Mike Maroth – 2007 Upper Deck

November 12, 2010

Perseverance

In 2006, Mike Maroth was injured and only pitched 53 2/3 innings. That was injury added to insult, as he suffered a lot during his time as a Tigers pitcher.

In 2003, Maroth took the hill 33 times, went 9-21 for an egregious team. But while he got a lot of sympathy, he also was egregious, giving up 34 home runs, posting a 5.73 ERA (75 ERA+).

In 2004 and 2005, he was a OK, decent placeholder. In that last year, he went 14-14 but didn’t pitch all that well.

He got a lot of money in 2006, and was pitching well, but then…ouch.

His first real success, gone. The justification of his million dollar salary, gone.

So he tried to come back.

In 2007, while people were unwrapping this card, he had a 5-2 record. But Detroit, hip to fact that a 5-2 record doesn’t make up for a 5.06 ERA, especially when the pitcher was coming off of an injury and they had a hot prospect (Andrew Miller) in the wings. So Detroit (Rock City) moved him down the line to the Cards for a PTBNL.

And while more kids were unwrapping this card, Maroth was imploding his MLB career.

His first start was a gem – 7 1/3 innings, just two hits and one run.

After that, ick. He had a bad start, a mediocre start, and then, five straight appearances where the opposition scored 10 runs or more.

Let me say that again.

In his next five appearances, the opposition scored more than 10 runs in the game.

10 runs!

The low point is when he mopped up after a horrid Braden Looper start, and just added kerosene to the fire, as the Cards lost 15-1. He gave up 7 in 1 2/3 innings.

Or was the low point where he himself gave up 10 runs in 5 innings against the Braves as a starter, where LaRussa just let him absorb the punishment.

As a Cardinal, he was 0-5 with a 10.66 ERA. So, now what.

He could have quit. He made almost $6.3 million as a major league player. Even with taxes and the agent fee, that’s more than enough to live on.

But he kept at it. And it was ugly.

He made three starts for Omaha in 2008. 0-2 with a 12.91 in just 7 2/3 innings.

The Blue Jays signed him for a look-see in 2009, but released him at the end of string. Career over?

No. The Twins signed him, rehabbed him, and he pitched in a few games for their GCL and IL affiliates.

Yes, Maroth played in the GCL this past year. And he started three games for Rochester. A Rochester squad that was the scourge of the IL – 49-95. And yet, here was Maroth, trying to get back to the promised land, playing for a bad team that was getting worse as players got called up or hurt.

What that says to me about Mike is that he could have taken the money and ran. He could have lived off of his ignominy and millions. But he didn’t want his last entry in the majors to have a 10+ ERA. And I can’t blame him.

Many think that making millions takes the fire out of baseball players. Mike Maroth has millions, but he’s given three years of his life to try to get back to the bigs without success, and odds are he will try again in 2011.

That is perseverance.

 

 

 

 

 

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One Response to “Mike Maroth – 2007 Upper Deck”


  1. […] but most every pitcher breaks down somehow over time. And not every pitcher takes to it (Mike Maroth for one, Kent Mercker for another). And it’s usually short term or only stays in St. Louis […]


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