Late Eighties Mets Pitcher: David West (1988-1989)

David Lee West was born on September 1st, 1964 at Memphis Tennessee. The tall six foot six, lefty got signed by the New York Mets right out of high school, in the fourth round of the 1983 draft.

West won ten games or more for three straight seasons at Columbia & Jackson from 1985-1987.

In 1988 he was 12-4 with a 1.80 ERA at AAA Tidewater, earning himself a September call up to the Mets staff. He made his MLB debut at St. Louis on September 24th as the Mets starting pitcher. He pitched five innings & earned his first victory as the Mets romped the St. Louis Cardinals 14-1. He made one other appearance in relief at Philadelphia. In 1989 after six relief appearances, the Mets gave him two starts, in which he lost both games. Overall he was 0-2 in eleven appearances posting a 7.40 ERA.

At the end of July he was traded along with Rick Aguilera & Kevin Tapani to the Minnesota Twins, for former Cy Young winner, Long Island born Frank Viola. West went 3-2 the rest of the season in Minnesota posting a 6.41 ERA in ten games with five starts. Over the next two years he was used mostly as a starter, going 7-9 in 1990.

In 1991 he was 4-4 making 15 starts before going to the bull pen, posting a 4-4 record. In the ALCS he was the winning pitcher in the final Game #5 pitching a scoreless 5th inning as the Twins went on to win 8-5. In the World Series he had a nightmare of a 5th inning in Game #3 as he allowed four earned runs retiring no batters giving him an ERA measured at infinity. By 1992 he was put in the bullpen and only appeared in nine games during the regular season.

In 1993 he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for Mike Hartley, there he became a strong middle reliever /set up man. He went 6-4 with three saves while making 76 appearances for the 1993 NL Champions. He pitched in six post season games but was not effective.

Post Season: In the NLCS he allowed five runs in just 2.2 innings pitched (13.50 ERA) & then West allowed three more runs in just one inning pitched in the World Series loss against the Blue Jays. His World Series ERA was 27.00. Overall he got beat up for eight earned runs over just four innings pitched, giving him an ERA of over 20.00 in that post season.

He spent four more season in Philadelphia, going 4-10 in 1994 as he attempted to once again become a starter. He was granted free agency, and pitched in Japan for one season in 1997.

In 1998 he appeared in only six games with the Boston Red Sox before finishing his ten year career at 31-38 with three saves & a 4.66 ERA in 569 innings pitched over 204 games.

Retirement: Since his playing days he teaches a youth baseball school with former major leaguer Garth Iorg.


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