Sunday, June 20, 2010

Retro Mariner Sunday 6/20/10

Time again to look back at the Mariners of the past. Today's spent a short time with the team, but made an impact while he was here. He helped the pitching staff make the run to win the 1997 AL West title. He would spend much time in the majors after leaving the Mariners.

After playing for the University of Mississippi, Jeff Fassero was drafted in the 22nd round by the St. Louis Cardinals. Jeff would slowly work his way through the minor leagues in the Cardinals system. 1984 would see him in the rookie league in Johnson City. The next year he would move up to A Springfield. 1986 brought a move to advanced A ball at St. Petersburg. From 1987 to 1989, Jeff would pitch with the AA Arkansas Travelers. Late in 1989, he would move up to AAA with the Louisville Redbirds. After the '89 season, he was drafted  by the White Sox, but was released before the 1990 season. At the start of 1990 season, Jeff was signed by the Indians and spent the season in AA at Canton/Akron. Before the 1991 season, he would sign with the Montreal Expos. 1991 would see Jeff start in AAA Indianapolis. On May 4, 1991 he would make his first appearance in the Majors. He would pitch the final two innings against the Padres in Montreal and take the loss in the game.

Jeff would stay with the Expos bullpen for 1992 and 1993. Expos manager Felipe Alou would move Jeff to the starting rotation in 1994. He would stay in that capacity through 1996. After the 1996 season, Jeff was traded with Alex Pacheco to the Mariners for Trey Moore, Matt Wagner, and Chris Widger. After going 16-9 and helping win the West in '97, he would go a decent 13-12 in 1998. Jeff had a disastrous year in 1999, going 4-14 in 24 starts. Those ugly numbers would get Jeff shipped to the Texas Rangers in August of 1999 for minor leaguer Adrian Myers.

After 1999, Jeff would start the carousel of teams in the Majors. In 2000, he was a member of the Boston Red Sox, mostly in the rotation. Jeff would become a big part of the bullpen for the Chicago Cubs in 2001. In late August of 2002, the Cubs would trade Jeff to the St. Louis Cardinals for minor leaguers Jared Blasdell and Jason Karnuth. Jeff would spend the 2003 season with the Cardinals, and start to look like a 40 year old pitcher with fairly dismal numbers.

Before the 2004 season, Jeff would sign on with the Colorado Rockies. After pitching for the Rockies last on September 13th, he would be released by the Rockies while they were in Los Angeles on September 29th. That same day, he was signed and pitched an inning for the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix. Before the 2005 season, Jeff would sign on to pitch in the San Fransisco Giants bullpen. Jeff would remain with the Giants until May of 2006, looking very much like a 43 year old pitcher. The Giants would designate him for assignment, making room on the roster for Noah Lowry.

Jeff would try to work out for the Angels in the off-season before the 2007 season. The Angels opted not to sign him. He announced his retirement in February of 2007. Jeff would give baseball another shot late in 2007. In the fall of 2007 and winter of 2008, Jeff would pitch for the Mayos de Navojoa in the Mexican Pacific League. During 2008 and 2009, Jeff served as the pitching coach at Brophy College Prep High School in Phoenix. It is the only Jesuit high school in the Phoenix area. His oldest son Trevor, was a first baseman, and left handed pitcher for the varsity baseball team there. As of December 2009, Jeff was named to be the pitching coach for the Northwest League Boise Hawks of the Chicago Cubs system. The Hawks have just started their season this past Friday.

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