Pitcher Rick Honeycutt
In the 1976 draft, the Pittsburgh Pirates selected Rick Honeycutt with a selection. But he only lasted in the Pirates’ system for a year before being traded to the Seattle Mariners in 1977 as a PTBNL for pitcher Dave Pagan.
Honeycutt made the Majors the same season at age 23, and did solid, but not great in his tenure in Seattle. He only had a 4.22 ERA, 4.43 FIP and 1.40 WHIP from 1977 to 1980, but Honeycutt will be remembered in Seattle for an incident in the 1980 season. On September 30th, Honeycutt was attempting to doctor the ball by scuffing it with a thumb tack taped to his right hand. In only luck that the Mariners would have, Honeycutt completely gave it away when he went to wipe sweat off his forehead, and cut his forehead. This entire fiasco led to a 10 game suspension.
After 1980, Honeycutt was traded to the Texas Rangers in an 11 player deal. Honeycutt broke out with the Rangers, posting a 3.31 ERA, 3.59 FIP, and 1.07 WHIP. Honeycutt rarely struck out batters, having a 2.3 K/9, but he had a 1.2 BB/9 through 127.2 innings of work.
After a down 1982, Honeycutt made the All-Star game in 1983 with the Rangers, but was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers halfway through the season. From 1983 through 1987, Honeycutt posted a 3.39 ERA, 3.60 FIP, and 1.30 WHIP. Again, he struck out batters at a lowly 4.6 per 9 rate, but kept up a solid 2.6 BB/9 and even better 0.6 HR/9.
In an August trade in 1987, Honeycutt was sent to the Oakland A’s, and after the year, the lefty continued his career as a relief pitcher. Honeycutt would play six more seasons with the A’s before returning to Texas in 1994, but then headed back to Oakland in 1994. He also spent part of the 1994 season with the New York Mets, and finished out his career in 1996 and 1997 with the St. Louis Cardinals. In this 10 season span as a converted relief pitcher, the control artist threw 458 innings of 3.28 ERA, 3.66 FIP, and 1.22 WHIP ball.