Troy Percival

Troy Percival

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Troy Percival'
Start a new discussion about 'Troy Percival'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Troy Eugene Percival is a retired Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

 pitcher
Pitcher
In baseball, the pitcher is the player who throwsthe baseball from the pitcher's mound toward the catcher to begin each play, with the goal of retiring a batter, who attempts to either make contact with the pitched ball or draw a walk. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the...

. He gained fame as a closer
Closer (baseball)
In baseball, a closing pitcher, more frequently referred to as a closer , is a relief pitcher who specializes in closing out games, i.e., getting the final outs in a close game. Closers often appear when the score is close, and the role is often assigned to a team's best reliever. A small number of...

. During a 14-year baseball career, he pitched from 1995-2009 for four different teams, pitching primarily with the California/Anaheim Angels
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are a professional baseball team based in Anaheim, California, United States. The Angels are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. The "Angels" name originates from the city in which the team started, Los Angeles...

. He was also an integral part of that franchise's 2002 World Series
2002 World Series
The 2002 World Series was a best-of-seven playoff series to determine the champion of Major League Baseball for the 2002 season. It was the 98th such contest between the champions of the American League and National League , and featured the AL champion Anaheim Angels against the NL champion San...

 championship team.

Early career


He started playing baseball
Baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

 at Moreno Valley Youth Federation (MVYF) and was coached by Bill Yearsley in his early years. Percival played on the Moreno Valley High School
Moreno Valley High School (Moreno Valley, California)
Moreno Valley High School is a High School located in Moreno Valley, California. It is part of the MVUSD.-Notable alumni:*Troy Percival, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher and 2002 World Series Champion Anaheim Angels. In 2000 Moreno Valley High Named its baseball field after him.-External links:*...

 baseball team, before attending the University of California, Riverside
University of California, Riverside
The University of California, Riverside, commonly known as UCR or UC Riverside, is a public research university and one of the ten general campuses of the University of California system. UCR is consistently ranked as one of the most ethnically and economically diverse universities in the United...

. He was then drafted by the California Angels in the 6th round of the 1990 amateur draft as a catcher
Catcher
Catcher is a position for a baseball or softball player. When a batter takes his turn to hit, the catcher crouches behind home plate, in front of the umpire, and receives the ball from the pitcher. This is a catcher's primary duty, but he is also called upon to master many other skills in order to...

. He batted
Batting average
Batting average is a statistic in both cricket and baseball that measures the performance of cricket batsmen and baseball hitters. The two statistics are related in that baseball averages are directly descended from the concept of cricket averages.- Cricket :...

 .203 in his only season as a catcher with the Boise Hawks
Boise Hawks
The Boise Hawks are a minor league baseball team, located in Boise, Idaho. The team is currently a farm team for the Chicago Cubs and play in the Short-Season Class A Northwest League.-History:...

 and was converted to a pitcher
Pitcher
In baseball, the pitcher is the player who throwsthe baseball from the pitcher's mound toward the catcher to begin each play, with the goal of retiring a batter, who attempts to either make contact with the pitched ball or draw a walk. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the...

 when coaches noticed that his return throws to the mound were actually faster than the pitches he caught. He made his Major League debut as a reliever in , and was mostly used as a setup
Setup pitcher
In baseball, a setup pitcher is a relief pitcher who regularly pitches before the closer. They commonly pitch the 7th and/or 8th innings, with the closer pitching the 9th....

 man for Lee Smith
Lee Smith (baseball)
Lee Arthur Smith is an American right-handed former baseball pitcher who played 18 years in Major League Baseball for eight teams. Pitching primarily for the Chicago Cubs, with whom he spent his first eight seasons, Lee served mostly as a relief pitcher during his career...

. He was coached by his father Richard Percival for all of his childhood years.

Closer career


In , he became the regular closer
Closer (baseball)
In baseball, a closing pitcher, more frequently referred to as a closer , is a relief pitcher who specializes in closing out games, i.e., getting the final outs in a close game. Closers often appear when the score is close, and the role is often assigned to a team's best reliever. A small number of...

 for the Angels and had 36 saves with 100 strikeout
Strikeout
In baseball or softball, a strikeout or strike-out occurs when a batter receives three strikes during his time at bat. A strikeout is a statistic recorded for both pitchers and batters....

s in 74 innings. He is one of only six pitchers in the Angels' 44-year history to strike out at least 100 batters in a season without starting a game. The others are Mark Clear
Mark Clear
Mark Alan Clear is a former Major League Baseball relief pitcher who played for the California Angels , Boston Red Sox and Milwaukee Brewers . He batted and threw right-handed....

 (105), De Wayne Buice
De Wayne Buice
DeWayne Allison Buice is a former Major League Baseball relief pitcher. Buice played two seasons for the California Angels and half a season for the Toronto Blue Jays. He was Pitcher of the Year and Rolaids Relief Man in 1987...

 (109), Bryan Harvey
Bryan Harvey
Bryan Stanley Harvey is a former Major League Baseball relief pitcher who played from to for the California Angels of the American League and the Florida Marlins of the National League....

 (101) Scot Shields
Scot Shields
Robert Scot Shields is a former American Major League Baseball relief pitcher. He played his entire baseball career with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, serving as their setup man since...

 (109) and Francisco Rodriguez (123, 2004).

He had a career-high 42 saves in , and enjoyed his best season in with a 4-1 record, 40 saves, 68 strikeouts, and a 1.92 ERA
Earned run average
In baseball statistics, earned run average is the mean of earned runs given up by a pitcher per nine innings pitched. It is determined by dividing the number of earned runs allowed by the number of innings pitched and multiplying by nine...

.

A four-time All-Star
Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The Major League Baseball All-Star Game, also known as the "Midsummer Classic", is an annual baseball game between players from the National League and the American League, currently selected by a combination of fans, players, coaches, and managers...

, Percival compiled a 29-38 record with a 2.99 ERA in 586.2 innings for the Angels. His 355 saves put him at 8th on the all-time list in Major League Baseball. However, his strikeouts per nine innings have gone down considerably from when he was an elite closer. In , his K/9 rate was 11.08. In 2002, 10.86. In , 8.76. And in 2004, it dropped all the way to 5.98. His fastball
Fastball
The fastball is the most common type of pitch in baseball. Some "power pitchers," such as Nolan Ryan and Roger Clemens, have thrown it at speeds of 95–106 mph and up to 108.1 mph , relying purely on speed to prevent the ball from being hit...

, once clocked consistently at 96 -100 MPH, was down to about 92 - 93 MPH in 2004, due to a degenerative hip condition that first appeared in 2003, which forced him to alter his pitching delivery.

Percival's contract with the Angels expired in 2004 and he became a free agent
Free agent
In professional sports, a free agent is a player whose contract with a team has expired and who is thus eligible to sign with another club or franchise....

 at the end of that season. Rather than bring Percival back, the Angels decided to turn to young phenom Francisco Rodríguez to close, motivated largely by Rodriguez's much lower price tag and concerns about Percival's age and health. The Angels offered to negotiate a reduced role (at a correspondingly reduced salary) for Percival to return as a setup man, but Percival decided to seek opportunities elsewhere that would allow him to remain a closer.

Retirement


Percival signed with the Detroit Tigers
Detroit Tigers
The Detroit Tigers are a Major League Baseball team located in Detroit, Michigan. One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the club was founded in Detroit in as part of the Western League. The Tigers have won four World Series championships and have won the American League pennant...

 as a free agent for the season. However, after a mediocre start to his career at Comerica Park
Comerica Park
Comerica Park is an open-air ballpark located in downtown Detroit, Michigan. It serves as the home of the Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball's American League, replacing historic Tiger Stadium in 2000....

, during which he converted 8 saves from 11 opportunities and posted an ERA of 5.76, Percival suffered a serious injury to his right forearm in early July. The severity of the injury ended his season, as well put the rest of his career in doubt.

After attempting to recuperate, Percival reported to spring training
Spring training
In Major League Baseball, spring training is a series of practices and exhibition games preceding the start of the regular season. Spring training allows new players to try out for roster and position spots, and gives existing team players practice time prior to competitive play...

 for the Tigers in . However, on his first outing he again suffered significant pain and left the team. After spending the entire 2006 season on the Tigers' disabled list
Disabled list
In Major League Baseball, the disabled list is a method for teams to remove their injured players from the roster in order to summon healthy players.-General guidelines:...

 and working for the team as an advance scout, Percival's contract with the Tigers expired at the end of the 2006 season.

Though the he didn't pitch a game during the Tigers' run to the American League
American League
The American League of Professional Baseball Clubs, or simply the American League , is one of two leagues that make up Major League Baseball in the United States and Canada. It developed from the Western League, a minor league based in the Great Lakes states, which eventually aspired to major...

 Championship, the team voted Percival a ring and a full playoff share. Appreciative of this gesture, he used the money to buy a suite at Comerica Park for the Tigers' wives.

Comeback and second retirement


On January 19, , the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim hired Percival as a special assignment pitching instructor. However, believing his arm to have finally healed, he requested his release from his minor league
Minor league
Minor leagues are professional sports leagues which are not regarded as the premier leagues in those sports. Minor league teams tend to play in smaller, less elaborate venues, often competing in smaller cities. This term is used in North America with regard to several organizations competing in...

 coaching contract to pursue a comeback. Percival signed a contract with the St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals are a professional baseball team based in St. Louis, Missouri. They are members of the Central Division in the National League of Major League Baseball. The Cardinals have won eleven World Series championships, the most of any National League team, and second overall only to...

 and joined the big league
Big League
Big League is the official magazine of the National Rugby League and that of the NRL's forerunners, the New South Wales Rugby League and Australian Rugby League competitions. Its predecessor, The Rugby League News, was first published in 1920; in 1974 it was rebadged as Big League.It also serves as...

 team on June 26, 2007. Percival was the fourth member of the 2002 championship Angels team to play for the 2007 Cardinals, joining David Eckstein
David Eckstein
David Mark Eckstein is a former American professional baseball player who was an infielder in Major League Baseball for ten seasons. He played college baseball for the University of Florida, and has played professionally for the Anaheim Angels, St. Louis Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays, Arizona...

, Scott Spiezio
Scott Spiezio
Scott Edward Spiezio is a former Major League Baseball infielder. He is currently an infielder for the Newark Bears of the independent Atlantic League . He is well known for his time as a member of the Anaheim Angels, when he hit a 3-run home run in Game Six of the 2002 World Series against the...

, and Adam Kennedy
Adam Kennedy
Adam Thomas Kennedy is an American Major League Baseball second baseman who plays for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He previously played for the Oakland Athletics, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Washington Nationals, Seattle Mariners and had two stints with the St. Louis Cardinals.-Early years:Kennedy...

, as well as former Angels teammate Jim Edmonds
Jim Edmonds
James Patrick "Jim" Edmonds is a former American Major League Baseball center fielder. He played for the California/Anaheim Angels, the St. Louis Cardinals, the San Diego Padres, the Milwaukee Brewers, the Chicago Cubs, and the Cincinnati Reds...

.

Percival made his first appearance in the Majors since 2005 on June 29, 2007, against the Cincinnati Reds
Cincinnati Reds
The Cincinnati Reds are a Major League Baseball team based in Cincinnati, Ohio. They are members of the National League Central Division. The club was established in 1882 as a charter member of the American Association and joined the National League in 1890....

. He struck out the first batter he faced, David Ross
David Ross (catcher)
David Wade Ross is an American professional baseball player who has been a catcher for eight Major League Baseball seasons. Ross played college baseball for Auburn University and the University of Florida, and participated in two College World Series. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers,...

, and was also credited with the win
Win (baseball)
In professional baseball, there are two types of decisions: a win and a loss . In each game, one pitcher on the winning team is awarded a win and one pitcher on the losing team is given a loss in their respective statistics. These pitchers are collectively known as the pitchers of record. Only...

.

On November 29, 2007, he signed a two-year, $8 million contract with the Tampa Bay Rays
Tampa Bay Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays are a Major League Baseball team based in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Rays are a member of the Eastern Division of MLB's American League. Since their inception in , the club has played at Tropicana Field...

. The contract contains up to $4 million in performance-based incentives. Percival was the team's primary closer in .

On May 22, 2009, a day after allowing 2 runs in 1/3 of an inning against the Oakland Athletics
Oakland Athletics
The Oakland Athletics are a Major League Baseball team based in Oakland, California. The Athletics are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. From to the present, the Athletics have played in the O.co Coliseum....

, Percival was placed on Tampa Bay's disabled list, and has not pitched since. On August 11, 2009 Percival announced that he was likely to retire, and would cease his attempts at coming back from his current injury.

External links