Monday, February 22, 2016

Jimmy Rogers, Hanging Slider - 2

Originally published Oct. 10, 2010
Sometimes mistakes are obvious, especially to the person who makes them. That's what happened to Jimmy Rogers, pitching in the top of the 10th inning in September 1995, throwing to the Tigers' Travis Fryman.

"It was a slider that I hung over the plate," Rogers told the Associated Press afterward. "I knew from the moment it left my hand (a home run) was going to happen."

Rogers' Jays ended up losing the game by that one run, 3-2. It was the 16th appearance of Rogers' major league career, that was after parts of eight seasons in the minors. Rogers would only get three more big league outings, finishing out his brief career in the majors.

Rogers began his professional career in 1986, taken by the Blue Jays in the 16th round of the draft. He played that year at short-season St. Catharines going 2-4 with a 3.36 ERA in 12 starts.

He hit single-A Myrtle Beach for 1988, going a stellar 18-4 with a 3.35 ERA. He also made the South Atlantic League All-Star Team that year. It was enough to earn him a promotion to AA Knoxville for 1989.

With Knoxville, Rogers went 12-10, his ERA creeping north of 4 at 4.56. In one June game, Rogers gave up one hit over five innings in a 2-0 victory, according to The Orlando Sentinel.

He returned to Knoxville for 1990, going 9-12 with a 4.47 ERA. Contributing to that ERA was a late April outing where the first five batters reached base in a 15-2 loss, The Sentinel wrote. Three of the runs came from a Kenny Morgan home run off Rogers.

"He (Rogers) threw a slider in," Morgan told The Sentinel, "I was looking for a pitch away. I wasn't expecting a pitch in, but I was ready for it."

Rogers wouldn't make AAA Syracuse until 1994, then used mainly as a reliever. In 31 appearances for Syracuse that year, Rogers had a 4.60 ERA.

It was in 1995 that Rogers regained his form. In 38 appearances for Syracuse, all in relief, Rogers had a 3.05 ERA. He also earned a call-up to Toronto by the end of July.

He made his debut July 30 against Oakland, giving up two earned runs in just one inning of work. On Aug. 15, his worst outing, Rogers gave up three runs in one inning, including a two-run triple.

Rogers ended his run with the 19 appearances and an ERA of 5.70. He returned to Syracuse for 1996, his final year in professional baseball, never getting another call up to Toronto.

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