New Arrival: Scott Elarton, sp, Houston Astros

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Scott Elarton, IC signed in thin blue sharpie

There are four reasons that I like Scott Elarton.

#1. He was the 25th overall pick of the 1994 draft, by the Astros.

#2. He was the best pitcher on a terrible 2000 Astros club that lost 90 games. He would go 17-7 with a 4.81 ERA/1.464 WHIP/103 ERA+. Even with 17 wins, he was far from an ace. He allowed 198 hits in 192.2 IP, and only stuck out 131. Don’t get me wrong, he was a fine pitcher…but I get the feeling that he was just as lucky as good in 2000.

#3. Cleveland Indians. After his…breakout…2000 season, he fell hard in 2001. He went 4-10 with a 7.06 ERA and would eventually get traded to the Rockies. If you are a struggling pitcher, getting sent to play in Colorado is not really a best case scenario. To make matters worse, Elarton shoulder was injured, bad, and he would miss the entire 2002 season. When he came back in 2004, he was 0-6 with a 9.80 ERA in eight starts. The Rockies released him in May. And…the Indians signed him.

For the Tribe he would start in 21 games, go 3-5 with a 4.53 ERA/1.270 WHIP. Not great…but better then the 0-6, 9.80 ERA he started the season with. The Indians saw something I guess, gambled, and it looked like it would pay off.

In 2005 Elarton would have a solid season. He would go 11-9 with a 4.61 ERA/1.305 WHIP. He would give up 189 hits in 181 innings, striking out 103. That was good for a 91 ERA+. He was not great, and the 2005 Indians were a bit of a powerhouse (they would win 93 games), so the win total is probably misleading. But all things considered, a nice bounce back season.

Elarton left the Indians for the 2006 season, signing a two year/$8 million dollar contract with the Royals. I am, in retrospect, very happy for him that he got a nice payday. Baseball is hard. He struggled through injuries. He beat the odds. But…his peripheral numbers screamed that he was not destined for sustained major league success.  So great for him, but not great for the Royals.

Two years with the Royals, he went 6-13 with a 6.59 ERA.

That was the end of his time in the big leagues.

#4. He was a major part of the book “Where Nobody Knows Your Name: Life In the Minor Leagues of Baseball” by John Feinstein. Great book. And it detailed Elarton’s journey to get back into majors from 2010-2013.

Year Age Tm Lg W L ERA G GS IP H BB SO ERA+ WHIP
1998 22 HOU NL 2 1 3.32 28 2 57.0 40 20 56 125 1.053
1999 23 HOU NL 9 5 3.48 42 15 124.0 111 43 121 129 1.242
2000 24 HOU NL 17 7 4.81 30 30 192.2 198 84 131 103 1.464
2001 25 TOT NL 4 10 7.06 24 24 132.2 146 59 87 68 1.545
2001 25 HOU NL 4 8 7.14 20 20 109.2 126 49 76 65 1.596
2001 25 COL NL 0 2 6.65 4 4 23.0 20 10 11 81 1.304
2002 Did not play in major or minor leagues (Injured)
2003 27 COL NL 4 4 6.27 11 10 51.2 73 20 20 80 1.800
2004 28 TOT MLB 3 11 5.90 29 29 158.2 164 62 103 77 1.424
2004 28 COL NL 0 6 9.80 8 8 41.1 57 20 23 51 1.863
2004 28 CLE AL 3 5 4.53 21 21 117.1 107 42 80 97 1.270
2005 29 CLE AL 11 9 4.61 31 31 181.2 189 48 103 91 1.305
2006 30 KCR AL 4 9 5.34 20 20 114.2 117 52 49 88 1.474
2007 31 KCR AL 2 4 10.46 9 9 37.0 53 21 13 44 2.000
2008 32 CLE AL 0 1 3.52 8 0 15.1 16 9 15 123 1.630
10 Yrs 56 61 5.29 232 170 1065.1 1107 418 698 87 1.431
162 Game Avg. 9 10 5.29 39 29 180 187 71 118 87 1.431
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/13/2016.
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