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Everystros XLVIII

Chapter 48 of Everystros features another 10 Astros you may have forgotten over the years.

Javier Ortiz
| Photo by John Swart/Getty Images

The 48th Chapter of Everystros features 10 players from across the years to appear in Houston duds.

As always, everything in these articles were built with facts culled from baseball-reference.com, thebaseballcube.com, mlb.com, wikipedia.org, and baseball-almanac.com, (but mostly b-ref).

In today’s chapter, we continue with players between 101 and 500 PA/BF. They all landed between 0.0029 and 0.0033 bWAR per plate transaction. I’m also introducing to you the “Bagwell Coefficient.” (spoiler alert — Bagwell is number one).

The Bagwell Coefficient is the number that I needed to multiply Bagwell’s bWAR/PA by to get a score of 100. That number, by the way, is 11,804. I then multiplied everyone else’s bWAR/PA (or BF) by that number, giving me the Bagwell scale. For context, anyone who scores over 100 was “better than Bagwell.” There aren’t many.

380. John Buzhardt (34.54 Bagwell score) was a six-foot-two right-handed pitcher from Prosperity, SC. Born on August 17, 1936, he got to the big leagues with the Chicago Cubs in 1958, and played in parts of two seasons with them (7-5, 4.37, 125 23 IP, 42 K). Later, he pitched for the Philadelphia Phillies (11-34, 4.18, 402 23 IP, 165 K), the Chicago White Sox (49-52, 3.37, 866 13 IP, 427 K) and the Baltimore Orioles (0-1, 4.63, 11 23 IP, 7 K).

On September 25, 1967, the Astros purchased Buzhardt’s contract. In one game to finish out the season, he pitched 23 of an inning and did not allow a baserunner. In 1968, he started three games, but was used primarily as a reliever, coming out of the bullpen 36 times. He pitched with a 1.18 aLI, and surrendered runs to 10-of-30 inherited runners.

On June 8, Buzhardt struck out a pair and earned a save with three perfect relief innings in a 3-2 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates. On July 14, he pitched 4 23 scoreless two-hit innings, entering with no outs and runners on the corners in a 4-4 tie in the fifth inning. He then escaped the jam without surrendering a run. He ended up striking out four in a 5-4 win against the Cincinnati Reds, pitching 4 23 innings of two-hit baseball in a 5-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds. On July 21, he struck out three and allowed one run in a complete game 2-1 win against the San Francisco Giants.

As a hitter, Buzhardt went four-for-16 with an RBI for Houston. He was also perfect in 26 fielding chances over 83 23 total innings in the field. After retiring from baseball in 1969, he went on to work for Kodak, eventually passing away in his hometown at the age of 71.

379. Mike Williams (34.72 Bagwell score) is a six-foot-two right-handed pitcher from Radford, VA. Born on July 29, 1968, he was taken in round 14 by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1990 out of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Williams spent five seasons to begin his career with the Phillies (13-25, 4.87, 384 23 IP, 227 K), later pitching for the Kansas City Royals (0-2, 6.43, 14 IP, 10 K) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (15-23, 3.78, 321 23 IP, 312 K). On July 31, 2001, the Bucs sent Williams to Houston for Tony McKnight.

Williams joined Houston’s bullpen for the final two months of the season, making 25 relief appearances. With a full season aLI of 1.73, his Houston figure of 1.42 shows that he was used in high leverage situations, only not quite so high as his time with the Pirates. He allowed two-of-seven inherited runners to cross the plate. On August 8, he held the Braves scoreless on one hit and one walk through the final two regulation innings in an eventual 12-inning 2-1 win over Atlanta.

In 22 13 innings overall, Williams walked 14 and allowed 21 hits for a 1.567 WHIP. He struck out 16 and went 4-0 with a 4.03 ERA. Opponents managed a .244/.337/.443 OPS over 285 PA, with a split that had him with an OPS 227 points higher when facing left-handers.

Granted free agency following the season, Williams found gainful employment with return engagements for Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, making the All-Star Team twice for the Bucs.

378. Bobby Tiefenauer (35.09 Bagwell score) is a six-foot-two right-handed pitcher from Desloge, MO. Born on October 10, 1929, he reached the big leagues in 1952 with the St. Louis Cardinals. He pitched in 24 games at the major league level, with six in 1952 and another 18 in 1955 before voluntarily retiring (1-4, 5.09, 40 23 IP, 19 K).

Tiefenauer made the majors once more with the Cleveland Indians in 1960 (0-1, 2.00, nine IP, two K), then rejoined the Cards in 1961 (0-0, 6.23, 4 13 IP, three K). On October 15, 1961, Houston chose him in the expansion draft.

Tiefenauer joined Houston’s relief corps from the very start, and appeared in 42 games through the first season in franchise history. He pitched to an aLI of 0.65, and allowed 69 percent of his inherited runners to cross the plate, 19-of-26. Somehow, the Colt .45s went 4-38 in games where Tiefenauer pitched. His most positively impacted appearance of the season, going by a mark of 0.261, was on April 25. He pitched the 14th and 15th innings against the St. Louis Cardinals, in an eventual 17-inning 5-5 tie.

Tiefenauer went 2-4 with one save and a 4.34 ERA. He walked 21 and struck out 60 in 85 innings, allowing 42 runs (41 earned) on 91 hits. He finished the season with a 1.318 WHIP, a 2.93 FIP, and an opposing batter line of .278/.322/.379.

377. Dave Nicholson (35.45 Bagwell score) was a six-foot-two right-handed outfielder from St. Louis, MO. Born on August 29, 1939, he reached the major leagues with the Baltimore Orioles in 1960, and played two seasons with the Orange BIrds (151 games, .178/.296/.357, 14 home runs, 26 RBI) and three with the Chicago White Sox (277 games, .213/.314/.384, 37 home runs, 121 RBI).

On December 1, 1965, the White Sox traded Nicholson with Bill Heath to Houston for Raymond Cordiero and Jack Lamabe. Nicholson started in 71 of his 100 appearances through the season for the Astros, with 19 instances of multiple hits collected.

On May 18, Nicholson hit an RBI-double and scored in the top of the first, a single in the fourth, and reached on an error in the fifth, which scored the eventual game-winner but no RBI in a 4-2 win against the Chicago Cubs. On May 25, he hit two singles, a double and a home run with two RBI in a 7-1 victory over the New York Mets. On July 5, he hit two solo home runs in a 9-4 loss to the Atlanta Braves.

Nicholson went 69-for-280 with eight doubles, four triples, and 10 home runs for Houston in 1966, slashing .246/.356/.411. He drew 46 walks versus 92 strikeouts, scored 36 runs and drove in 31. He was one-for-two in stolen bases. Defensively, he played 514 23 innings in right field (.968), 113 innings in left field (.974), and 113 innings in center (.909).

After the 1966 season, Houston traded Nicholson with Bob Bruce to the Atlanta Braves for Eddie Mathews, Arnold Umbach, and PTBNL Sandy Alomar. Nicholson played 10 games for the 1967 Braves (five-for-25, one RBI).

376. Ron Cook (36.36 Bagwell score) is a six-foot-one left-handed pitcher from Jefferson, TX. Born on July 11, 1947, he came out of Kilgore College to join the Oneonta Yankees at Low-A in 1967 as an outfielder. The Astros chose Cook in the minor league draft following the 1967 season. He converted to pitcher during that season, and went on to graduate to the majors in 1970.

Cook made his major league debut for the Astros on April 10, 1970, and started in seven of his 41 appearances. He was particularly adept against lefties, limiting them to a .188/.337/.213 slashline in 104 plate appearances. He was held opponents to an OPS 78 points lower when pitching at home.

On July 20, Cook struck out four over three shutout innings, allowing only two hits and earning the 12-inning 5-4 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. On August 16, he entered with two outs and the bases loaded in the fourth inning, trailing the Montreal Expos, 3-2. He escaped the jam when Boots Day was caught trying to steal home, then pitched five scoreless innings. In the ninth inning, he issued a leadoff walk, and was relieved by Denny Lemaster. Lemaster then surrendered a two-run go-ahead homer to the first batter he faced, Bob Bailey, in a 5-3 Houston loss. On September 20, he pitched a perfect 10th and 11th inning of a 5-5 tie with the Los Angeles Dodgers, in a game Houston eventually lost, 7-6 in 14.

In total, Cook was 4-4 with a 3.72 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 82 13 innings. He walked 42 and allowed 80 hits for a 1.482 overall WHIP. He joined Houston’s rotation for four turns in August, 1971, losing all four games despite half of them being Quality Starts. On September 16, he appeared in his final major league game, striking out one of two batters faced in a perfect 23 inning of relief in a 4-3 loss to the Atlanta Braves.

Learning to hit before learning to pitch led to Cook going six-for-25 through his major league career, with three runs scored, two triples, and one RBI. In the field he made three errors in 108 innings for a career .880 fielding percentage.

375. Álex Treviño (37.22 Bagwell score) is a five-foot-10 right-handed catcher and third baseman from Monterrey, MX. Born on August 26, 1957, he reached the bigs for the first time in 1978 with the New York Mets (256 games, .262/.307/.304, 69 RBI). He later appeared with the Cincinnati Reds (207 games, .241/.309/.303, two homers, 47 RBI), the Atlanta Braves (79 games, .244/.289/.338), the San Francisco Giants (57 games, .217/.303/.408, six home runs, 19 RBI), and the Los Angeles Dodgers (161 games, .246/.319/.370, seven home runs, 42 RBI).

On April 4, 1988, Treviño was released by the Dodgers, and signed with the Astros eight days later. In 78 games, he put multiple hits in 12 of them. On May 22, he hit three singles and one double, also scoring a run in a 2-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. On July 30, Treviño hit a double and a home run with three RBI in a 14-6 win against the Los Angeles Dodgers. On September 27, he entered as a defensive replacement in the eighth inning of a 2-2 tie with Atlanta. In his first plate appearance, in the 10th, Treviño hit the game-winning single in the top of the 10th, driving in Rafael Ramirez in the 3-2 win over the Braves.

Through the entire season, Treviño slashed .249/.341/.368 with two home runs and 24 RBI. In 520 23 innings behind the plate, he fielded at .977 and threw out 13-of-84 runners trying to steal, a CS+ of 52.

In 1989, Treviño appeared in 59 games, starting 25 and collecting multiple hits in eight of them. On July 1, he accounted for all of Houston’s offense by hitting a pair of two-run doubles in a 4-1 win over the Montreal Expos. On July 17, he hit three singles and a double in a 12-3 win against the New York Mets. Overall, he slashed .290/.329/.405 with a pair of homers and 16 RBI. In 240 innings at catcher, he fielded at .989 and threw out 13 of runners trying to steal for a CS+ of 103.

In 1990, Treviño slashed .188/.266/.275 with one homer and 10 RBI. On May 23, he hit a go-ahead pinch two-run homer in an eventual 7-3 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He threw out six-of-21 runners trying to steal, right at the league average and fielded at .992 in 157 23 innings. On July 27, 1990 Treviño got released by Houston. He finished the 1990 season going six-for-17 between the Mets and the Reds.

After his playing career, Treviño joined the Astros broadcast team on Houston’s Spanish radio network, and has since called 3,000 games. SABR Bio

374. Javier Ortiz (37.87 Bagwell score) is a six-foot-four right-handed leftfielder from Boston, MA. Born on January 22, 1963, he was a first-round draft choice of the Texas Rangers in 1983, with the fourth overall selection out of Miami Dade College.

Ortiz got to the major leagues with the Astros in 1990. On July 12, he hit a double and a home run with three RBI in a 7-4 win against the Philadelphia Phillies. Between June 15 and July 26, Ortiz appeared in 30 of Houston’s 39 games and went 21-for-77 with five doubles, a triple and a home run. He drew 12 walks against only 11 strikeouts, and scored seven runs while driving 10 in. Defensively, he appeared in all three positions, mostly in left field and totaling 180 innings with a .978 fielding percentage.

In 1991, Ortiz reached the Astros once more in June, and appeared in 47 of Houston’s final 105 games of the season. He collected multiple hits five times, including on August 17. He hit two singles and a solo home run in an 8-7 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. On September 29, he hit two singles and a double with a pair of RBI in a 6-5, 13-inning loss to the Atlanta Braves.

373. José Cabrera (38.16 Bagwell score) is a six-foot right-handed pitcher from La Delgada, DR. Born on March 24, 1972, he reached the majors with the Astros in 1997 and played 12 games in relief. On September 16, he struck out the side in a perfect ninth in a 15-3 win against the San Diego Padres. He struck out 18 in 15 13 innings overall, walking six and allowing six hits for a 0.783 WHIP and a .125/.211/.208 opposing slashline. Going 0-0 with a 1.17 ERA, Cabrera struck out 10.6 per nine.

After only playing 4 13 major league innings in 1998, Cabrera pitched 29 13 innings for the 1999 Astros. On September 6 he struck out a pair in a perfect seventh in a 6-5 win against the Philadelphia Phillies. Cabrera was 4-0 with a 2.15 ERA ERA and 28 strikeouts in 29 13 innings. He held his WHIP to 1.023 by walking nine and allowing 21 hits.

In 2000, Cabrera appeared in 52 games with Houston, and went 2-3 with a 5.92 ERA. He struck out 41 and walked 17 in 59 13 innings, with a 1.534 WHIP and a 4.95 FIP while allowing his opponents to slash .308/.357/.529. On August 19, he struck out three in two perfect innings in a 10-8 win against the Milwaukee Brewers.

On April 12, 2001, the Cleveland Indians traded Alvin Morman to the Astros for Cabrera. Cabrera spent the 2001 season with the Tribe (7-4, two saves, 2.88, 59 13 IP, 43 K) and 2002 with the Brewers (6-10, 6.79, 103 13 IP, 61 K).

372. Pete Incaviglia (38.75 Bagwell score) is a six-foot-one right-handed leftfielder from Pebble Beach, CA. Born on April 2, 1964, he was a 10th-round selection of the San Francisco Giants in 1982 out of Monterey HS. He didn’t sign, and three years later, in 1985, the Montreal Expos took him in the first round out of Oklahoma State University, with the eighth overall selection.

Five months after the draft, the Expos sent Incaviglia to the Texas Rangers for Jim Anderson and Bob Sebra. Incaviglia played five years with the Rangers (694 games, .248 /314/.459, 124 home runs, 388 RBI), then joined the Detroit Tigers (97 games, .214/.290/.353, 11 home runs, 38 RBI). On January 27, 1992, the Astros signed Incaviglia through free agency.

On April 19, Incaviglia pinch-hit a walkoff RBI-single for a 1-0 11-inning win against the San Diego Padres. On June 14, he hit a double and two home runs for seven RBI in a 15-7 win against the Giants. On June 21, he accounted for all the offense in a 2-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers, hitting two singles and a homer with two RBI. On July 8, he hit a single, a double, and a home run with two RBI in a 3-2 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Incaviglia hit .266/.319/.430 in 113 games for Houston, starting 91 times and getting multiple hits in 24 of them. He hit 22 doubles, one triple, and 11 home runs, drawing 25 walks (against 99 strikeouts), scoring 31 runs and driving in 44. Incaviglia left via free agency following the season.

Incaviglia later played with the Philadelphia Phillies (295 games, .250/.307/.481, 53 homers, 163 RBI), the Baltimore Orioles (60 games, .257/.314/.415, seven home runs, 20 RBI), the New York Yankees (five games, four-for-16), and the Tigers one more time (one-for-14).

In May, 1998, Incaviglia returned to Houston for 13 games, going two-for-16 with a double and two RBI.

371. Randy Moffitt (38.91 Bagwell score) is a six-foot-three right-handed pitcher from Long Beach, CA, and the younger brother of tennis pro Billie Jean King. Born on October 13, 1948, he was the first-round pick of the San Francisco Giants in 1970, 18th overall out of California State University at Long Beach.

Moffitt reached the major leagues with the Giants in 1972, and made 458 trips out of the bullpen over 10 seasons (along with one start). He was 35-46 with a 3.68 ERA and 397 strikeouts in 682 13 innings. On August 4, 1981, he was released by the Giants.

Moffitt signed on with the Astros on February 5, 1982. He pitched with a 1.08 aLI through the season, but Houston managed to go just 6-24 over his 30 appearances. Moffitt allowed eight-of-20 inherited to score. On May 2, he struck out two over three shutout innings, allowing only a hit and earning his first save in a 6-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. On August 3, he earned a victory by pitching the final 2 23 innings of an 11-inning 7-6 win over the San Diego Padres. He stranded his two inherited runners and struck out one batter while not allowing a single baserunner.

Moffitt went 2-4 with a 3.02 ERA and struck out 20 versus 13 walks in 41 23 innings. He had a 1.176 WHIP and an opposing slashline of .228/.305/.342. He finished the year with extreme splits, as he was 312 OPS better against right-handed batters. Houston released Moffitt after the season. He played the 1983 campaign with the Toronto Blue Jays (6-2, 3.77, 57 13 IP, 38 K).

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