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Scott Schoeneweis

A photo of Scott Schoeneweis.

Scott David Schoeneweis [SHOW-en-weiss] (born October 2, 1973, in Long Branch, New Jersey) is an American left-handed Major League Baseball relief pitcher for the Boston Red Sox.

In the five seasons from 2003–07, Schoeneweis allowed only one home run to a left-handed batter. Left-handed hitters batted .209, with a .264 slugging percentage and .293 on base percentage, in 227 plate appearances against him from 2005–06,[1] and then only .207 with a .241 slugging percentage in 2007. In 2008, he was even stingier—lefties batted only .178 against him.[2] That was second-best among all major league left-handers.[3]

Through 2009, he had limited lefties to a .227 average.[4]

Early lifeEdit

Schoeneweis grew up in Mount Laurel Township, New Jersey.[5] He attended Lenape High School in Medford, New Jersey, where he lettered in baseball and basketball[5] before playing collegiately at Duke University, where he was a 1993 All-American as a freshman. That season, he had 12 wins, the second best record in the school's history.

At age 19, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer while playing the summer league in Cape Cod. The cancer had already spread to his lymph nodes.[6] To get back on the field by January, he requested an aggressive course of chemotherapy consisting of 3 week-long sessions.[citation needed] He said he took "6 months of chemotherapy in 3 months," and commented that "it puts things in perspective."[7] Schoeneweis overcame the cancer, but lost 20 pounds.[8]

He returned to the team the following season, but was unable to win a single game in his weakened condition. He seriously injured his pitching elbow, perhaps as a result of his loss in strength, and required Tommy John surgery. He lost his slider, and was only throwing an 80 mph fastball after reconstructive surgery. He spent the following summer rehabilitating and lifting weights before returning to pitch his senior year at Duke University. He enjoyed a sensational season with 10 wins, and graduated with a history degree. Schoeneweis finished as Duke's career leader with 30 wins and 51 games started, and is second on the school's all-time strikeouts list (315).

He played for the USA National Team in 1996 before being drafted by the California Angels in the third round of the 1996 Major League Baseball Draft.

Baseball careerEdit

PitchingEdit

Schoeneweis has three pitches: a sinking 89–90 mph fastball and slider, which are his better pitches, and a changeup. He is able to get his fastball in on lefties, which keeps them off his breaking ball on the outside corner.[9] He is a ground-ball pitcher and has been used many times as a lefty specialist.[7]

Minor LeaguesEdit

From 1996–2000, in the minor leagues, Schoeneweis was 28–20. In the 1997 Arizona Fall League, he went 3–2 with a 1.98 earned run average for the Scottsdale Scorpions, finishing second in ERA behind Rolando Arrojo.

Anaheim Angels (1999–2003)Edit

Schoeneweis started his MLB career with the Anaheim Angels, where in 1999, he appeared in 31 games and finishing the year with a 1–1 record. His season was cut short by a torn medial collateral ligament in his left elbow.[citation needed] The next season he was used as a starting pitcher, pitching in 27 games, all starts, as he went 7–10 with a 5.45 ERA.

In 2001, during which the Angels continued using him as a starter (beginning with opening day), he won a career-high 10 games and finished with a 5.08 ERA. He hit 14 batters (third in the American League).

In 2002, Schoeneweis was used primarily as a reliever, though he made 15 starts, going 9–8 with an ERA of 4.88, and left-handed batters batted only .202 against him. At the conclusion of the season, the Angels captured the American League Wild Card and qualified for the postseason.

Schoeneweis appeared in three games versus the defending American League champion New York Yankees, giving up one earned run. Anaheim took the series 3 games to 1, and defeated the Minnesota Twins in the 2002 American League Championship Series in five games. Scott appeared in one of those games, and did not surrender a run in 0.2 innings pitched. In the 2002 World Series, Schoeneweis pitched in two games and held the San Francisco Giants scoreless in the two innings he pitched. The Angels captured the World Series title in seven games. He started the 2003 season with the Angels.

Chicago White Sox (2003–04)Edit

During the season, he was dealt to the Chicago White Sox after appearing in 39 games, all in relief, for Anaheim. He was traded with Doug Nickle for Gary Glover, Scott Dunn, and Tim Bittner on July 30. He finished the year with a combined 3–2 record between the Angels and ChiSox, to go along with his 4.18 ERA in 59 games. He was the recipient of the 2003 Gene Autry Courage Award.

The next season he was used mainly as a starting pitcher by Chicago manager Ozzie Guillén, going 6–9. He held batters to a .111 batting average in games that were late and close.

ESPN reported in 2007, that in 2003 and 2004 Schoeneweis received six steroid shipments from Signature Pharmacy while playing for the Chicago White Sox. Schoeneweis denied the report, and told the New York Daily News that he has never heard of Signature Pharmacy or received shipments from Florida.[8]

Toronto Blue Jays (2005–06)Edit

He was signed as a free agent by the Blue Jays on January 11, 2005, for $2,500,000, which was just under what he made the two previous seasons combined.

During the 2005 season he slipped on a just-watered field in Oakland, and his fellow Toronto pitchers buckled over in laughter. not realizing that Schoeneweis had just sustained the worst injury of his career. He tore a tendon behind his left knee, near his hamstring, and the tendon remained torn as he pitched over the next two years.[10]

He ended his first season in Canada with a 3–4 mark, and picked up his second career save. Schoeneweis’s ERA improved to 3.32. He also saw action in a career-high 80 games (2nd in the American League). The lefty was also among the league leaders in holds, with 35. Left-handed hitters batted a meager .188 against him. In 2006, he went 2–2 for Toronto with a high ERA of 6.51 in 55 games.

Cincinnati Reds (2006)Edit

On August 16, Schoeneweis was traded to the Cincinnati Reds for cash. In 16 games for the Reds, he was 2–0 with 3 saves and an 0.63 ERA.

New York Mets (2007–08)Edit

In January 2007, Schoeneweis agreed to a 3-year deal with the New York Mets worth $10.8 million.[11] He struggled during the season, finishing with an 0–2 record, 2 saves, and a 5.03 ERA in 70 games. He did, however, hold lefties to a .204 batting average and .247 slugging percentage, and held batters to a .221 batting average when men were on base, and a .150 batting average with 2 outs and runners in scoring position. Schoeneweis later revealed that he pitched the 2007 season with a severed tendon in his left knee, affecting his push off the mound.[12]

In 2008 he pitched 73 times, with a 3.34 ERA. Lefties hit only .178 against him, with a .243 obp and a .277 slugging percentage. He tied for seventh in the National League among left-handers, with 15 holds.[3] With his 73 appearances he became the only pitcher in the major leagues to pitch in at least 70 games each of the five seasons from 2004–08. The only other pitchers to do so in the four seasons from 2005–08 were Chad Qualls, Bob Howry, and Dan Wheeler.[13] He was the losing pitcher in both the final home opener and the final game at Shea Stadium during the 2008 season.[14]

Arizona Diamondbacks (2009)Edit

On December 12, 2008, Schoeneweis was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Connor Robertson.[15]

He started off the season very well, as in March and April, he kept batters to a .226 batting average. Through May 20, he had given up only three earned runs in 10.2 innings.

Following his wife's sudden unexpected death on May 20, he was briefly placed on the restricted list, and then the bereavement list. He returned to the mound on June 9, but after his return he gave up 15 earned runs in nine innings.[16] Batters hit .391 against him in July, and .444 in August.

He was then placed on the disabled list on August 11, 2009, to give him time to deal with depression resulting from her death and with parenting issues. "It's obviously been a horrific year for him," Arizona manager A. J. Hinch said. "At this point, baseball becomes irrelevant."[17] Four weeks later, he returned to the team for the last three weeks of the season.[18][19] In November, he filed for free agency.[20]

Milwaukee Brewers (2010)Edit

On February 9, 2010, Schoeneweis signed a minor league contract with the Milwaukee Brewers with an invite to spring training. He competed to be the second lefty out of the Brewers' bullpen.[21] "If I didn't think I could play, I wouldn't be here. My kids want me to play.... This is my job; this is what I do."[22]


He would have received an $800,000, one-year contract if added to the 40-man roster, with a chance to earn $700,000 in performance bonuses.[23] However, he was released on March 23.[24] Brewers general manager Doug Melvin and manager Ken Macha asked Schoeneweis him to take an assignment to Class AAA Nashville, but he declined.[25]

Brewers pitching coach Rick Peterson said:

He did not face that many [left-handed batters in spring training], but I am almost certain that he got every left-hander he faced out. Under different circumstances, this would have been a great fit. But Mitch [Stetter] did so well last year. He was one of the left-handed guys in the game. ... Schoeneweis is an effective big league pitcher, without an opportunity here.[4]

Boston Red Sox (2010)Edit

On March 26, 2010, Schoeneweis signed a minor league contract with a spring training invitation with the Boston Red Sox.[26] According to a team source, he will make $500,000 if he makes the team.[27]

In 15 games and 31 innings at Fenway Park in his career, he has a 2.59 ERA, with a .168 batting average against and .224 slugging average against.[28] According to Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell, one of the main factors in the competition for the final two roster spots in the bullpen "is being able to match up left on left", and that "the most effective pitcher getting left-handed hitters out will be factored in" in the competition among Alan Embree, Scott Atchison, Joe Nelson, and Schoeneweis for the last two slots in the bullpen.[29] Red Sox manager Terry Francona said: "I haven't even seen Schoeneweis yet, but the one thing he's been able to do is get left-handers out."[30] On April 4, the Red Sox added him to their Opening Day major league roster.[31]

Mitchell ReportEdit

The Baseball Commissioner's Office met with Schoeneweis to discuss the 2007 ESPN report's allegations. On December 6, 2007, the Commissioner's Office announced that there was insufficient evidence of a violation of the joint program in effect at the time of the conduct in question to warrant discipline of Schoeneweis.[32]

Schoeneweis said the Mets and other clubs he had played for were aware of his use, which was tied to his treatment of testicular cancer, and the levels were within the limits established by the collective bargaining agreement. "I was just trying to get to normal, not above normal. It's all well-documented," Schoeneweis said.[33][34]

Personal lifeEdit

Schoeneweis is Jewish.[35][36] Of Jewish pitchers, he is first in games played, having passed Sandy Koufax in 2007 and Ken Holtzman in 2008,[37] and 9th in strikeouts, three spots behind Jason Marquis.[38]

He is actively involved in the Office of the White House National Drug Control Policy, encouraging students to say no to drugs.

On May 20, 2009, his wife, Gabrielle Dawn Schoeneweis, 39, was found dead on the floor of the master bedroom in their suburban Fountain Hills, Arizona home by Kiley, his wife's 14-year-old daughter from a first marriage.[22] According to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, she was unresponsive when sheriff's deputies arrived at 12:11 p.m. MST, responding to a call made by Kiley.[22] A spokesperson for the Sheriff's Office said there were no signs of foul play, and while they were not ruling anything out, they were not treating it as a homicide initially.[39] The cause of death was determined by an autopsy to be an overdose of cocaine and the anesthetic lidocaine according to a Maricopa County appellate court.[40][22] Schoeneweis and his wife had four children (ages 14, 7, 5, and 2), including his wife's daughter from a prior marriage, and had celebrated their 10th anniversary in January 2009.[41]

Schoeneweis left Miami, Florida, where the Diamondbacks were playing a series with the Marlins, to fly to Phoenix on a private charter arranged by the Diamondbacks.[42][43] General Manager Josh Byrnes said on May 27 that the Commissioner's Office granted the team permission to place Schoeneweis on the restricted list after his seven-day stint on the bereavement list expired. Schoeneweis considered retirement, but changed his mind.[44]

Schoeneweis returned to the club on June 9, 2009. "I think I will be OK," he said. "It's time for Daddy to go back to work."[44] However, he was unable to focus on baseball, and was tagged for 15 runs in 9 innings.[22] "He showed a lot of character coming back to pitch last season, even though he didn't pitch the way he wanted to," said pitcher Doug Davis.[22] He was placed on the disabled list on August 11, 2009, however, to give him time to deal with depression resulting from her death and with parenting issues.[45]

ReferencesEdit

  1. By Marty Noble / MLB.com. The Official Site of The New York Mets: News: New York Mets News. Newyork.mets.mlb.com. Retrieved on May 3, 2009.
  2. Piecoro, Nick (March 13, 2009). Schoeneweis continues to make mark. Azcentral.com. Retrieved on May 3, 2009.
  3. 3.0 3.1 By Doug Miller / MLB.com (March 21, 2009). Schoeneweis relishes fresh start | MLB.com: News. Mlb.mlb.com. Retrieved on May 3, 2009.
  4. 4.0 4.1 By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com. Schoeneweis upset by Crew decision | MLB.com: News. Mlb.mlb.com. Retrieved on March 24, 2010.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Wagman, Jake. "He is Mount Laurel's Angel", The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 21, 2002. Accessed December 26, 2007. "The parents of World Series pitcher Scott Schoeneweis want to set the record straight. Yes, he was born at a hospital in Long Branch, Monmouth County. And he did attend Lenape High School in Medford."
  6. Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center – Surviving and Thriving-Scott Schoeneweis. Cancer.duke.edu (September 27, 2007). Retrieved on May 3, 2009.
  7. 7.0 7.1 JewishVirtualLibrary.org. JewishVirtualLibrary.org. Retrieved on May 3, 2009.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Assael, Shaun (October 1, 2007). Source: Schoeneweis received 'roids; lefty denies it. ESPN the Magazine. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved on October 1, 2007.
  9. By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com (February 16, 2009). Melvin praises new D-backs pitchers | MLB.com: News. Mlb.mlb.com. Retrieved on May 3, 2009.
  10. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/15/sports/baseball/15mets.html?ref=baseball
  11. By Marty Noble / MLB.com (January 16, 2007). MLB.com. Newyork.mets.mlb.com. Retrieved on May 3, 2009.
  12. Shpigel, Ben. SCOTT SCHOENEWEIS - Bats Blog - NYTimes.com. Bats.blogs.nytimes.com. Retrieved on May 3, 2009.
  13. MLB Baseball Pitching Statistics and League Leaders – Major League Baseball – ESPN. Sports.espn.go.com. Retrieved on May 3, 2009.
  14. Scott Schoeneweis 2007 Pitching Splits – Baseball-Reference PI. Baseball-reference.com. Retrieved on May 3, 2009.
  15. D-backs acquire Scott Schoeneweis from Mets. Arizona.diamondbacks.mlb.com (December 14, 2007). Retrieved on May 3, 2009.
  16. "Schoeneweis on DL because of depression," Associated Press, 8/11/09, accessed 8/26/09
  17. The Associated Press (August 11, 2009). "Schoeneweis on DL because of depression," ''Brownsville Herald'', 8/11/09, accessed 8/26/09. Brownsvilleherald.com. Retrieved on March 24, 2010.
  18. Peña out for season – SFGate. Articles.sfgate.com (September 8, 2009). Retrieved on March 24, 2010.
  19. Braun helps Brewers breakout of slump beat Arizona. Sfgate.com (September 11, 2009). Retrieved on March 24, 2010.
  20. By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com. Schoeneweis files for free agency | dbacks.com: News. Mlb.mlb.com. Retrieved on March 24, 2010.
  21. McCalvey, Adam. "Schoeneweis signs Minors deal with Crew; Veteran to compete for job as second bullpen lefty", MLB.com. Retrieved on February 9, 2010.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 22.5 Haudricourt, Tom (March 9, 2010). Brewers' Schoeneweis gives baseball a chance in wake of wife's death. Lacrossetribune.com. Retrieved on March 24, 2010.
  23. "Scott Schoeneweis agrees with Brewers", ''Sports Illustrated'', February 9, 2010, accessed February 9, 2010. Sportsillustrated.cnn.com (February 9, 2010). Retrieved on March 24, 2010.
  24. By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com. Schoeneweis upset by Brewers release. Milwaukee.brewers.mlb.com. Retrieved on March 24, 2010.
  25. Veteran reliever Scott Schoeneweis upset by Brewers release - Daily Pitch: MLB News, Standings, Schedules & More - USATODAY.com. Content.usatoday.com (January 3, 2010). Retrieved on March 24, 2010.
  26. Red Sox agree to terms with left-handed pitcher Scott Schoeneweis on a minor league contract. Boston.redsox.mlb.com (March 26, 2010). Retrieved on March 30, 2010.
  27. Boston Red Sox – Schoeneweis asked to pitch in – The Boston Globe. Boston.com. Retrieved on March 30, 2010.
  28. Silverman, Michael. Red Sox warm up leftover Scott Schoeneweis - BostonHerald.com. News.bostonherald.com. Retrieved on March 30, 2010.
  29. Pitcher Scott Schoeneweis is on a mission with the Red Sox – ESPN Boston. Sports.espn.go.com (January 1, 2008). Retrieved on March 30, 2010.
  30. By Maureen Mullen / Special to MLB.com (May 20, 2009). Schoeneweis set to show he's still got it | MLB.com: News. Mlb.mlb.com. Retrieved on March 30, 2010.
  31. Boston Red Sox finalize Opening Day roster – ESPN Boston. Sports.espn.go.com (January 1, 2008). Retrieved on April 4, 2010.
  32. http://assets.espn.go.com/media/pdf/071213/mitchell_report.pdf
  33. By Marty Noble / MLB.com. Notes: Schoeneweis clears the air | MLB.com: News. Mlb.mlb.com. Retrieved on May 3, 2009.
  34. Mets Blog. Blogs.nypost.com. Retrieved on May 3, 2009.
  35. Bases loaded, with Jewish ballplayers! – The Boston Globe. Boston.com (August 31, 2009). Retrieved on March 24, 2010.
  36. By Paul LukasSpecial to Page 2 (Archive (April 2, 2007). Uni Watch: Passover edition – ESPN Page 2. Sports.espn.go.com. Retrieved on March 24, 2010.
  37. Jewish Tribune – Fifth issue in baseball series honours record setters, ’08 big leaguers. Jewishtribune.ca (March 3, 2009). Retrieved on March 16, 2010.
  38. JewishMajorLeaguers.com. JewishMajorLeaguers.com. Retrieved on May 3, 2009.
  39. Gabrielle Schoeneweis, Wife Of Diamondbacks Pitcher Scott Schoeneweis, Found Dead. Retrieved on May 20, 2009.
  40. "Court: Diamondbacks player wife died from drug overdose," ABC15, 12/1/09, accessed 12/1/09. Abc15.com (January 2, 2009). Retrieved on March 24, 2010.
  41. [1]Template:Dead link
  42. Wife of D-backs pitcher Scott Schoeneweis found dead in Phoenix - MLB - SI.com. Sportsillustrated.cnn.com (May 20, 2009). Retrieved on March 16, 2010.
  43. [2]Template:Dead link
  44. 44.0 44.1 By Jesse Sanchez / MLB.com. Schoeneweis rejoins D-backs | dbacks.com: News. Arizona.diamondbacks.mlb.com. Retrieved on March 16, 2010.
  45. Rogers, Phil, "Phil Rogers' baseball power rankings," The Chicago Tribune, 8/16/09, accessed 8/26/09

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