Rich Rodriguez

A reliever his whole career, Rodriguez began with the San Diego Padres in 1990, using a low-90s fastball to get righties and breaking stuff to get lefties. Sidelined by a series of injuries in 1995 and 1996, he lost some zip from his fastball. A nomadic existence followed, as he tried desperately to right his career.

In 1999 Rodriguez struggled with the San Francisco Giants, earning a 5.40 ERA in 62 appearances, but that didn’t stop the New York Mets from signing him to a two-year, $1.5 million deal before the 2000 season. His debacle in orange and blue included a .377 opposition batting average and 25 earned runs by June 28, 2000. Frequent backbiting in the press between Rodriguez and manager Bobby Valentine over Rodriguez’s lack of pitching time resulted in the pitcher’s request for demotion to Triple-A to get some regular work. The extra time in the minors it didn’t help much — by the time his disastrous Mets career was over he had a 7.48 ERA in only 37 innings of work.

After clearing waivers with the Mets, Rodriguez joined the Cleveland Indians as part of a swap of minor leaguers in 2001. With the Indians he rediscovered his touch with the lefties, holding them to a .189 batting average.