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Archive for the ‘Trades’ Category

Desperate for pitching, the 1943 Athletics turned to Carl Scheib, a 16-year-old with a strong arm. Eleven years later, the 1954 Cardinals, desperate for pitching, took a chance on Scheib, then a 27-year-old with a damaged arm.

Scheib, who died March 24, 2018, at 91, finished his major-league career with the Cardinals after a brief, unsuccessful stint with them.

The Cardinals’ pitching in 1954 was so bad they were willing to try just about anything to give the staff a boost. On May 7, 1954, in a creative cash transaction, the Cardinals acquired Scheib from the Athletics on a conditional basis. The Cardinals agreed to give Scheib a look in exchange for a small amount of cash to the Athletics. If the Cardinals kept Scheib for 30 days, they would increase the amount of compensation to the Athletics.

Teen-age wasteland

Scheib, born Jan. 1, 1927, became the youngest player to appear in an American League game when he debuted with the Athletics in the ninth inning of the second game of a doubleheader against the Yankees on Sept. 6, 1943. Boxscore

The 1943 Athletics had the worst pitching staff (4.05 ERA) in the league and the team, managed by Connie Mack, finished in last place at 49-105.

A year later, on June 10, 1944, Joe Nuxhall, 15, became the youngest player to appear in a major-league game when he debuted with the Reds in the ninth inning against the Cardinals.

Scheib pitched for the Athletics from 1943-45 and from 1947-54. His best season was 1948 when he had a 14-8 record and 3.94 ERA with 15 complete games. He also experienced two particularly dreadful seasons in 1950 (3-10 record, 7.22 ERA) and 1951 (1-12, 4.47).

Bargain shopping

When Scheib got to spring training in 1954, it was evident to the Athletics he was experiencing weakness in his right shoulder, according to a biography by the Society for American Baseball Research. After making his final spring training appearance, Scheib didn’t appear in another game for more than a month until given a regular-season start against the White Sox on May 3, 1954. Scheib yielded five runs in two innings and took the loss. Boxscore

Four days later, on May 7, 1954, the Cardinals made the conditional deal to land Scheib.

Cardinals pitchers gave up 34 runs in their last three games prior to acquiring Scheib. The staff would finish the 1954 season with a 4.50 ERA. Their relievers formed the worst bullpen in franchise history.

Cardinals manager Eddie Stanky said Scheib was “the best we could do because we couldn’t get a big-name pitcher without giving up too much playing strength in return.”

Two days after the deal was made, Scheib reported to the Cardinals in Cincinnati and threw pitches to coach Johnny Riddle while Stanky watched. Scheib “showed speed, a sweeping curve and promising knuckler,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Said Reds manager Birdie Tebbetts, a former American League catcher who had faced Scheib often: “Don’t worry about his record. He was with a poor ball club over there. If waivers had been asked on him, I’d have claimed him.”

Short stay

Scheib made his first Cardinals appearance in a start against the Phillies in the second game of a doubleheader on May 16, 1954, at Philadelphia. He struck out the first two batters, but gave up five runs, including back-to-back home runs by Johnny Wyrostek and Del Ennis, in two innings and was the losing pitcher. Boxscore

Cardinals general manager Dick Meyer said catcher Del Rice “didn’t think Scheib was as bad as those five early runs would indicate.”

Scheib was used twice in relief by the Cardinals, pitching two scoreless innings against the Reds on May 22 and yielding a home run to Cubs catcher Joe Garagiola in a stint that lasted two-thirds of an inning on May 24.

By then, the Cardinals decided Scheib wasn’t effective enough to pay additional compensation to the Athletics. On May 27, they returned Scheib to the Athletics. Two days later, the Athletics asked waivers on Scheib for the purpose of giving him an unconditional release.

Unclaimed and free to make his own deal, Scheib signed with the Portland Beavers of the Pacific Coast League. He spent two years (1954-55) with Portland and two more (1956-57) with the San Antonio Missions, managed by future Cardinals coach Joe Schultz, of the Texas League before ending his playing career.

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Dick LeMay was a pitcher who impressed Carl Hubbell, earned a complete-game win in his first major-league start against Bob Gibson and was the ace on Cardinals minor-league teams managed by Warren Spahn.

Unlike Hubbell, Gibson and Spahn, who were Hall of Fame pitchers, LeMay was a journeyman. Though he pitched in the big leagues for the Giants and Cubs, LeMay spent a significant portion of his playing career in the Cardinals’ system.

LeMay, who died March 19, 2018, at 79, pitched for Cardinals Class AAA clubs during a five-year period (1964-68) when the major-league team won three National League pennants.

Screwball specialist

A Cincinnati native, LeMay, 19, received an offer to begin his professional career with the Reds, but he chose to sign with the Giants as an amateur free agent in 1958 because they offered the most money, a $12,000 signing bonus.

LeMay was toiling in the Giants’ system when, in 1961, Hubbell, the organization’s director of player development, scouted him and filed a favorable report. Like Hubbell, who had been a Giants ace in the 1930s, LeMay was left-handed and threw an effective screwball.

“When I looked at LeMay, I discovered he had a good forkball and screwball, wasn’t too fast, but could consistently get his breaking ball over,” Hubbell told The Sporting News.

Backed by Hubbell’s endorsement, LeMay was promoted to the Giants and he made his major-league debut for them on June 13, 1961, with 2.2 innings of scoreless relief against the Dodgers. After two more scoreless relief stints, LeMay got his first big-league start on June 24, 1961, versus the Cardinals at St. Louis.

The game matched LeMay against Gibson, who was in his third big-league season and starting to emerge as a consistent winner.

LeMay shut out the Cardinals until the ninth, when he yielded a run-scoring single to Carl Warwick. Powered by home runs from Orlando Cepeda (a three-run shot off Gibson) and Willie McCovey, the Giants prevailed, 6-1. LeMay got the complete-game win. Gibson went five innings and gave up five runs. Boxscore

Bob Broeg of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported LeMay threw “soft breaking stuff with a big motion, using a screwball and forkball more than he did a fast one.”

Appearing with Cardinals broadcaster Harry Caray on a post-game radio show, LeMay said he hoped Giants manager Al Dark “lets me get back in the bullpen. You get in more games that way.”

Ups and downs

After LeMay was shelled for seven runs in 5.2 innings in a start against the Cardinals on July 8, he returned to the bullpen. He got a win against the Cardinals on July 20, with 3.1 innings in relief of starter Sam Jones. LeMay gave up a bases-loaded double to Bill White in the sixth (two of the runs were charged to Jones), but shut out the Cardinals over the last three innings. With the score tied at 6-6 in the eighth, LeMay sparked a four-run rally against Lindy McDaniel by drawing a walk on five pitches. Boxscore

LeMay posted a 3-6 record with three saves and a 3.56 ERA for the 1961 Giants.

He made nine relief appearances for the 1962 Giants and was 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA. The loss came against the Cardinals on Sept. 20 when LeMay was unable to protect a 4-3 lead in the ninth. Boxscore

Upset by the loss, Dark “knocked a box containing three dozen hardboiled eggs off a table and scattered them about the clubhouse,” the Post-Dispatch reported.

After the 1962 season, the Giants traded LeMay to the Colt .45s. Toward the end of spring training in 1963, the Colt .45s (who later became the Astros) dealt LeMay to the Cubs. The Cubs loaned LeMay to the Atlanta Crackers, a Class AAA affiliate of the Cardinals, and he was 3-3 with a 2.22 ERA for that club before being called up by the Cubs. LeMay made nine appearances, three versus the Cardinals, for the 1963 Cubs and was 0-1 with a 5.28 ERA.

Stuck in minors

The Cubs cut loose LeMay and he signed with the Cardinals, who invited him to their 1964 major-league spring training camp as a non-roster player. When the season began, LeMay was assigned to the Class AAA Jacksonville Suns and he did well for them (12-7 record, 2.81 ERA). The Cardinals rewarded LeMay by placing him on their 40-man big-league winter roster, putting him in the mix to earn a relief job in 1965.

Before the start of spring training in 1965, The Sporting News said of the defending World Series champion Cardinals, “The bullpen shapes up pretty well, with Barney Schultz and Ron Taylor as the bellwethers and such men as Bob Humphreys, Mike Cuellar, Fritz Ackley and Dick LeMay available.”

The Cardinals, however, returned LeMay to Jacksonville for the 1965 season and he again did well (17-11, 3.19) for the Suns.

Though he was excelling at the highest level of their farm system, LeMay wasn’t prominent in the Cardinals’ plans. Left-handers such as Steve Carlton and Larry Jaster surpassed LeMay as premier prospects. LeMay, who turned 28 in 1966, spent that season with the Tulsa Oilers, a Cardinals Class AAA club, and was 14-13 with a 4.35 ERA.

In 1967, Spahn, who retired as the all-time leader in wins among left-handed pitchers, became manager of the Oilers. LeMay was Spahn’s most durable starter in 1967 (13-18, 3.48) and 1968 (16-10, 3.29).

After that, LeMay went back to the Cubs organization, pitched two more seasons at the Class AAA level, retired from playing and managed the Class A Quincy (Ill.) Cubs of the Midwest League in 1971 and 1972.

LeMay pitched in 45 major-league games, nine versus the Cardinals. He was 2-1 with a 5.13 ERA against St. Louis. His overall career mark in the big leagues is 3-8 with a 4.17 ERA.

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Dick Sisler, a standout as a St. Louis prep school athlete and son of a Hall of Fame baseball player, came to the Cardinals amid high expectations. He earned starts in two Opening Day lineups for the Cardinals but departed before he developed into a major-league all-star.

Seventy years ago, on April 7, 1948, the Cardinals traded Sisler to the Phillies for infielder Ralph LaPointe and $20,000.

Initially, the deal disappointed Sisler, who hoped to establish a big-league career with the hometown Cardinals. Sisler soon learned, however, that joining the Phillies was a good break for him.

Preps to pros

Dick Sisler excelled at baseball, basketball, football and track at John Burroughs School in the St. Louis suburb of Ladue. His father, George Sisler, a first baseman, was one of baseball’s best hitters, primarily for the St. Louis Browns of the American League, in a major-league career that spanned from 1915 to 1930.

As a high school senior, Dick Sisler accepted a college scholarship offer from Colgate, but when the Cardinals came calling with a professional contract in February 1939, Sisler, 18, went with them instead.

Sisler made his major-league debut with the Cardinals in 1946, starting at first base on Opening Day. When a hand injury sidelined Sisler in June, Cardinals manager Eddie Dyer moved Stan Musial from the outfield to first base. Musial did well there, and after Sisler recovered from his injury, Dyer kept Musial at first base and put Sisler in left field. Sisler hit .260 with 42 RBI in 83 games as a Cardinals rookie.

When the 1947 season opened, the Cardinals started Musial at first base and Sisler in left field. Sisler, though, didn’t provide the power the Cardinals sought, and in May they acquired left fielder Ron Northey from the Phillies and moved Sisler to the bench. Sisler batted .203 in 46 games for the 1947 Cardinals.

When Sisler signed his Cardinals contract for the 1948 season, Robert Hannegan, the club’s owner, informed Sisler that Musial would be moved back to the outfield. Sisler was told he would have the chance to compete for the starting first base job, but would be traded if someone else got the role, according to The Sporting News.

Spring cleaning

Sisler played well for the Cardinals at spring training in Florida. “Dick was meeting the ball better and seemed to be on his way to a bright season,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Sisler told the St. Louis Star-Times, “I was given to understand that I had a real chance to make the Cardinals’ ball club if I had a good spring training season. Well, I had a big spring. I know I led the club in home runs. In extra-base slugging, my percentage must have been over .600.”

After the Cardinals left Florida and made their way north, they stopped in Columbus, Ga., to play an exhibition game on April 7 against their minor-league team there. After the game, the Cardinals were at a team barbecue when Hannegan approached Sisler and told him he’d been traded to the Phillies.

The Post-Dispatch reported the deal as “something of a surprise move” and the Pulitzer-owned newspaper’s editorial page opined that the Cardinals are “going to regret trading Dick Sisler.”

According to the Star-Times, the trade was made because Dyer and Sisler “were hardly of one mind on Dick’s baseball abilities or on other subjects.”

The Sporting News, however, said Dyer planned to start Sisler, a left-handed batter, at first base, but changed his mind because he wanted a right-handed batter to better balance a lineup that included left-handed hitters such as Musial, Northey and Enos Slaughter. After the trade, Dyer named Nippy Jones, a right-handed batter, to start at first base.

“I feel the deal ultimately will prove to be in Sisler’s best interest as well as the Cardinals’,” Hannegan said.

Philadelphia freedom

After Sisler reported to the Phillies, he appeared to be more naturally relaxed in his approach than he had been with the Cardinals. “Perhaps it would have been better for Dick if he had started in a town other than St. Louis, someplace where the fans didn’t have as many recollections of his brilliant dad,” columnist J.G. Taylor Spink wrote in The Sporting News.

Meanwhile, LaPointe, the player the Cardinals acquired from the Phillies for Sisler, was tabbed by Dyer to be a backup to Red Schoendienst at second base and to Marty Marion at shortstop.

“Coming to this ball club is like falling into Utopia,” LaPointe said.

Sisler batted .274 with 56 RBI for the 1948 Phillies and Jones, his replacement at first base, hit .254 with 81 RBI for the 1948 Cardinals. In his lone St. Louis season, LaPointe batted .225 in 1948.

Sisler had his all-star season with the 1950 Phillies, hitting .296 with 83 RBI. In the final regular-season game that year, Sisler hit a three-run home run in the 10th inning against Don Newcombe, lifting the Phillies to a 4-1 pennant-clinching victory over the Dodgers.

In four seasons with the Phillies, Sisler hit .287. He went to the Reds in 1952 but was traded back to the Cardinals in May that year. He finished his big-league playing career with the 1953 Cardinals.

After a stint as a minor-league manager, Sisler was a Reds coach from 1961-64. Late in the 1964 season, he replaced an ailing Fred Hutchinson as Reds manager and guided them into a pennant race with the Cardinals and Phillies. The Reds finished in second place when the Cardinals clinched the pennant on the last day of the regular season.

Sisler managed the Reds in 1965, and though the club finished 89-73, he was fired after the season. He was a Cardinals coach on manager Red Schoendienst’s staff from 1966-70, and he also coached for the 1975-76 Padres (managed by John McNamara) and the 1979-80 Mets (managed by Joe Torre).

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Rogers Hornsby brought out the best in the baseball talents of Les Bell, and soon after Hornsby departed the Cardinals, Bell did, too.

Ninety years ago, on March 20, 1928, the Cardinals and Braves swapped third basemen, with Bell going to the Braves for Andy High and cash.

The deal reunited Bell with Hornsby. The two were Cardinals teammates from 1923 to 1926. When Hornsby, the second baseman, became player-manager in May 1925, Bell blossomed, developing into a premier run producer. “His effect on Bell was almost instantaneous,” International News Service reported. “From a very commonplace third baseman, he became a ranking star in 1926.”

In 1926, when Hornsby led the Cardinals to their first National League pennant and a World Series title, Bell batted .325 with 33 doubles, 14 triples, 17 home runs and 100 RBI in 155 games.

After Hornsby was traded by the Cardinals to the Giants in December 1926, Bell fell into a funk. Without his mentor, Bell slumped in 1927, batting .259 with nine home runs and 65 RBI in 115 games for the Cardinals. He also committed 24 errors in 100 games at third base.

Let’s make a deal

After the 1927 season, the Cardinals demoted player-manager Bob O’Farrell, promoted a coach, Bill McKechnie, to replace him, and the Giants traded Hornsby to the Braves.

Determined to impress McKechnie, Bell reported a week early to the Cardinals’ 1928 spring training camp in Florida. Bell hit well but fielded poorly. “Ground balls were getting by him and going through his legs,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Meanwhile, Hornsby was urging the Braves to trade for Bell. Andy High was the Braves’ third baseman. Born in Ava, Ill., High grew up in St. Louis, where his father was an electrical engineer. High reached the major leagues with the Dodgers in 1922 and played for them until he was claimed on waivers by the Braves in 1925. He hit .302 with 46 RBI for the Braves in 1927 and committed 20 errors in 89 games at third base.

The Cardinals unsuccessfully tried to acquire third baseman Freddie Lindstrom from the Giants, the St. Louis Star-Times reported. They also asked the Phillies about Fresco Thompson, a second baseman whom the Cardinals intended to move to third, but that deal also failed to develop.

The Cardinals were talking with the Braves about a pair of infielders, Doc Farrell and Eddie Moore, and when the Braves offered High for Bell, Cardinals owner Sam Breadon approved the trade.

Effective platoon

Hornsby “was largely responsible for the deal,” United Press reported.

Hornsby told the Star-Times “the Braves consider Bell the greatest third baseman in the business.”

Said Bell: “I intend to … show the Cardinals why they made a mistake. Don’t think I won’t play great ball this summer.”

The Post-Dispatch reported the trade “came as a big surprise to the Cardinals players.” Braves manager Jack Slattery told the newspaper he didn’t think High could field well enough to be a starter.

Though he called High “a great hitter and a wonderful fielder,” McKechnie said Wattie Holm, a utility player, would be the Cardinals’ starter at third base and High would have a backup role.

“I can hardly believe McKechnie is going to give me a chance to be the regular third baseman,” Holm said. “I am going out to show Bill he has not made a mistake in giving me the job.”

Said High: “McKechnie is a wonderful man personally and a mighty shrewd manager. The Cards have a great club. I will try hard to get a regular job and it is my honest opinion that I can help the Cards win many ballgames.”

McKechnie ended up platooning Holm and High. Holm, a right-handed batter, made 82 starts at third base, hit .277 with 47 RBI and committed 22 errors. High, a left-handed batter, started 70 games at third base, hit .285 with 37 RBI and made 12 errors.

The 1928 Cardinals (95-59) won the pennant and finished 44.5 games ahead of the Braves (50-103). Bell batted .277 with 36 doubles and 91 RBI, but he and the hard-hitting Hornsby, who replaced Slattery as manager in May, couldn’t overcome a pitching staff that produced a 4.83 ERA.

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Reflecting his versatility as well as the Cardinals’ need for quality pitching in all areas, Juan Acevedo opened the 1998 season as a middle-inning reliever, moved into the starting rotation in May and became the club’s closer in August.

Twenty years ago, on March 29, 1998, the Cardinals traded pitcher Rigo Beltran to the Mets and got Acevedo in return.

The deal was considered to be a relatively minor one at the time, but it turned out to be significant for the Cardinals. Acevedo became their most effective pitcher that season.

Finding his way

Acevedo, born in Mexico, played high school baseball in the Chicago suburb of Carpentersville, Ill. After he graduated, Acevedo worked at a car wash and at a tool and dye shop for three years and didn’t play baseball during that time. “I was young and trying to find myself,” Acevedo later told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

One day, while watching a White Sox game on television, Acevedo became inspired to take up the sport again. He attended two tryout camps and received a scholarship offer to play baseball for Parkland Community College in Illinois.

After one season at Parkland, Acevedo, 22, was chosen by the Rockies in the 14th round of the 1992 amateur draft. A year later, in 1993, Walt Jocketty became assistant general manager of the Rockies. Acevedo worked his way up the Rockies’ minor-league system and in 1994 he posted a 17-6 record and 2.37 ERA for their New Haven farm club.

Jocketty left the Rockies after the 1994 season and became general manager of the Cardinals. Acevedo reached the major leagues with the Rockies in 1995 and was traded to the Mets in July that year. The Mets sent him back to the minor leagues and he stayed there until 1997 when he posted a 3-1 record and 3.59 ERA for New York.

Jocketty kept track of Acevedo and made the deal to obtain him when the Mets made him available in March 1998. “He was one of our best-looking prospects” in Colorado, Jocketty said.

Poise under pressure

Placed on the Opening Day roster, Acevedo, a right-hander, gave up eight runs in his first five relief appearances for the 1998 Cardinals.

He turned around his season with an impressive outing on April 19 against the Phillies.

Acevedo relieved in the ninth inning with the bases loaded, no one out and the Cardinals clinging to a 3-2 lead. Cardinals manager Tony La Russa instructed him to throw only fastballs. Acevedo followed orders and retired Scott Rolen and Mike Lieberthal on pop-outs to first before striking out Rico Brogna, earning the save.

“If I threw 95 mph, I’d throw all fastballs, too,” said Cardinals third baseman Gary Gaetti.

Said Acevedo: “That was the moment I told myself I truly belonged up here. My confidence is as good as it’s ever been.” Boxscore

Ups and downs

In late May, La Russa and pitching coach Dave Duncan moved Acevedo into the starting rotation as a replacement for Manny Aybar, who was struggling.

Acevedo succeeded, posting a 4-1 record and 2.34 ERA in nine starts for the Cardinals. The added innings, however, caused him to develop a strained elbow and strained forearm, and Acevedo went on the disabled list in July.

When he returned to the active roster in August, Acevedo became the closer. Jeff Brantley, who the Cardinals had counted on to be their closer, had a 7.09 ERA in save situations.

Acevedo was 2-1 with three saves and an 0.93 ERA in eight relief appearances in August, and 1-0 with 10 saves and an 0.00 ERA in 13 relief appearances in September. He didn’t allow a run in his last 16 relief outings.

For the season, Acevedo led the Cardinals in saves (15) and was second in ERA (2.56). He had an 8-3 record. His ERA in save situations was 2.49. Right-handed batters hit .203 against him.

Acevedo entered 1999 as the Cardinals’ closer, but he flopped and was replaced by Ricky Bottalico. Used in a variety of roles, including as a starter, Acevedo finished the 1999 season with a 6-8 record and four saves. His ERA in save situations was 7.84. Right-handed batters hit .301 against him.

In December 1999, the Cardinals traded Acevedo to the Brewers in a deal that brought second baseman Fernando Vina to St. Louis.

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Dominic Leone put himself in position to earn his first major-league win by retiring Dexter Fowler with a runner in scoring position.

On May 22, 2014, Leone, a rookie reliever for the Mariners, got Fowler to ground out with a runner on second base, ending the top half of the seventh inning and keeping the score tied in a game against the Astros.

In the bottom half of the inning, Michael Saunders, batting with two outs and the bases loaded, barely beat out an infield single. The hit produced two runs _ “We all went nuts in the dugout,” Leone told the Tacoma News Tribune _ and gave the Mariners a 3-1 lead.

Asked whether he knew Saunders’ single gave him the chance for his first win, Leone, 22, replied, “That may have run through my mind.”

Mariners relievers held the Astros scoreless in the final two innings, preserving the win for Leone. Boxscore

Four years later, after Leone’s career experienced a series of ups and downs, he and Fowler became teammates. On Jan. 19, 2018, the Blue Jays traded Leone and pitcher Conner Greene to the Cardinals for outfielder Randal Grichuk. The Cardinals expected Fowler to be their right fielder and Leone to be a productive reliever in 2018.

Power stuff

Leone was born and raised in Connecticut and watched Red Sox games at Boston’s Fenway Park. “I went to a ton of games (at Fenway Park) as a kid and every time was awesome,” Leone told the Seattle Times.

He attended Clemson University and was selected by the Mariners in the 16th round of the 2012 amateur draft. Two years later, Leone impressed the Mariners in spring training and was put on their Opening Day roster.

Though he had advanced only as high as the Class AA level in the minor leagues, Leone, a right-hander, pitched well as a major-league rookie. He was 8-2 with a 2.17 ERA in 57 appearances, striking out 70 in 66.1 innings, for the 2014 Mariners. Right-handed batters hit .166 against him that season.

“I don’t think any situation really overwhelms him, whether he’s pitching late in the game or he’s pitching in the fifth,” Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said to MLB.com.

Said Mariners catcher Mike Zunino: “He just attacks hitters. He’s got great power stuff and he attacks the strike zone with his fastball and cutter and then he has his slider late in the count.”

Extra innings

In a stunning reversal, Leone’s career fell as quickly as it had risen.

In June 2015, the Mariners traded Leone to the Diamondbacks. He was a combined 0-5 with an 8.40 ERA for the Mariners and Diamondbacks in 2015.

Leone struggled again (0-1, 6.33 ERA) with the Diamondbacks in 2016. In his first appearance that season, on April 26 at Phoenix, Leone faced the Cardinals and yielded a two-run home run to Stephen Piscotty and a RBI-single to Yadier Molina. Boxscore

After the 2016 season, Leone was released by the Diamondbacks and he signed with the Blue Jays. He pitched for the 2017 Blue Jays like he had as a rookie for the 2014 Mariners.

Leone was 3-0 with a 2.56 ERA in 65 appearances for the Blue Jays. He struck out 81 batters in 70.1 innings and held right-handed hitters to a .211 batting average.

In praising Leone’s durablity and versatility, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons told the Toronto Star, “He’s one guy that can give you more than one inning. We don’t have a lot of those guys.”

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