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Everystros LIX

Here we have eight more players to add to Houston’s pantheon on our way to chronicle all 975.

Major League Baseball Archive
Charlie Kerfeld
Photo by Louis Requena/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Welcome to the 59th chapter of Everystros.

Today’s chapter features players at the replacement level (Bagwell score zero, where 100 = Bagwell) for the first six in the list. The final two players in today’s story finished slightly above replacement level.

280. Gene Pentz (Bagwell score zero) is a six-foot-one right handed pitcher from Johnstown, PA. Born on June 21, 1953, he was a seventh-round choice of the Detroit Tigers in 1971 out of Johnstown Liberty High School. He reached the major leagues with the Big Cats in 1975 (0-4, 3.20, 25 13 IP, 21 K). On December 6, 1975, Pentz was traded with Terry Humphrey, Mark Lemongello and Leon Roberts from Detroit to Houston, for Jim Crawford, Milt May and Dave Roberts.

Pentz appeared 40 times in relief during his first season with the Astros, with a 1.08 aLI, and stranded 24-of-30 inherited baserunners. On September 11, he pitched the final three innings of a 2-1 win over the San Diego Padres without allowing a hit, although he did walk a pair. He struck out one batter and earned his fourth save of the season. Pentz struck out 36 against 31 walks in 63 23 innings, going 3-3 with five saves. He finished with a 2.97 ERA, a 1.461 WHIP, and a .259/.343/.343 opposing slashline.

In 1977, Pentz went 5-2 with 37 relief appearances, and also made four starts, the only ones of his major league career. Opponents slashed out a .236/.324/.373 line in 87 innings, while walking 44 times and striking out 51 times. Pentz posted a 1.379 WHIP with a 3.83 ERA while being used at 0.86 aLI. He only stranded half of his 14 inherited baserunners. On September 15, Pentz pitched four shutout innings, allowing only a walk and striking out a pair in a 6-3 win over the San Francisco Giants.

Pentz appeared in 10 games out of the bullpen through Houston’s first 23 games of 1977, pitching 15 innings and walking 13 while striking out eight. He had a 1.600 WHIP and a 6.00 ERA, and was used at 0.92 aLI. He didn’t appear in the majors past May 3, due to arthritis in his back. Over his three seasons with the Astros, he was one-for-19 from the plate with one walk, seven strikeouts, and one run scored. As a defender, he took 42 chances without an error.

279. Butch Henry (Bagwell score zero) is a six-foot-one left-handed pitcher from El Paso, TX. Born on October 7, 1968, he was chosen by the Cincinnati Reds in the 15th round of the 1987 draft out of Eastwood High School. On September 7, 1990, the Reds sent Henry with Keith Kaiser and Terry McGriff to Houston as PTBNLs for an earlier trade which cost the Astros one Bill Doran.

Henry made his major league debut with the Astros in 1992, and made 28 turns in the rotation through the season, starting the year as Houston’s number three starter. In his third start, on April 19, Henry held the Padres to seven hits with zero walks and struck out five over nine innings in a 1-0, 11-inning win against San Diego. On August 15, Henry pitched an eight-hitter, striking out eight and walking zero in a 5-0 win against the Chicago Cubs.

Henry went 6-9 overall, with a 4.02 ERA. He walked 41 and struck out 96 in 165 13 innings, with a 1.364 WHIP and an opposing slashline of .285/.325/.433. As a hitter, Henry went eight-for-54 with one home run and seven RBI. He drew one walk, struck out 10 times, and scored three runs. As a defender, he made three errors in 46 chances to land on a .935 fielding percentage. After the 1992 season, the Colorado Rockies selected him in the expansion draft.

Henry spent one season with the Rockies (2-8, 6.59, 84 23 IP, 39 K), later appearing with the Montreal Expos (16-13, 2.75, 252 13 IP, 138 K), the Boston Red Sox (7-3, six saves, 3.57, 93 13 IP, 57 K), and the Seattle Mariners (2-0, 5.04, 25 IP, 15 K).

278. Charlie Kerfeld (Bagwell score zero) is a six-foot-six right-handed pitcher from Knob Noster, MO. Born on September 28, 1963, he was a 24th-round choice of the Philadelphia Phillies in 1981 out of high school. After not signing, he later signed with the Seattle Mariners in the first round of the January 1982 draft out of Yavapai College, third overall, then again in June that year, again in the first round, fifth overall by the Houston Astros.

In 1985, Kerfeld reached the major leagues with Houston. In his penultimate appearance of the season, on October 1, he struck out six over 8 13 shutout innings, striking out six and walking two in a 2-0 win against the Atlanta Braves.

Kerfeld pitched in 11 games through that first season, starting in six of them. He walked 25 and struck out 30 over 44 13 innings. He was 4-2 with a 4.06 ERA, a 1.556 WHIP, and kept his opponents to a .268/.359/.329 slashline.

In 1986, Kerfeld finished fourth in the National League Rookie of the Year Award vote after going 11-2 with a 2.59 ERA in a team-leading 61 games. He walked 42 and struck out 77 in 93 23 innings. He had a 1.206 WHIP and a .213/.300/.291 opponents slashline. On April 22, he pitched the final three innings of a 3-2 win over the Braves, striking out two and only allowing a baserunner on a fielding error. On May 28, he struck out three over two perfect innings, collecting the win in 4-3, 11-inning win over the St. Louis Cardinals. Through Houston’s postseason series-loss to the New York Mets, he pitched in three games, striking out four and allowing only two hits and a walk for one run.

Let’s be honest with ourselves and admit that Kerfeld was just delightful.

Kerfeld opened the 1987 season with a bit of a struggle, going 0-2 with a 6.67 ERA over his 29 23 innings of work. A straight-average leverage reliever with a 0.97 aLI, Kerfeld let only two of his 13 inherited baserunners cross the plate. On July 24, he had his only WPA of the season in triple-digits, managing a .221 by pitching two hitless and scoreless innings in a 5-2 loss to the Mets. He did walk two and only struck out one in the effort.

Through the campaign, Kerfeld walked more than he struck out (21 and 17 respectively), and posted a nearly-criminal .309/.421/.482 opposing slashline with a 1.854 WHIP. This led to him playing more time at the Triple-A level with the Tuscon Toros (4-4, 4.74, 62 23 IP, 59 K) than he did in the majors.

Kerfeld got parked in the minors for the Astros for the entirety of two seasons afterward. He resumed his major league career with Houston to open the 1990 season, and pitched with an extremely high aLI of 1.82, but pitched very poorly over his five April appearances (.529/.652/.765 opposing slashline, 2.029 WHIP). On April 28, the Astros traded Kerfeld to the Braves for Kevin Dean and PTBNL Lee Johnson.

Kerfeld was a lot better with Atlanta (3-1, 5.58, 30 2/3, 27 IP), but not well enough to stay at the major league level. He went into on-field management after his playing career, and at last check was an assistant to the GM for the Philadelphia Phillies.

277. Floyd Bannister (Bagwell score zero) is a six-foot-one left-handed pitcher from Pierre, SD. Born on June 10, 1955, he was a third-round choice of the Oakland Athletics in 1973 out of high school. Three years later, in 1976, the Astros made him a first-round selection out of Arizona State University, with the first overall pick in the draft. After his selection, he played in seven games at assorted minor league levels, striking out 53 in 43 innings and holding opponents to a 1.05 ERA and a 1.047 WHIP. It was the only time he spent in the minors until 1991.

Bannister made his major league debut in the 10th game of Houston’s 1977 season, pitching 1 13 innings in relief and allowing two runs for the loss. It was his only relief appearance of the season, followed by 23 starts. On June 17, he came as close as you could possibly get to a shutout without pitching a shutout, surrendering only an unearned run on eight hits and three walks, striking out eight, and coming away with a 7-1 win over the New York Mets. In his very next start, he turned the trick, topping the Montreal Expos 7-0 and striking out eight while allowing four hits and three walks.

Bannister was 8-9 with a 4.04 ERA by the time the season came to an end, with a 1.444 WHIP and 112 strikeouts in 142 23 innings. He also walked 68, and opponents came away with a .254/..339/.388 line. Although he posted a pedestrian 88 ERA+, he was good enough to finish fourth in the American League Rookie of the Year Award voting.

In 1978, Bannister bounced into and out of the rotation more times than I should mention (like seven times, oops I mentioned it). His best game of the season came on June 29 in his second of two shutouts, when he struck out seven in a 5-0 win against the Cincinnati Reds. He scattered four hits and three walks, but wasn’t really in danger at any point of the game. Unfortunately, Bannister's successes through that season were few and far-between, as Houston was 5-23 in his appearances overall.

Personally, Bannister went 3-9 with a 4.81 ERA in 110 13 innings, with 63 walks and 94 strikeouts, along with a career-worst 1.659 WHIP and an opposing batters line of .280/.372/.465, nearly All-Star level. As a hitter through his two seasons with the team, Kerfeld was mostly passable, going 14-for-79 with one double. He drew two walks and struck out 26 times, scoring six runs, laying down 11 sacrifice bunts, and driving one run in.

On December 8, 1978, the Astros traded Bannister to the Seattle Mariners for Craig Reynolds in a rare instance of both sides coming out ahead. Bannister went on to play four seasons with the Mariners (40-50, 3.75, 768 13 IP, 564 K, 1982 All-Star), five with the Chicago White Sox (66-60, 4.05, 1040 IP, 759 K), two with the Kansas City Royals (16-14, 4.42, 264 23 IP, 148 K), and one each with the California Angels (0-0, 3.96, 25 IP, 16 K), and the Texas Rangers (1-1, 6.32, 37 IP, 30 K).

So for those of you counting such things, Kerfeld was drafted by the A’s, and appeared in regular season action for the Angels, the Rangers, the Astros, and the Mariners.

276. Frank DiPino (Bagwell score zero) is a five-foot-10 left-handed pitcher from Syracuse, NY. Born on October 22, 1956, DiPino went undrafted, and made his eventual major league debut in 1981 with the Milwaukee Brewers, pitching 2 13 innings and allowing no hits (but three walks).

On September 3, 1982, the Brewers sent DiPino, Mike Madden and Kevin Bass to the Astros for Don Sutton. Sure, Sutton was good for the Crew, but I’d make that trade again.

DiPino joined the Astros proper soon after the ink was dry, and appeared in six games for Houston through the end of the season, all starts. Although he only had one “Quality” start, DiPino opened his Astros’ career on September 7 by striking out 10 in five innings, against two runs allowed in a 4-3 win over the San Diego Padres. In his final start of the year, he whiffed six in as many innings, holding the Reds to two runs on five hits and two walks in a 4-2 Houston win over Cincinnati.

DiPino held his opponents to a .302/.361/.377 line and walked 11 versus 25 strikeouts in 28 13 innings, along with a 1.518 WHIP, finishing 2-2 with a 6.04 ERA.

DiPino posted a career-best 1.009 WHIP through his official rookie season in 1983, to finish sixth in the AL Rookie of the Year Award vote. He was 3-4 with a 2.65 ERA, a 2.12 FIP, and 20 saves. He was used at 1.81 aLI, and allowed 39 percent of his 54 inherited runners to eventually score. He also held his opponents to a pitiable .205/.263/.287 slashline. On May 6, he struck out five over five perfect innings to earn his first win of the season, in a 6-0 shutout of the Atlanta Braves.

In 1984, DiPino was 4-9 with a 3.35 ERA, with 36 walks and 65 K’s over 75 13 innings of work spread over 57 games. He saved 14 games on the way, with a 3.03 FIP, a .260/.343/.323 opposing line, and a 1.460 WHIP. On May 21, he earned his sixth save of the season, striking out seven over 3 23 shutout innings, allowing two hits and a walk in a 3-2 win against the St. Louis Cardinals. On August 14, DiPino came into a game against the Chicago Cubs with a 5-4 lead and the bases loaded with nobody out in the seventh inning. Two plate appearances later, and the Cubs hung three out to dry. DiPino did eventually give up two runs on four hits and a hit batter, but did enough to earn his 10th save of the year.

The 1985 season would see DiPino appear in 54 games and pitch 76 innings for Houston. He was 3-7 with a 4.03 ERA and 49 K’s versus 43 walks. He posted a 1.474 WHIP and opponents managed a .248/.350/.381 line. On July 7, DiPino came in to pitch the 14th inning of a 3-3 tie against the Montreal Expos, then struck out four over three perfect innings. Houston eventually lost, 6-3 in 19 frames.

DiPino pitched 31 times for the Astros in 1986, striking out 27 and walking 16 in 40 13 innings. He was 1-3 with a 3.57 ERA and a much-better 1.066 WHIP. On August 11, DiPino finished a game with the Cubs that started when he was with the Astros. On April 20, a game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cubs was suspended in the 14th, tied 8-8. On July 21, the Astros traded DiPino to the Cubs for Davey Lopes, then on August 11, DiPino pitched 1 13 innings between the 16th and 17th inning of the same game, losing by allowing two runs in a 10-8 17-inning loss.

DiPino went on to play three seasons with the Cubs (7-10, 4.32, 201 13 IP, 173 K), followed by stints with the Cardinals (14-2, 3.34, 180 13 IP, 101 K), and the Kansas City Royals (1-1, 6.89, 15 23 IP, five K). Twenty-two years after his retirement, I mistakenly (for seven or eight years) believed he was the GM for the Seattle Mariners. Maybe the biggest claim to fame for DiPino remains his .050/.174/.050 opposing slashline when facing Tony Gwynn.

275. Tim Redding (Bagwell score zero) is a five-foot-11 right-handed pitcher from Rochester, NY. Born on February 12, 1978, he was Houston’s second-round pick in 1997 out of Monroe Community College. Redding debuted for the Astros in 2001.

That first season as a major leaguer would see Redding appear in 13 games for the Astros, nine of them starts and all of them on June 24 or later. The Astros used him at a 0.84 aLI, presumably to allow him to get his feet wet in less leveraged situations before throwing him in the deep end. Only once during his first run through the bigs did he register a “quality” start, on July 2.

He struck out eight and allowed three runs on five hits and three walks over 6 13 innings, earning the victory in a 6-4 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. Redding closed the season with a 3-1 record and a 5.50 ERA, along with a .286/.360/.507 opposing line, with 55 strikeouts in 55 23 innings, as well as 24 walks and a 1.545 WHIP.

In 2002, Redding started 14 times and appeared another four times in relief for Houston, all before July 21. On May 18, he struck out eight and allowed just one run on four hits and one walk in a 2-1 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Redding was 3-6 with a 5.40 ERA in his second major league season. He had a 1.541 WHIP, and an opposing slashline of .276/.352/.470. He struck out 63 in 73 13 innings, and walked 35.

The 2003 season would see Redding pitch a career-high and team-second 176 innings over a full complement of starts, with 32 along with one trip out of the pen. He started the campaign as Houston’s number-five starter. On June 8, he held the Devil Rays to one run on a walk and two hits, striking out five over seven innings and earning the win in a 2-1 win against Tampa Bay. On July 26, he pitched seven innings and allowed only an unearned run on two hits and zero walks, striking out four in a 3-1 win against the Chicago Cubs. In his next start, he held the Marlins to one run on six hits and a walk, striking out five in a 2-1 win against Florida.

Redding held his opponents to a .261/.329/.403 line and a 1.386 WHIP, going 10-14 with a 3.68 ERA and struck out 116 versus 65 walks.

In 2004, Redding started 17 times and appeared 10 more times out of the bullpen. He was 5-7 with a 5.72 ERA and 56 strikeouts over 100 23 innings, walking 43. On May 30, he struck out four and kept the Cardinals scoreless over 7 13 innings, giving up three walks and four hits in a 7-1 win over St. Louis. On March 28, 2005, the Astros traded Redding with cash to the San Diego Padres for Humberto Quintero.

In four seasons with the Astros, Redding was 21-28 with a 4.75 ERA over 72 starts and 19 relief appearances. He went 19-for-113 as a hitter, with three doubles. He drew two walks and struck out 55 times, scoring five runs and driving another five in. He made five errors in 94 chances for a .947 fielding percentage.

After his time with Houston, Redding played for the Padres (0-5, 9.10, 29 23 IP, 17 K), the New York Yankees (0-1, 54.00, one IP, two K), the Washington Nationals (13-17, 4.53, 266 IP, 167 K) and the New York Mets (3-6, 5.10, 120 IP, 76 K).

274. Chris Burke (Bagwell score 1.02) is a five-foot-11 right-handed outfielder and middle infielder from Louisville, KY. Born on March 11, 1980, Burke was a first-round pick of the Astros in 2001 out of the University of Tennessee. Burke appeared in 17 games in 2004 in the first few games of his major league career, going one-for-17 with three walks and fielding at 1.000 in 25 23 innings at second base.

In 2005, Burke hit .248/.309/.368 in 108 appearances, starting 74 times in left field (634 innings, .992), seven times at second base (1.000) and once in center (13 innings, 1.000). Burke had 15 multiple-hit games. On August 21, he hit two doubles and a home run for three RBI in an 8-3 win against the Milwaukee Brewers. He went 79-for-318 with 19 doubles, a triple, and five home runs. He drew 23 walks and struck out 62 times, scoring 49 times and driving another 26 in. He stole 11 bases in 17 attempts.

Once the Astros started postseason play after the season, Burke went eight-for-28 and slashed .286/.375/.607 with a pair of home runs and four RBI. On October 9, Burke came in as a pinch-runner in the 10th inning of a 6-6 tie against the Atlanta Braves, in Game Four of the ALDS. The Astros and Braves went back and forth for another entire nine-inning game after regulation, but Burke hit a one-out solo home run in the bottom of the 18th for a walkoff victory and a date to the ALCS.

In 2006, Burke played in a career-high 123 games, starting 36 times in center field (284 13 innings, .987), 32 times at second base (345 23 innings, .974), 13 times in left field (119 innings, 1.000), three times at shortstop (31 23 innings, .909), and three times in right field (1.000). On June 4, he hit a game-tying RBI-single in the bottom of the eighth then hit another game-tying RBI-hit in the 10th, with a two-out double, but the Astros still lost 6-4 in 11 innings.

Burke had 27 multiple-hit games through the season, including June 13 when he had three singles with a walk and a home run in a 9-2 win over the Chicago Cubs. Overall, he hit .276/.347/.418 with 23 doubles, a triple, and nine home runs. He drew 27 walks and struck out 77 times, scoring 58 runs, driving in another 40, and stealing 11 bases in 12 attempts.

Burke appeared in 111 games in 2007, and again demonstrated his utility by starting 31 times at second base (311 innings, .981), 23 times in center field (201 innings, .981), 15 times in right field (132 innings, .964), once at shortstop (24 innings, 1.000), and once in left field (16 innings, 1.000). He collected 14 multiple-hit games through the campaign.

One of his multiple-hit games was on September 16, when he hit a pair of singles with a homer for a total of four RBI in a 15-3 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Overall through the season, he slashed .229/.304/.357 and hit six home runs with 28 RBI and stole nine bases in 12 attempts.

273. Lee Maye (Bagwell score 1.43) was a six-foot-two right-handed throwing, left-handed hitting outfielder from Tuscaloosa, AL. Born on December 11, 1934, he reached the majors for the first time in 1959 with the Milwaukee Braves, and eventually played parts of seven seasons for them (593 games, .280/.331/.423, 51 home runs, 215 RBI). On May 23, 1965, the Braves traded Maye to the Astros for Jim Beauchamp and Ken Johnson.

Maye had 25 multiple-hit games through the remainder of the 1965 season. On June 21, Maye hit a first-inning single, an RBI-third-inning single, and a seventh-inning go-ahead two-run triple in a 6-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. Over the season, he started 85 times in left field (759 23 innings, .951), 10 times in center field (79 23 innings, .952), and twice in right field (22 13 innings, 1.000).

Maye finished the season with a .251/.285/.347 slashline and 17 doubles, seven triples, and three RBI with 36 RBI.

In 1966, Maye played in 115 contests for Houston, but in his second season with the team played exclusively in left field, starting 93 times and fielding at .948 over 767 13 innings, with eight errors and four assists. He had 27 multiple-hit games.

On July 2, Maye hit a third-inning go-ahead two-run homer then added a seventh-inning triple and later scored the go-ahead run in the eighth inning of an eventual 8-5 victory over the Cincinnati Reds. On August 6, he hit a second-inning, three-run go-ahead homer against the Dodgers, although Los Angeles eventually came away with a 4-3 win. On August 11, he hit a second-inning single and later scored, hit a four-inning leadoff home run, a sixth-inning leadoff single, an eighth-inning single, and a 10th-inning double to come away with five hits over an 11-inning, 9-8 loss to the Chicago Cubs.

Maye posted a .288/.323/.419 slashline overall, with four stolen bases in seven attempts. He hit 12 doubles, four triples, and nine home runs, along with 20 walks and 26 strikeouts. On January 4, 1967, the Astros traded Maye with Ken Retzer to the Cleveland Indians for Doc Edwards, Jim Weaver, and Jim Landis.

After his time with the Tribe (267 games, .267/.317/.398, 14 home runs, 68 RBI), Maye joined the Washington Senators (167 games, .276/.333/.432, 16 home runs, 56 RBI), and the Chicago White Sox (38 games, .200/.268/.300, one home run, eight RBI). SABR Bio

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