Geoff Geary – 2009 Upper Deck

January 25, 2011

Here’s To You…Mop Up Man

I remember seeing one of Geoff Geary’s first appearances in the big leagues. He came in, not exactly toned and fit, with kind of a hang-dog expression. As a rookie, he already looked world weary.

Well, he should be kind of world weary. He was 26 and making his debut in 2003, having spent part of 2001, and all of 2002 and 2003 in Scranton.

By looking at his stuff, his expression and his stats, you knew he wasn’t destined for the closer role. Well, not groomed at least. If he was going to become a closer he was going to have to back his way into that role. (Which almost all closers do, but that’s besides the point…)

For some reason, here was a player that I decided I would follow, for no reason but because he wasn’t really supposed to ‘make it’ – he was an organizational soldier sacrificed to the AA and AAA rosters in the name of developing the stars.

In 2004 and 2005, he spent some time in the minors but most of the time in the majors. In 2006, he stayed up all year, expanded his role, and pitched well. But baseball being baseball, and relievers being relievers, he struggled a bit in 2007 and was demoted for a skosh to get things right.

Then he was traded to Houston with Michael Bourn as part of the Brad Lidge deal. He pitched well in middle relief in 2008 but crashed and burned as kidlets across the nation pulled this card from their Upper Deck 2009 packs.

Geary wasn’t asked back to Houston after 2009 because of his struggles in Houston and Round Rock, and last year it wasn’t any better in Oklahoma City or Albuquerque.

He’s what’s known as ‘fungible’. He did pitch well for stretches and while he had just one big league save, he compiled 42 holds. That’s wasn’t easy since many of his appearances were in low-leverage situations.

Where Geary will wind up this year is unknown. At age 34, he may just retire with his pension and his memories. But he’s got those.

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