Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Mike Dyer, Opportunity to Pitch - 173

Originally published June 26, 2010
It took Mike Dyer four seasons to make the majors. It took him five to get back.

Dyer went 4-7 with a 4.82 ERA with the Twins in 1989, but nerve problems in his neck caused him to lose most of 1990 and 1991, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. It took him until 1994 to make the majors again, with the Pirates.

"I'm very happy with the Pirates," Dyer told The Post-Gazette in 1995. "They've given me an opportunity to pitch. It's a nice town. It's a nice stadium. I'd like to play here.

"It's taken me a long time to get back."

Dyer was taken by the Twins in the fourth round of the 1986 January draft. He made AA Orlando in 1988 and AAA Portland and Minnesota in 1989.

With Orlando, Dyer went 11-13 with a 3.99 ERA. On June 22, Dyer pitched a complete game. But three first-inning runs sunk him and Orlando, they lost 3-1.

''I was throwing lousy in the bullpen before the game and I just brought it on the field with me,'' Dyer told The Orlando Sentinel. Two of the runs were unearned, but Dyer took the blame himself.
''What happens is what happens, you've got to pitch through it no matter what," he told The Sentinel. "I let them on base.''

Dyer got his first call-up in June 1989. After a rocky start, Dyer improved enough to impress manager Tom Kelly. He also just beat a young Randy Johnson.

"He was nervous, erratic," Kelly told UPI that August. "He's making a lot of progress and working hard."

His neck problems cut short that progress for 1990 and eliminated it for 1991. But Dyer returned for 1992, again with the Twins, but at AAA Portland. Dyer then went through the Indians, then the Cubs' system for 1993, then landed with the Pirates for 1994 and 1995.

Dyer pitched in 55 games for the Pirates in 1995 with a 4.34 ERA. He went on to his best year for 1996, with the Expos, pitching in 70 games with a 4.40 ERA, ending his major league career.

Dyer pitched 1996 at AAA Richmond for the Braves, then was reported for a turn in the Atlantic League in 2000 and Dyer was done.

Talking to The Post-Gazette in 1995, the reliever was ready for anything.

"I just want to make sure I stay in he big leagues," Dyer told the paper. "I'm ready to pitch from the second inning on."

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