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Pat Neshek

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Collection: 1980 Births, American Bloggers, Baseball Players from Wisconsin, Butler Bulldogs Baseball Players, Elizabethton Twins Players, Fort Myers Miracle Players, Grand Canyon Rafters Players, Houston Astros Players, Living People, Major League Baseball Pitchers, Minnesota Twins Players, National League All-Stars, New Britain Rock Cats Players, Norfolk Tides Players, Oakland Athletics Players, Quad Cities River Bandits Players, Rochester Red Wings Players, Sacramento River Cats Players, San Diego Padres Players, Sportspeople from Madison, Wisconsin, St. Louis Cardinals Players, Tucson Padres Players
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Pat Neshek

Patrick J. Neshek (born September 4, 1980) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Houston Astros of Major League Baseball (MLB). The Minnesota Twins selected him in the sixth round of the 2002 MLB draft from Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. Neshek made his MLB debut for the Twins on July 7, 2006, and played for them until 2010, except 2009, which he missed due to Tommy John surgery. Neshek has also played for the San Diego Padres, Oakland Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals in eight total MLB seasons.

Probably best known for an unorthodox pitching delivery, Neshek's arm motion slots about side-armed with an explosive release point, which developed after a baseball struck his forearm in high school. Right-handed batters have difficulty tracking the path of his pitches, resulting in a .181 batting average, .257 on-base percentage and a .315 slugging percentage against Neshek in 555 career plate appearances through 2013. He was selected to his first All-Star Game in 2014.


  • Early career 1
  • Major League career (2006–present) 2
    • Minnesota Twins (2006–10) 2.1
  • Definition 3
    • San Diego Padres (2011) 3.1
  • Genetically modified organisms 4
    • Baltimore Orioles organization (2012) 4.1
    • Oakland Athletics (2012–13) 4.2
    • St. Louis Cardinals (2014) 4.3
    • Houston Astros 4.4
  • Pitching style 5
  • Personal life 6
  • Awards 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Early career

Pat Neshek was born in Madison, Wisconsin. At Park Center Senior High School in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis, he was named to the All-State team. At Butler University, located in Indianapolis, he was a three-year letter winner. In his junior year, his win–loss record was 4–6 but he posted a 3.08 earned run average (ERA) and 94 strikeouts (SO) in 87 23 innings pitched (IP).[2] He holds school strikeout records for a single game (18 vs. Detroit, April 15, 2001), single season (118, 2001), and career (280).

The Minnesota Twins originally selected Neshek in the 45th round (1337th overall) of the 1999 Major League Baseball Draft, but did not sign and went on to Butler. The Twins again later drafted him in the sixth round of the 2002 MLB Draft as the 182nd overall pick. He signed with the Twins that year, and was assigned to the Twins' rookie farm team. He then spent four years in the minor leagues, pitching 293 13 IP in 206 games with 367 SO, a 16–12 W–L and a 2.18 ERA.[3] During the 2005 season, he led all minor league Twins players in saves.

Major League career (2006–present)

Minnesota Twins (2006–10)

Pat Neshek made his MLB debut on July 7, 2006, pitched two innings and allowed just one hit. On July 30, he earned his first major league career win from the year before.[26] Pleased with the increased velocity, the Cardinals purchased his contract on March 30, thereby awarding him a spot on the 25-man MLB roster.[30]

The developments with Neshek's spring training only led to further success in the regular season that occurred as he began to mix more pitches with his slider. Against 48 total batters faced in April, he struck out 16 and yielded just six hits along with a 1.42 ERA.[1] Neshek was credited with his first win as a Cardinal when he pitched two scoreless innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks on May 22.[34] Neshek improved in his second month as a Cardinal, allowing just five hits and yielding no runs in 12 IP in May.[35] He picked up his first career MLB save on June 4 against the Kansas City Royals.[36] In another eight IP in June, Neshek allowed just one run with a .143 batting average against.[35] During a 22-game span, he yielded no runs, covering 20 13 innings.[37] His fastball average for the season through June 30 was , the highest of his career. Through that point, sliders comprised 38 percent of his total pitches.[25]

After emerging from the role of a right-handed specialist to primary setup pitcher for closer Trevor Rosenthal, Neshek made his first All-Star Game. In 43 games and 38 13 IP before the midseason break, he was 4–0 with two saves, a 0.70 ERA and 0.57 walks plus hits per inning pitched (WHIP). By making the team, he became just the 15th non-starter or closer of 280 total pitchers of the prior ten seasons to be named to an All-Star team.[2] Further, the All-Star selection was a personal landmark event in two ways. First, the game was played at Target Field in Minneapolis, the home field of the Twins, the team with whom Neshek began his MLB career. Second, it was close to Brooklyn Park, the city where he grew up.[38][41] However, Neshek took the loss for the National League, as the American League won, 5–3.[1]

The Cardinals traded for John Lackey at the non-waiver deadline on July 31, and Neshek volunteered to change his number from 41 to 37. Lackey had worn 41 with past teams.[49] To facilitate the exchange, Lackey mailed Neshek a Babe Ruth-autographed baseball the next month.[51] In an August 10 appearance against the Orioles, Neshek's sinker was clocked at as he completed two innings and struck out four, tying a career high.[53] On August 19 against the Cincinnati Reds, he worked the last inning and picked the decision in a Cardinals' walk-off win. It was his sixth win of the year against zero losses. For the month, he registered two saves and two wins.[55] In the National League Championship Series against the San Francisco Giants, he allowed a game-tying home run to Michael Morse in Game 5, which set up the Giants for a 6–3 win of the game and 4–1 win of the Series.[59]

Houston Astros

On December 10, 2014, Neshek agreed to a two-year, $12.5MM contract with the Houston Astros. The deal was made official on December 12.[60][61]

Pitching style

Neshek in 2015

Neshek has a very unorthodox style of delivery that transitions from starting at a submarine angle to finishing sidearm with an explosive thrusting motion. Near the release of the pitch, his torso and arm angle in a moderate "V" shape. He developed the delivery after being struck in the forearm with a ball in high school by C. J. Woodrow (a former Philadelphia Phillies farmhand). He then began to throw side arm and play shortstop due to his injury. When it healed, he could not change back to over the shoulder and his unique delivery stayed the way it is. He still has a lump in his forearm where he was struck.

The delivery has earned mention on SportsCenter as well as Baseball Tonight. Professional baseball scouts have had a divided opinion on the issue. Some were worried that this violent-looking delivery would lead to arm problems. Others considered the delivery to be an asset, as right-handed batters have a very difficult time seeing the ball. For example, José Marzán, his former manager with the Single-A Fort Myers Miracle believes that one of Neshek's greatest strengths is his ability to have enough strength to throw hard from such an angle, as his fastball used to top out around prior to his Tommy John surgery. Neshek has had great success in both the minor and major leagues as a reliever, averaging more than a strikeout per inning pitched.

After joining the Cardinals in 2014, Neshek's sinking fastball showed effectiveness well-above expectations through May 21. With a mean movement of 10.9 inches, it averaged more horizontal movement than any other pitch from any other reliever on the Cardinals staff, which was 1.3 inches more than Carlos Martínez' two-seam fastball. Martínez' own fastball has been heralded for its movement. Neshek's sinking fastball also averaged over during that time, its highest velocity since 2007.[41][63]

Personal life

An avid autograph collector, Neshek has created and runs his own website for his fans to interact and talk about collecting autographs. He has auctioned off some of his game-used items in exchange for memorabilia. The site has over 7000 members.[65] He is also a fan of the baseball sim Out of the Park Baseball, commenting in a tweet on August 12, 2012: "Spent the day off yesterday playing OOTP13 Baseball for most of the day. Talk about addicting."[66]

Neshek is married to Stephanee Neshek. Their first son, Gehrig John, was born on October 2, 2012, the day the A's won the AL West division title. However, he lived only 23 hours. The cause of the infant's death has not been made public.[67] The autopsy of the baby did not provide sufficient clarity about the cause of death, and there are now lawsuits pending. Their second son, Hoyt Robert Neshek, was born on March 13, 2014.[68] The Nesheks received a scare because Hoyt was born 11 days early with pneumonia and an air pocket outside his lungs. After remaining in intensive care for 10 days, he was released and his condition has improved to, and remained at, full health.[37]



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  4. ^ ESPN – Pat Neshek Game Logs
  5. ^ Great The OTHER Japanese Red Sox Pitcher Won: Bad Day For Neshek
  6. ^ ESPN – Neshek might be ready to stop pitching this season
  7. ^ The Official Site of The Minnesota Twins: Team: Player Information
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  11. ^ Pat Neshek Statistics and History –
  12. ^ Neshek to have middle finger examined | News
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  14. ^ Fantasy Baseball Breaking News –
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  16. ^!/PatNeshek/status/49527294317953024
  17. ^ Padres claim reliever Pat Neshek off waivers | News
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  21. ^ Staff (28 November 2005) Health Canada - The Regulation of Genetically Modified Food Glossary definition of Genetically Modified: "An organism, such as a plant, animal or bacterium, is considered genetically modified if its genetic material has been altered through any method, including conventional breeding. A 'GMO' is a genetically modified organism.", Retrieved 5 November 2012
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  46. ^ Rebecca Bratspies (2007) Some Thoughts on the American Approach to Regulating Genetically Modified Organisms. Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy 16:393 [4]
  47. ^ a b BBC News 14 June 2002 GM crops: A bitter harvest?
  48. ^ Thomas H. Maugh II for the Los Angeles Times. 9 June 1987. Altered Bacterium Does Its Job : Frost Failed to Damage Sprayed Test Crop, Company Says
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  57. ^ Genetically Altered Potato Ok'd For Crops Lawrence Journal-World - 6 May 1995
  58. ^ Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops: 2009 ISAAA Brief 41-2009, 23 February 2010. Retrieved 10 August 2010
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  60. ^ Astros sign free agent relievers Gregerson, Neshek
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  66. ^ Twitter / PatNeshek: Spent the day off yesterday
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External links

  • Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
  • Official Website
  • on Twitter
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