Thursday, March 21, 2013

#53-Mike LaCoss

Drafted by the Reds in the 3rd round of the 1974 draft out of Mount Whitney High School in Visalia, CA, Mike LaCoss moved up through the Reds organization with years stops at Rookie, A, AA and AAA. Debuting in July of 1978  he had a break out season in 79. On June 13, he was 8-0 with a 2.22 ERA. After that he went  4-8 with an ERA over 5, in spite of that he still achieved his career high in WAR with a 2.1.  The next two years went from bad to worse and after Spring Training 1982 he was put on waivers, even though he had pitched well that spring, and was taken by the Astros. 
Pitching out of the bullpen  (41 games, 8 starts) he had a 6-6 record with a 2.90 ERA which would prove to be his career best. A pair of mediocre seasons in Houston lead to LaCoss playing out his option and signing with the Royals in 85 however, he pitched poorly and was not on the post-season roster. The World Champ Royals released him in November and he signed with the Giants in December. After a solid 86 he had a very good 87 going 13-10 with 3.17 and a WAR of 1.6, equalling his second best season of 82. Making two relief appearances in the NLCS versus the Cards he pitched 3.1 scoreless innings in a losing effort. After another solid effort in 88 the Giants were in the post-season again in 89 and facing the Cubs in the NLCS. 1 relief appearance of 3 innings and 3 earned runs didn't derail the Giants who won their first pennant since 1962. A poor series and a sweep by the Athletics brought an otherwise great season to an end.
Shown here pitching at Candlestick Park-the lack of fans, the long sleeve undershirt and home uniform all indicate San Francisco, 1990 would be an injured plagued year as would his last season of 1991 with his final game coming in July. A short attempted the next year at the Expos Indianapolis club didn't work out and at the age of 36 LaCoss' career was over. 

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