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Saturday, March 11, 2017

Hector Carrasco hoped to become closer, made 12 ML seasons

Hector Carrasco 1990 Kingsport Mets card

Hector Carrasco made the Reds to start 1994 and the reliever looked forward, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer.

Carrasco saved three games that spring and he looked to save more.

"I want to be a closer for my career," Carrasco told The Enquirer that April. "Come in for one inning, boom, get everybody out."

Carrasco ended up coming into a lot of innings in his career, spanning 12 big league seasons. He got into 647 major league games in that time, but he never became a closer. He saved a total of 19 games.

Carrasco's career began in 1988, signed by the Mets as a free agent out of his native Dominican Republic.

Carrasco started with the Mets in the rookie Gulf Coast League. He hit rookie Kingsport in 1989 and high-A Pittsfield in 1991. He moved to the Astros and single-A Asheville for 1992 and the Marlins at single-A Kane County in 1993.

He then made the jump all the way to Reds in Cincinnati for 1994. He got into 45 games, turning in a 2.24 ERA that year and 64 and a 4.12 mark the next.

Carrasco continued with the Reds into 1997, when he moved to the Royals in a trade. He arrived with the Twins for 1998, getting into 63 games that year, with a 4.38 ERA.

Going into 2000, Carrasco thought he had another chance at being a closer as the Twins needed one, according to Knight Ridder Newspapers.

"That's what I want," Carrasco told Knight Ridder of being a closer. "If they give me the chance, I think I could be the closer."

He didn't become the team's closer, but he did get into a career-high 69 games on the year, including eight games played with the Red Sox after a trade.

That April, with the Twins, Carrasco gave up Cal Ripken's 3,000 hit, a single off a high fastball, The Associated Press wrote. "He hit the best I had," Carrasco told The AP afterward.

Carrasco returned to the Twins for 2001, then skipped 2002 and played 2003 with the Orioles. After another year out in 2004, he returned again to the Nationals.

With Washington in 2005, Carrasco had a bit of a resurgence. He got into 64 games and turned in a 2.04 ERA.

"This is the first time my whole career I'm pitching the way I'm pitching right now," Carrasco told The Washington Post after a successful run down the stretch. "I'm surprising myself."

Carrasco played two more seasons in the majors, both with the Angels. He then continued playing for five more campaigns in the minors, independent ball and in Mexico. He last played in 2012 with Minatitlan and Puebla in Mexico.
Hector Carrasco 1990 Kingsport Mets card

1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured: 2,565
Made the Majors:1,020-39.8%-X
Never Made Majors:1,545-60.2%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 424-X
10+ Seasons in the Minors:260

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