By Mike Steffanos
Scott Schoeneweis was a third round pick of the California Angels in 1996. He played collegiate ball at Duke. Schoeneweis advanced quickly through the Angels' system, making the list of Baseball America's top 10 prospects for that organization in 1997, 1998 and 1999. Here is a portion of his scouting report from 1999, when he selected as the Angels number two prospect:
Background: Schoeneweis enjoyed one of the healthiest seasons of his life last year and was rewarded with a place on the 40-man roster. His first full pro season (1997) was interrupted by rib cage problems, while his college career at Duke was marred by Tommy John surgery and treatment for testicular cancer.
Strengths: Schoeneweis has four average major league pitches; his fastball and slider are his best weapons. He can flash above-average action on his slider and 91-92 mph occasionally on his fastball.
Weaknesses: Schoeneweis gets his strikeouts with his slider but allows a lot of hits with his fastball, which lacks the key late movement that can throw off better hitters. There always will be questions hanging over Schoeneweis about his durability.
After getting his first taste of the big leagues in 1999, Schoeneweis held down a rotation slot with the Angels in 2000 and 2001. The following year he split time as a starter and reliever, and pitched as a reliever in the World Series. His struggles retiring right-handed batters limited his success as a starter, but his effectiveness against lefties (.231 Career AVG) made him valuable as a reliever. He spent all of 2003 in the bullpen, first with the Angels and then the Chicago White Sox after a trade deadline deal.
The White Sox moved Schoeneweis back to the starting rotation in 2004, but elbow problems limited him to 19 starts. His season ended in mid-August with an operation to clean out his pitching elbow. He became a free agent after the season and signed a 2-year deal with Toronto, where he had a nice year out of the bullpen in 2005. His 2006 campaign was no nowhere near as good, however, and he was shipped to the Cincinnati in mid August for a player to be named later. He had a successful 6 weeks with the Reds to end the season, and after declining arbitration with the Reds became a free agent and signed a 3-year deal with the Mets.
Here are Scott Schoeneweis' career MLB numbers:
|Scott Schoeneweis Major League Stats|
|1999 - ANA||31||0||39.1||10.8||5.0||3.2||0.9||5.49||.294||.349||.431|
|2000 - ANA||27||27||170.0||9.7||4.1||3.6||1.1||5.45||.276||.346||.437|
|2001 - ANA||32||32||205.1||10.0||4.6||3.4||0.9||5.08||.281||.351||.415|
|2002 - ANA||54||15||118.0||9.1||5.0||3.7||1.3||4.88||.264||.340||.431|
|2003 - ANA||39||0||38.2||8.6||6.8||2.3||0.5||3.96||.250||.309||.338|
|2003 - CWS||20||0||26.0||9.0||9.4||3.1||0.4||4.50||.255||.321||.314|
|2004 - CWS||20||19||112.2||10.3||5.5||3.9||1.4||5.59||.291||.364||.465|
|2005 - TOR||80||0||57.0||8.5||6.8||4.0||0.3||3.32||.245||.333||.314|
|2006 - TOR||55||0||37.1||9.4||4.3||3.9||0.7||6.51||.273||.350||.392|
|2006 - CIN||16||0||14.1||5.7||6.9||5.0||0.6||0.63||.176||.300||.294|
Although the Mets cited Schoeneweis' flexibility as a starter or reliever, it's clear from looking at his numbers that his best seasons were primarily as a reliever. His lifetime ERA as a reliever (4.25) is more than a run better than as a starter (5.33), and the other numbers bear this out clearly:
A look at Schoeneweis' lefty/righty splits plainly show why he is so much better in the bullpen, where he is matched up more often against lefthanders:
|Scott Schoeneweis L/R Splits|
Omar Minaya cited Schoeneweis' superior numbers against lefties at the time of the signing, and I really do think it is much more likely he will fill the role of situational lefty or take the Darren Oliver swing role rather than start games. My assumption on the signing of Scott Schoeneweis was that the Mets wanted some insurance in case Pedro Feliciano experienced a career year last season -- not an unreasonable worry for a 31-year-old pitcher who has 133 total major league innings. With Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Brian McCann, Chipper Jones and Nick Johnson in the division, the situational left-hander role can't be taken for granted. If Feliciano proves that last year was no fluke, there is room for two effective lefties in the 'pen. By signing Schoeneweis, Minaya ensured that he would have at least one.
2007 Bullpen Previews:
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Scott Schoeneweis (This Article)
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