In the fame-to-accomplishments ratio, Nitkowski is somewhere between Pete Rose Jr. and Todd Van Poppel. At least on the Internet. Nitkowski was an early adopter, putting up his own website when many players had no web presence at all. Then, a couple of years ago, he had a conversion experience and turned it into a sort of web chapel. To each his own, I guess.
As a player… Nitkowski was a first-round draft pick out of college in June of 1995. By the end of that 1995 season, he’d pitched for two major league clubs, first the Reds, then the Tigers (traded for David Wells). Then he wound up going back and forth from the Tigers to the Astros and back in one of those franchises’ endless trades involving Brad Ausmus. He’s also pitched for the Mets and Rangers and spent time with the Cardinals.
Not surprisingly, Nitkowski never managed to get his legs under him. His career ERA is 5.33 (ERA+, 87) and his career record 16-31. He’s shown signs that he can thrive in a situational relief role, in particular a brief LOOGY run for the Rangers in 2002, but honestly he’s been too wild to survive for long. If he can get his control to a reasonable level, his stuff is good enough that he can be a valuable reliever. But you can say that about a lot of guys.