LaTroy Hawkins

Team Houston Astros Houston Astros
Position Pitcher
Born Dec 21, 1972
Nationality United States United States
Team History
Houston Astros Houston Astros 2008 - present
New York Yankees New York Yankees 2008
Colorado Rockies Colorado Rockies 2007

LaTroy Hawkins is a professional baseball player from the United States of America and specializes as a relief pitcher. Hawkins went to the West Side High School where he was one of the star players touted to play in the MLB one day. It didn’t take long as directly out of high school, the Minnesota Twins decided to pick Hawkins in the 7th round, 181st overall, of the 1991 Amateur Draft.

The next four years were spent climbing through the minor league affiliates of the Minnesota Twins and in 1995, Hawkins finally made his debut in the MLB against the Baltimore Orioles. His debut didn’t go quite as planned as he gave away 7 earned runs in just 1 and 2/3rd innings. He was sent back down to the AAA-League to play with the Salt Lake Bees and for the next two years, began the season with the Bees and towards the end of the season, got some playing time with the Twins in the majors.

It wasn’t until 1998 that Hawkins finally became a permanent member of the starting rotation of the Twins. In 2000 and 2001, Hawkins was tried out in a new role, as a closer, however the introduction of Eddie Guardado meant that he would be back in the set-up role. His 2.13 ERA in the 2002 season became the cause for envy and soon, Hawkins went better in 2003 with a 1.86 ERA and 75 strike-outs. At the end of the season, he decided to opt for free agency to get the right value in the market.

Despite a number of clubs lining up for his signature, Hawkins chose to go to the Chicago Cubs for a 3-year $11-million deal. Initially signed as a set-up man for Joe Borowski, Hawkins ended up taking Borowski’s duties once the closer was placed on the disabled list. Hawkins had a 2.63 ERA in 2004 and a 5-4 record, however, he blew nine saves to cost the wild card entry to the Cubs. This made him the target of Cubs’ fans who decided to boo him onto the field every time Hawkins walked to the mound as a relief man.

In 2005, the Cubs decided to trade him out to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for David Aardsma and Jerome Williams, both pitchers. The Giants were hoping that Hawkins would hit some of his earlier form and played him in a set-up role but it wasn’t to be. Hawkins ended with a dismal 1-4 record and a 4.10 ERA in 45 games for the Giants.

Having seen enough, the Giants decided to trade him out to the Baltimore Orioles at the end of the 2005 season, in exchange for Steve Kline. Although Hawkins had a 3-2 record for the Orioles, he had an ERA of 4.48, too high to be considered a regular in the roster. His stay at Baltimore lasted just one season and the team decided against renewing his contract, making him a free agent at the end of the season.

The Colorado Rockies were the next team to pick Hawkins up in 2006, and his one-year $3.25 million contract was in hope that Hawkins would help the team pick up its pitching game. A hitter-friendly Coors Field has been the most-hated ball park for pitchers however, in 62 appearances, Hawkins had a respectable 3.42 ERA, helping the team to the National League Championships.

After the expiry of his contract, once again free agent Hawkins signed a single year, $3.75 million deal with the New York Yankees. He took on Paul O’Neill’s number 21 jersey and the crowds didn’t take this well. Hawkins was forced to change his number to 22 after the crowd called O’Neill’s name and booed Hawkins each time he took to the field.

Hawkins just played 33 games for the Yankees and even picked up a 3-game suspension for throwing a head-high pitch at Luke Scott.

The Yankees designated Hawkins for assignment and he decided to decline the offer and moved to the Houston Astros. Hawkins ended the season with an incredible run for the Astros, pitching in 24 games at an ERA of just 0.43 with a 2-0 record. His record was impressive enough to deserve another run and the Astros offered him another year with the ball club.

In the 58 games he has played for the Astros so far, Hawkins has pitched admirably at an ERA of just 2.48. However, his win-loss record stands at 1-4 and that continues to be his weak point in saving games.

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