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Saturday, March 11, 2023

Ken Ryan kept hitters off balance over eight ML seasons, with Red Sox, Phillies

Ken Ryan 1990 Lynchburg Red Sox card, Ryan posed standing

New Phillies reliever Ken Ryan continued an impressive April in 1996 as he extended a season-opening scoreless streak to 10.3 innings, The Press of Atlantic City wrote.

He did so by setting down the Pirates in order over the final three innings of a Philadelphia win, The Press wrote.

"He has a good fastball and curveball and he keeps the hitters off balance," Phillies manager Jim Fregosi told The Press afterward. "He's a good pitcher who just happened to struggle last year, but he throws the ball extremely well."

Ryan started with the Phillies that year - his fifth major league season - after being traded from the Red Sox. He went on to see time in three more campaigns, for eight in all.

Ryan's career began in 1986, signed by the Red Sox as an undrafted free agent out of Seekonk High School in Massachusetts.

Ryan started with the Red Sox at short-season Elmira. He went 2-2, with a 5.82 ERA in 13 outings, one start.

He made single-A Greensboro in 1987, high-A Lynchburg in 1990 and then AA New Britain and AAA Pawtucket for 1991.

In August 1992, Ryan made Boston. He saw seven relief outings and saved one. He then returned to Boston for 47 games in 1993. He went 7-2, with a 3.60 ERA.

His 1993 campaign saw him go eight appearances without giving up a run, then get sent down. The same thing happened upon his return later that year, The Associated Press wrote.

"It was difficult," Ryan told The AP in spring 1994. "The whole time, even when I was pitching well, I was going down, and that was frustrating for me. But I came in this year and I said I was going to have a good spring and make the team."

Ryan saw 42 appearances in the shortened year and went 2-3, with a 2.44 ERA. He also saved 13. He then saw another 28 outings and seven saves in 1995.

Traded to the Phillies for 1996, Ryan saw a career high 62 appearances. He went 3-5, with a 2.43 ERA and saved eight. He then saw 22 outings in 1997, 17 in 1998 and 15 final games with the Phillies in 1999. He played one more season in the minors to end his career.

Ryan then returned to Massachusetts, working in sales and marketing jobs and opened his own baseball academy. In 2012, he started work as an employment specialist, The Cape Cod Times wrote.

"He's an excellent communicator," Ryan's new boss Joe Dziobek told The Times then. "The bottom line is, he's passionate about wanting to help people."

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,137
Made the Majors:1,368-33.1%-X
Never Made Majors:2,769-66.9%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:557-X
10+ Seasons in the Minors:337

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