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Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Paul Quantrill loved to pitch and he did so - often - over 14 major league seasons

Paul Quantrill couldn't wait to get back out to the mound, even at the University of Wisconsin, The Madison Capital Times wrote in April 1989.

"He loves to pitch and he has one of those arms that keeps coming back," Wisconsin coach Steve Land told The Capital Times then.

Quantrill would soon be pitching in the pros, and, by 1992, the majors. Once in the majors, he would keep coming back over 14 seasons

He would also become a workhorse as he made 80 or more relief appearances in a season five times, four of those in a four-year stretch to lead the league each year.

Quantrill's career began that year, taken by the Red Sox in the sixth round of the draft out of Wisconsin. He was born in London, Ontario, and went to high school in Michigan.

Quantrill started with the Red Sox at short-season Elmira and in the rookie Gulf Coast League. He went 5-4 over 22 outings, 7 starts, with a 3.22 ERA.

He saw high-A Winter Haven and AA New Britain in 1990, then AAA Pawtucket for most of 1991. Then, in July 1992, he made the majors.

Quantrill's major league debut turned into a win, as he went 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. Afterward, he told his hometown Lansing State Journal it hadn't hit him yet that he was in the majors. He also said he expected to be used in relief and as a spot starter.

"I can do both, which really helps the team," Quantrill told The State Journal. "It really depends on what they need, how the pitchers do, as to what I'll be doing."

Quantrill saw 27 relief outings that year, then 49 outings, 12 starts in 1993. He moved to the Phillies in mid-1994, then arrived with the Blue Jays in 1996. 

With the Blue Jays, he soon turned full-time reliever. He saw 77 outings in 1997, with a 1.94 ERA, then 82 in 1998, with a 2.59 ERA.

He saw another 80-outing season in 2001. He went 11-2,  with a 3.04 ERA and made the All-Star team

"At first I wasn't sure if he was busting my chops, but he said he wouldn't joke about something like that," Quantrill told The State Journal about when his manager told him he'd been selected for the Mid-Summer Classic. "Especially a middle-reliever guy, anyone going well expects to go, but I think that's a little naïve. I know enough to know how fortunate I was." 

Quantrill moved to the Dodgers for 2002 and 2003, and he kept pitching, seeing 86 and 89 relief appearances. In 2004, with the Yankees, he saw 86 more.

Quantrill played in one more season, in 2005, between the Yankees, Padres and Marlins to end his career. In all, he saw 841 major league appearances over 14 seasons.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,912
Made the Majors:1,302-33.3%-X
Never Made Majors:2,610-66.7%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:528
10+ Seasons in the Minors:326

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