Pittsburgh Pirates: Forgotten All-Stars From the 20 Years of Losing

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8 Aug 1995: Pitcher Denny Neagle of the Pittsburgh Pirates throws a pitch during a game against the San Francisco Giants at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California. The Pirates won the game 9-5. Mandatory Credit: Otto Greule /Allsport
8 Aug 1995: Pitcher Denny Neagle of the Pittsburgh Pirates throws a pitch during a game against the San Francisco Giants at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California. The Pirates won the game 9-5. Mandatory Credit: Otto Greule /Allsport /

1995 Denny Neagle

The 1994 and 1995 seasons were shortened because of a players’ strike, but an All-Star Game was still played in 1995. In this game, the Pittsburgh Pirates were represented by starting pitcher Denny Neagle

Neagle was not a bad pitcher like Williams or Corriea were, but with so many other more famous names in baseball, and bigger events surrounding the season, he became one of the more underrated pitchers mid-to-late 1990s. Neagle made the 1995 All-Star Game after getting off to a solid start to the year, posting a 3.34 ERA and 3.57 FIP through 107.2 innings of work.

He didn’t suffer a second half slump, still putting up solid work including a 3.53 ERA and 3.75 FIP down the stretch. Overall, he had 3.43 ERA, 3.60 FIP and 1.29 WHIP. His strongest skill was being able to limit free passes, surrendering just 45 across 209.2 innings and facing 876 batters.

In 1996, Neagle again got off to a nice start to the season, throwing 182.2 innings to the tune of a 3.05 ERA, 3.84 FIP, and 1.20 WHIP, walking just 34 batters in the process. But the Bucs traded him at the August deadline for Corey Pointer, Ron Wright, and a player to be named later who eventually became Jason Schmidt.

Neagle wasn’t on the same level as other pitchers during the 1990s, but like I said earlier, he was kind of overlooked during his run from 1995 to 1998. In these four seasons, Neagle combined for 3.35 ERA, 3.75 FIP and 1.19 WHIP. He walked just 202 batters across the 874.2 innings he pitched. That resulted in a walk rate of just 5.6%, or the 15th best in this time frame. That was still lower than Mike Mussina, Curt Schilling, or Greg Swindell.

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