June 17, 2024

José DeLeón, a former

SO SAD: The CAO of St. Louis Cardinals delivered an devastated just now by the…

major league pitcher, went suddenly at the age of sixty-three, The Associated Press reports. The Dominican Winter League’s Leones del Escogido made the announcement of his passing last night. DeLeón pitched in the major leagues from 1983 to 1995. He should not be confused with the free agent pitcher who was a member of the Twins last season.

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DeLeón, a Dominican Republic native, was selected by the Pirates in the third round of the 1979 professional draft, making his professional debut. Before coming to Pittsburgh, the 6’3′′ right-hander pitched in four minor league seasons. With a 2.83 ERA in 108 innings pitched over 15 starts, he struck out 118 batters in his stellar debut season. He placed seventh in the NL Rookie of the Year competition.

For a few seasons, DeLeón was a regular player in the Pirates rotation. In 192 1/3 innings pitched during his second big league season, he recorded a 3.74 ERA. The following season, he battled to an MLB-high 19 defeats and a 4.70 ERA. In a lopsided trade that resulted in the acquisition of future MVP finalist Bobby Bonilla, Pittsburgh dealt him to the White Sox midway through the 1986 season.

DeLeón was added to Chicago’s rotation for the following 18 months. He did not have the same impact on the South Side as Bonilla did in Pittsburgh, but he did perform admirably there. After the deal in 1986, DeLeón recorded 13 starts with a 2.96 ERA and 206 frames of 4.02 ball in 1987.Chicago sent reliever Ricky Horton and teenage outfielder Lance Johnson to the Cardinals in exchange for DeLeón during the 1987–88 winter. For a portion of five seasons, he was a regular in the St. Louis rotation. Over 225 innings were pitched by DeLeón in both of his Redbirds debut seasons. 1989 was the finest year of his career, pitching to a 3.05 ERA in 36 starts and a National League-high 201 strikeouts. After losing an MLB-worst 19 games in 1990 once more, DeLeón bounced back in 1991 with a 2.71 ERA across 28 games, a personal best.The following season, in August, the Cardinals released him. After signing a contract with the Phillies, DeLeón stayed in Philadelphia for the following season. By 1993, he had switched to the bullpen. The following August, the White Sox traded for reliever Bobby Thigpen to reacquire him. With Chicago, DeLeón made his lone postseason appearance, appearing twice in relief during the team’s eventual ALCS defeat to the Blue Jays. He pitched for the Sox and Expos for two more seasons, ending in 1995. DeLeón pitched in Taiwan until his age-37 season in 1998, but he didn’t make it back to the majors after that.

DeLeón pitched close to 1900 innings across portions of 13 seasons, giving up 3.76 earned runs per nine. With an 86-119 record, he struck out nearly 1600 batters. He played in five major league jerseys and eclipsed 150 frames seven times. MLBTR offers its sympathies to DeLeón’s friends, family, and former teammates.

 

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