LEFT BEHIND NO. 12: Kerry Ligtenberg


Kerry Ligtenberg.jpgRighthanded Reliever
Seasons with Braves: 1997-2002
Career Stats with Braves: 12-12, ERA 3.04, 266.7 IP, 44 SV, 256 SO

Kerry Ligtenberg had the best sideburns of any reliever since the 70s’ Oakland Athletics. He also had an outstanding ERA for the Braves, and in 1998, 30 saves and 75 appearances. He looked like the Next Closer of the Future, Model No. 17, during that year, but he hurt his arm the next year and opened the door for John Rocker.

He really has to remain on the taxi squad, in my opinion. He just didn’t have enough impact.

Mac’s Additional Comments: I rate the short-career nineties relievers for the Braves:
1. Remlinger
2. McMichael
3. Rocker
4. Ligtenberg

Given career length, Rocker was cut but the other three all have a case. Ligtenberg’s big year was not as good as the others’ big year, and as Bledsoe indicates much of the rest of his time was in low-leverage situations… Best known for being traded to the Braves in exchange for equipment by Greg Olson’s Northern League team. It took me about a year to stop spelling his last name “Lightenberg”.

Kerry Ligtenberg Statistics – Baseball-Reference.com

15 thoughts on “LEFT BEHIND NO. 12: Kerry Ligtenberg”

  1. Ligtenberg did good work for the Braves. Unfortunately, my overriding memory is the 10th-inning HR he gave up to Ken Caminiti in Game 1 of the 1998 NLCS.

  2. Boy, he really did have great sideburns. Not as showy as Farnsworth’s, nor as country dumb as Klesko’s, they were just classically great. Plus, he had a nice arm, and pitched well for us, and was yet another example of the slag-heap bullpens we had a knack for constructing back when we had… when we had… Leo.

  3. I remember the arm injury happening, but not the details. I also think he dropped off the radar quickly and wondered if it had anything to do with his “scab” activities.
    Does anybody know?

  4. Also, John Sickels just posted a Crystal Ball for Brian McCann here. (Compare to Joe Mauer Crystal Ball; McCann ends up with 50 fewer homers, 350 fewer RBIs, and 5 points less on batting average.) I think he’s underrating McCann, of course–basically, Sickels assumes McCann’s age 22 year will be the best of his career, not likely but not impossible, given the Johnny Bench effect–but that’s a hell of a career no matter how you look at it. He also assumes that Joe Mauer’s career high in homers (31) will exceed McCann’s (30), which seems even less likely.

    Either way, an interesting thought experiment.

  5. The scab thing may have hurt Kerry in his attempts to stay in the game. More likely, it was the 6.38 ERA in Toronto and the 13.97 (in seven games) in Arizona. He was in spring training with the Marlins last year but didn’t make the squad, which may say a lot considering that in April I believe they were using a dead guy in middle relief.

  6. Why didn’t the time stamp on comments “fall back”, or we now posting in eastern time? The only reason I noticed is being in the central time zone, it is rare see our time zone used. Maybe it’s strange that I notice things like that.

  7. I wouldn’t read too much into the Johnny Bench Effect. Basically, Bench tailed off because he had a non-cancerous lesion removed from his lung. He has said that his swing was never the same again and, considering the difference between his pre-and post-surgical performance, it makes sense. I suspect that McCann (and Mauer) will both end up hitting for more power but lower batting averages. It’s hard for catchers to sustain batting averages (although Piazza is an exception)but McCann at least seems to have a nice power stroke.

  8. Wait, seriously, there’s no “h”?!?

    I must have seen his name written (either on the back of his jersey or in print or something) hundreds of times and I never once noticed that it was missing an “h”.


  9. Is Tim Spooneybarger still in the game? Doubtful, but was just wondering if anyone knew his whereabouts.

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