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Friday, October 8, 2021

Todd Elam went from starting to relief, saw 3 seasons

Todd Elam 1990 Clearwater Phillies card

The Scranton Times-Tribune took a look at Phillies minor league prospects in April 1990 and declared four relievers as among the club's top relief pitching prospects.  Among them: Todd Elam.

Elam, The Times-Tribune noted, was a converted starter who had taken the role of closer. 

"Elam has the physical composition similar to St. Louis reliever Todd Worrell and has relied on his fastball to post one of three saves at Clearwater along with a 1.29 ERA," The Times-Tribune wrote in late April.

While Elam took on that new role in 1990, it proved short-lived. That season marked his third as a pro, and also his last. He topped out at high-A.

Elam's career began in 1988, signed by the Phillies as an undrafted free agent out of Miami University of Ohio.

Elam started with the Phillies at single-A Spartanburg and short-season Batavia. He started 22 games between them and went 7-10, with a 4.13 ERA,

He played 1989 between Spartanburg and single-A Clearwater. He saw 11 starts at Clearwater, then 21 outings, seven starts at Spartanburg. He also saved four at Spartanburg.

Elam began June 1989 with a 14.1-inning scoreless streak. He also earned his four saves in 11 appearances and struck out 28 in 26 innings. 

Elam returned to Clearwater at high-A in 1990. He saw 32 outings, seven starts. He went 2-4, with one save and a 3.12 ERA to end his career.

Todd Elam 1990 Clearwater Phillies card

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,752
Made the Majors:1,271-33.9%
Never Made Majors:2,481-66.1%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:524
10+ Seasons in the Minors:310

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