Jun 19, 2015

Late 2000's Mets Pitcher: Claudio Vargas (2008)

Claudio Vargas was born on June 19, 1978 in the Dominican Republic. The six foot four right hander was signed by the Florida Marlins in 1995, and pitched in their system for seven years.

His best season there was in 2000 going 11-6 with a 3.36 ERA through all levels of A ball. In July of 2002 he was traded along with Cliff Floyd & Wilton Guerrero to the Montreal Expos for Carl Pavano, Mike Mordecai, Justin Wayne and Graeme Lloyd.  

In his first career game he debuted against the Houston Astros earning no decision. As a starter that year he went 6-8 with a 4.34 ERA. Over the years he would get used as both a starter & reliever. After two seasons in Montreal he moved on with the franchise to Washington D.C. going 0-3 in just four games in the teams first season. He was eventually placed on waivers getting picked up by the Arizona Diamondbacks .

He had his best year at Arizona in 2006, going 12-10 with 123 strikeouts in 167 innings, posting a 4.83 ERA. He got traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in the winter & followed up with an 11-6 record striking out 107 batters in 134 innings, posting an ERA of 5.09. The high ERA along with a rough spring training got him released at the end of March.  

In May of 2008, he was signed by the New York Mets & made his New York debut on May 14th at Shea Stadium against the Washington Nationals. Vargas pitched into the 7th inning, and left to a huge ovation after allowing just two runs on three hits while striking out six Nationals.

Unfortunately the Mets went on to lose the game 5-3, and he did take the loss. After a loss to the Braves in Atlanta, he earned his first Mets win in Colorado, pitching seven innings & allowing two runs on just four hits. He came back to Shea Stadium to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 29th earning his third but last Mets victory.

Vargas was designated for assignment that July after pitching in eleven games ( four starts) going 3-2 with a 4.62 ERA. He struck out 20 batters walking 11 in 37 innings of work.

He pitched in the minors as AAA New Orleans for the rest of the year, going 5-2 but was released by New York in October.  

He went to the Los Angeles Dodgers (2009) and then back to the Milwaukee Brewers (2009-2010) as a middle inning reliever.

In his eight year career Vargas was 48-40 with one save 544 strike outs 294 walks & a 4.83 ERA in 764 innings over 217 appearances.

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