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Sunday, May 15, 2016

Phil Leftwich, Good Shape - 3306

Pitching for a longer stay in the majors in May 1994, Phil Leftwich came through for the second time, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Leftwich pitched into the eighth inning against the Blue Jays, giving up two earned, after doing the same and allowing no earned his previous start.

"I don't know if anybody could pitch better than he has the last two games," Lachemann told The Times afterward. "If somebody can pitch better than that, we're in pretty good shape."

Leftwich went on to start 20 games for the Angels in the strike-shortened 1994 season, his second in the majors. He returned to the bigs briefly two years later, marking the extent of his career.

Leftwich's career began in 1990, taken by the Angels in the second round of a draft out of Radford University in Virginia.

Leftwich started with the Angels at short-season Boise. In 15 starts, he went 8-2, with a 1.86 ERA. He made single-A Quad City and AA Midland for 1991, then AAA Vancouver in 1993.

In July 1993, Leftwich debuted in Anaheim. He started 12 games for the Angels, posting a 3.79 ERA. He threw a complete-game in September, missing a shutout in the ninth by giving up a run. His first big league win came in August, a lopsided 14-2 victory over the Mariners.

"I don't want to make it sound like I'm disappointed," Leftwich told The Times of the blowout first win. "It's just that there wasn't a whole lot of drama. Once I was given a couple of touchdowns, it kind of changed the whole face of the game."

Leftwich then came back in 1994 for those 20 starts. He went 5-10, with a 5.68 ERA. He then underwent shoulder surgery and missed most of 1995.

He hoped to make his return in 1996 with the Angels - after a big increase in his family. He and his wife had triplets late the previous year, bringing their number of kids to four.

"Having to pay for four college educations has rejuvenated me quite a bit," Leftwich told The Times.

Leftwich returned to the Angels, but started just two games. In 7.1 innings, he gave up six earned, ending his major league career.

Leftwich then finished out his pro career in Japan. He played 1998 and 1999 for Kintetsu, going 7-10 over his two campaigns, with a 5.03 ERA.
1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured: 2,356
Made the Majors: 973-41.3%-X
Never Made Majors:1,383-58.7%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 407
10+ Seasons in the Minors:244

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