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Stephen Christopher Trachsel (born October 31, 1970 in Oxnard, California) is a Major League Baseball pitcher who is currently a free agent. He most recently played with the Baltimore Orioles. He is known for the long amount of time he takes to deliver the ball to home plate in between pitches. Games in which he pitches are known to be considerably longer than most games.
Trachsel graduated from Troy High School in Fullerton, California in 1988. He attended Fullerton College and Long Beach State University. In 1991, he led Long Beach to a spot in the College World Series. He was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 1991 and made his Major League debut in 1993.
In 1996, he was named to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game and posted a career-best 3.03 ERA. In 1999, his ERA rose to a career-worst 5.56, his 18 losses were two worse than any pitcher that season and the Cubs let him go. Spending 2000 in the American League, he posted another 15 losses and his start with the Mets in 2001 was so poor (including becoming the only pitcher in Mets history to allow four home runs in one inning), he was sent to the minor leagues. Upon returning to the Mets, his career was reborn. He finished 2001 well and continued to shine in 2002 when he had a 3.37 ERA. His success continued with 16 wins (including his 100th career win) in 2003. However, after starting well in 2004, he suffered a herniated disc in his back, the first major injury of his career, which also cost him much of the 2005. He underwent a discectomy in March 2005 and returned for the final six starts of the season, posting a league-average 4.14 ERA and going 1-4. Trachsel was also a part of history when Mark McGwire of the St. Louis Cardinals hit his 62nd home run of the season on September 8, 1998 - breaking Roger Maris' record.
In 2006, Trachsel recovered to start 30 games and tied Tom Glavine for the team lead with 15 wins, despite an earned run average near five. On September 18, 2006, he had one of his best performances of the season as the Mets clinched the National League Eastern Division Championship. He also started the clincher of the NLDS, but was shaky and removed in the 4th inning. In Game 3 of the NLCS, he gave up five runs in just one inning before being hit by a hard ground ball. The Mets lost the game 5-0.
Trachsel was signed by the Baltimore Orioles as a free agent on February 12, 2007, after Orioles starter, and fellow former Mets right-hander, Kris Benson was diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff that kept him sidelined for the 2007 season. On August 31, 2007, Trachsel rejoined the Chicago Cubs by being traded for minor league players Rocky Cherry and Scott Moore. On February 11, 2008, he signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training with the Baltimore Orioles. On March 27, he was added to the 40-man roster. He was designated for assignment on June 10, 2008. He was released on June 13, 2008. He resides in Poway, California
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube
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