Trachsel, not flashy, but effective in Chicago
Right-hander Steve Trachsel finished his career with a sub-.500 record, an earned run average north of 4.00 and a 1.411 WHIP. Those are hardly numbers indicative of a pitcher you’d find on any team’s best performer list. But, yet, here we are.
Trachsel, in his age 25 season, put together his lone All-Star campaign, anchoring the Chicago rotation. Granted, he won only 13 games, but he posted the best single-season ERA of his career – a 3.03 mark.
In fact, Steve Trachsel finished above .500 personally just four times in his 16 Major League campaigns. In 1996, though, he rode a strong first-half performance to that aforementioned All-Star Game appearance. Prior to the Midsummer Classic, the righty posted a 2.14 ERA in over 100 innings pitched.
His peripherals during that stretch aren’t eye-popping. He averaged less than six strikeouts per nine innings pitched and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of just 2.16.
In the second half, he faded badly.
He still hung in there with a 4.06 ERA, recovering from a brutal month of July to post solid numbers in the season’s final two months, leading the Cubs’ rotation through the dog days of summer.
But, for me, there is one statistic that shows how good Trachsel was in 1996.
In games in which Chicago scored 0-2 runs, he stepped up to keep his team in each and every game. Trachsel posted a sub-2.00 ERA in those outings, with a .0976 WHIP to go along with it.
A .500 team doesn’t get much attention. Nor did Steve Trachsel. It’s only fitting he gets some love on this list.