January 18, 2005

Ex-Phil report: Improved Bottalico signs

In 2004, former Phillies all-star closer Ricky Bottalico quietly had his best season since 1997. He signed a one-year deal with the Brewers for less than $1 million yesterday.

Bottalico, 35, actually started 2004 in Triple-A Norfolk. I didn't see all of his games obviously, but he pitched a healthy season without arm trouble, allowing him to regain command of "a low-90s fastball, a sharp slider and a decent changeup" (stats inc. scouting).

I remember listening to a Mets-Phillies game on WFAN last season, and the announcers were pretty keyed up on him. In fact, he finished as one of the more effective right-handed setup men in all of baseball (3-2, 3.38 ERA, 61 SO, 34 BB, 69.1 IP). The Mets declined arbitration back in December.

Bottalico had three tours of duty with Philadelphia. He was traded in 1998 to St. Louis along with Garrett Stephenson for Ront Gant, Cliff Politte and Jeff Brantley. He signed back as a free agent in 2000, was granted free agency in November of 2001, and re-signed January of 2002.

Despite what fans may remember, Bottalico has pieced together a solid career so far, including a 3.95 career DERA.

With Danny Kolb gone to Atlanta, there's a chance Bottalico could step in as the team's closer. Great pickup for the Brew Crew.


At 11:12 AM, Blogger el123chico said...

ricky bottalico is the worst pitcher ever. i've never watched a reliever come in and implode more often than ricky bo.


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