosters being haphazardly slapped together and sent out to flail away on the field, leaving fans forced to endure a long string of losing seasons while watching lackluster players on the field. Perhaps no one embodies this forgettable era of Brewers' baseball more than pitcher Ruben Quevedo, whose memorable four year career included a less-than-stellar tenure in Milwaukee from 2001-2003.
The hefty changeup specialist (who Baseball Reference generously lists as 6'1" and 190 lbs) developed somewhat of a cult following among Brewer fans since the end of his big league career, so there are sure to be many folks in mourning today as it has been reported that Quevedo has passed away of a heart attack at the age of 37.
Quevedo's career began when he was signed as an international free agent out of Venezuela by the Braves as a 16 year old in 1995. He became a well-regarded prospect and was eventually dealt to the Cubs, with whom he made his major league debut in 2000 as a 21 year old. He was dealt to the Brewers in advance of the 2001 trade deadline as a part of the package for reliever David Weathers.
Ruben spent the next three seasons in and out of the Brewers big league starting rotation, starting in 43 of his 45 appearances with Milwaukee. Unfortunately, in 238.1 innings with Milwaukee, Quevedo's performance wasn't quite what was hoped for: his 5.66 ERA was accompanied by a 5.80 FIP and a poor 172:121 K/BB ratio. Quevedo served up 49 home runs during his time in a Brewers' uniform, or nearly two per nine innings. After working to a 6.75 ERA in 42.2 innings in 2003, the Brewers granted Quevedo free agency.
Despite hooking on with the Orioles the following season, Quevedo would never again appear in the big leagues after the age of 24. Between his time with the Cubs and the Brewers, Quevedo totaled 326.1 major league innings with a 6.15 ERA and 237:175 K/BB rate. He was valued at -3.2 bWAR during his time in The Show but did spend more than enough time in the majors to vest his pension.
After the end of his major league career, Quevedo returned home to Venezuela and pitched seven seasons in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League. There he worked to a 4.62 ERA in 192.0 innings pitched.
Ruben suffered a heart attack while playing in a company softball game for his employer and was taken from this Earth at far too young of an age. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball Reference