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Saturday, January 29, 2022

Pedro Astacio opened eyes in early Dodgers starts; Kept them open over 15 ML seasons

Originally published Nov. 19, 2017
Pedro Astacio made about as good a case as any over his first four starts to remain in the Dodgers starting rotation, according to The Los Angeles Times.
Astacio threw two shutouts in that span, and gave up just three earned runs, The Times wrote.

"He's opening somebody's eyes here," teammate Tom Goodwin told The Times of Astacio. "If he's not, then I don't know what it takes to open somebody's eyes. Maybe he has to throw a no-hitter."

Astacio didn't throw a no-hitter, but he did later take one late. He also turned into a major league mainstay as he continued in the bigs for a total of 15 seasons. He picked up double-digit wins in six of those campaigns.

Astacio's career began in 1987, signed by the Dodgers an amateur free agent out of his native Dominican Republic.

Astacio started with the Dodgers in the Dominican Republic. He moved to the rookie Gulf Coast League for 1989. He made AA San Antonio in 1991, then AAA Albuquerque for 1992. In July 1992, he debuted in Los Angeles.

Astacio went 5-5 that first year in the bigs, with a 1.98 ERA. He took off in 1993, going 14-9, with a 3.57 mark.

Astacio then ran into three relatively down seasons, including one stretch where he won once in 19 starts. He seemed to return to form in April 1997, as he took a no-hitter into the eighth inning against the Mets.

"He's just as important, just as valuable as all the rest of them," Dodgers manager Bill Russell told The Los Angeles Daily News of Astacio. "You saw what he was capable of doing today."

Astacio soon moved to the Rockies mid-season in a trade and he had some of his best years. He went 5-1 down the stretch in 1997. He then went 13-14 in 1998 and 17-11 in 1999. He threw a complete-game, nine-hitter August 1999, a 2-1 win.

"This was a great game," Astacio told The Associated Press after the win. "You've got to get excited, especially when you're finishing the game."

Astacio moved to the Astros in mid-2001, then to the Mets for 2002. He went 12-11 for the Mets that year, then underwent shoulder surgery in 2003. He returned briefly with the Red Sox in 2004, then played 2005 and 2006 between the Rangers, Padres and Nationals to end his career.

In his 15 seasons in the bigs, Astacio went 129-124, with a career 4.67 ERA. He returned in 2013 to the Rockies as a spring training assistant coach.
1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,834
Made the Majors:1,288-33.6%
Never Made Majors:2,546-66.4%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:526
10+ Seasons in the Minors:322

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