Juan Acevedo

Mets fans had high hopes for Acevedo when he was acquired from Colorado for former Cy Young Award winner Bret Saberhagen in 1995, but they rarely saw him. Racked by injuries, Acevedo spent the first two-and-a-half seasons of his Mets career trying to regain his form with the club’s Triple-A affiliate in Norfolk. After making his New York debut in 1997, the hard-throwing righthander was dealt to St. Louis for lefty reliever Rigo Beltran.

A starter in the minors, Acevedo waffled between starting and relief roles in the majors. Replacing Jeff Brantley as the Cardinals’ closer in 1998, he racked up 15 saves in 16 opportunities down the stretch in 1998 but returned to the rotation after blowing a number of saves the following year. In Decmber he was sent to the pitching-starved Brewers as part of a package for second baseman Fernando Vina.

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