Kevin Appier Speaker Profile
Former Pitcher for the Kansas City Royals
Kevin Appier Biography
Kevin Appier was born December 6, 1967 in Lancaster,California and is a former right-handed Major League Baseball pitcher whoplayed for the Kansas City Royals, Oakland Athletics, New York Mets, andAnaheim Angels.
Appier had a strong rookie campaign for the Royals in 1990, going 12-8 andposting the league's fourth-best ERA (2.76) earning him Rookie Pitcher of theYear honors. In 1991, he had 13 wins (tied for the team best), and pitched 3shutouts, two of which were back to back against the Boston Red Sox and NewYork Yankees. He was the opening day starter in 1992 and posted a 15-8 recordwith the league's second-best ERA (2.46) for a team that only went 72-90.Highlights of the season included a career-high nine game winning streak andthe American League Pitcher of the Month award for the month of July, in whichhe went 4-0 with a 1.55 ERA. In 1993, Appier posted an 18-8 record with an ALleading 2.56 ERA, set a club record of 33 consecutive scoreless innings, andfinished third in Cy Young Award balloting. In 1995, he was selected for hisonly all star team, pitching 2 perfect innings for the American League. Hereached a career high in strikeouts in 1996 with 207, and won his first of twoRoberto Clemente Awards (the other in 1998). Appier suffered through his firstsub-.500 season in 1997, despite posting a 3.40 ERA (7th best in AL)
Despite being one of the better pitchers in baseball duringthis time period, his accomplishments went largely unrecognized due to playingfor the Royals, a small market team that was generally not in contention duringAppier's tenure. In 1997, under the promise of the team's improvement, hesigned a long-term extension. During that off-season, he suffered a fall at hishome resulting in a separated clavicle. Though he had recovered from thatinjury, in March 1998 he needed surgery for an unrelated long-term progressingshoulder ailment, the repair of a torn labrum, causing him to miss nearly theentire 1998 season. In 1999, after losing faith in the Royal's direction, andbeing eager to play with a contender, he requested to be traded and was dealtto the Athletics in the middle of the season.
As the Athletics made their surprising run winning theAmerican League West title in 2000, Appier provided a solid veteran arm insupport of Oakland's developing young starters, making his 8th Opening Daystart and winning 15 games for the fifth time in his career. Despite a goodshowing, he lost his only start in that year's ALDS when the Athletics wereshut out. In Game 5, after the Yankees scored 6 runs in the first inning,Appier (for the first time in 10 years) came in to relieve in the 2nd inning,pitching four innings and allowing one run. For the series, Appier posted a3.48 ERA with 13 strikeouts in 10.1 innings pitched.
A free agent after the season, Appier signed a contract withthe New York Mets, with which he tied for the team lead in wins, going 11-10with a 3.57 ERA and went undefeated in his final 12 appearances, going 6-0during that span. Making a playoff push, the Mets went 6-0 in his final sixstarts with Appier going 4-0 with a 1.87 ERA.
After the one season campaign in New York, Appier was tradedto Anaheim for Mo Vaughn. During a solid season with the World Series winningAngels in 2002, Appier went 14-12 with a 3.92 ERA. In Game 2 of the divisionseries, Appier went 5 innings, giving up 3 runs, and left the game leading 4-3,but received a no-decision in the Angels victory after a blown save byFrancisco Rodriguez. In game 1 of the ALCS, Appier went 5 innings in a 2-1 lossagainst the Minnesota Twins. He also started game 5, going 5.1 innings, andleaving the contest with the Angels leading 3-2 in the game that put Anaheim inthe World Series, though he once again did not receive the decision. Hefinished the ALCS with a 3.48 ERA. Starting game 2 of the World Series, Appierdid not factor into the decision after a terrible 5 runs in 2+ innings pitched,as the Angels went on to win the game 11-10. With the Angels facingelimination, Appier started Game 6, pitching four innings of shutout ballbefore yielding a 5th inning 2-run HR, and leaving with a man on base whoeventually scored via stolen base and wild pitch off Francisco Rodriguez,leaving him with an 11.37 ERA for the series, which the Angels won in sevengames.
In 2003, Appier was plagued with a previously undiagnosedflexor tendon injury and was eventually released at the end of July. He thensigned with the Royals, but after five starts needed surgery. After missingmost of 2004, Appier briefly retired, but came out of retirement and wasre-signed by the Royals to a minor-league contract before the 2005 season,failing to make the team in Spring Training and retiring on March 29. InOctober, Appier applied for reinstatement with Major League Baseball and signeda minor-league contract with the Seattle Mariners. During 10 games with the AAATacoma Rainiers, Appier was 1-2 with a 4.54 ERA. On June 3, 2006, Appier askedfor and was granted his release by the Mariners, officially retiring the nextmonth.
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