Through September 20, 2000
& Scouting Report
August 21, 1966, San Mateo , California
Selected by the New York Mets in the 12th round of the 1984 free-agent draft; did not sign ... Selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the secondary phase of the 1985 free-agent draft.
Signed as a free agent with Texas on December 16, 1998 after leaving the World Series Champion Yankee's organization
Back problems turned 2000 into one of the most trying seasons of John Wetteland's 12-year career. He tied for third in the American League with nine blown saves, allowed a career-high 10 homers and had the worst hits-innings ratio of his big league tenure. It was the second consecutive season that Wetteland has allowed more hits than innings pitched. He did have more than 30 saves for the eighth time, however, and he moved into second place behind John Franco on the list of active career saves leaders.
In the best of times, Wetteland threw so hard that opponents could not catch up to his high and straight fastball. But these no longer are the best of times. He has lost velocity, forcing him to rely less on the four-seam fastball and leaving him without the one dominant pitch that marks most closers. He turned into a rare four-pitch closer last season, but he struggled with his consistency. Wetteland's search for a way to neutralize lefthanded hitters led him to the changeup. It did not help lefthanded batters hit .309 against him.
Wetteland, who also has had leg problems in recent seasons, does not field his position well. He is slow off the mound and often puts himself in bad fielding position with his follow-through. Like most closers, he tends to ignore runners, as it makes little sense for him to give up more velocity with the slide-step move.
Bothered by his back and his recent performance, Wetteland went into the winter questioning his desire to continue playing. He no longer is a dominant closer, but still can be an asset to a club. He is the epitome of a team player, and an excellent role model for young relievers.
Scouting Report Source: STATS, Inc. Copyright 2000 STATS, Inc.
Commercial distribution without the express written consent of STATS is prohibited.