Bring back Bruce Berenyi

I have been focusing a lot on pitching lately because that seems to be the hot topic for the Cincinnati Reds right now. And while I like the idea of all of their young pitchers starting in 2012 I also would love to see a veteran pitcher come in to help teach these youngsters how to play properly. Bruce Berenyi was the first pitcher to come to mind. I really have no idea why but he just was. Now don’t get me wrong, I know at 57 years old he probably would not want to come back and pitch in Major League Baseball but he was the first guy I thought of and why not run with it and just have some fun talking about a great Reds pitcher who I will never forget.

Berenyi was drafted by the Reds in the 1st round (3rd pick) of the 1976 amateur draft. He debuted on Saturday, July 5, 1980 at Riverfront Stadium at the age of 25 years old. He got lit up by the Houston Astros only pitching in 0.1 inning, facing 7 batters and giving up 5 hits, 6 runs with 1 walk and only 1 strike out. Not the kind of start most young pitchers want when they first get to the big leagues but I am sure it was an eye opener for him no matter what. Mario Soto came in and pitched 8.2 innings after him to get the Reds the win 8 – 6. That year Berenyi went on to start in 5 more games for the Reds and finished with a 2 – 2 record getting a 7.81 ERA. He also pitched for the Indianapolis Indians in the AAA American Association where he started 20 games and finished with a 5 – 8 record getting 121 strike outs and a 4.32 ERA. His most strike outs in the minors was the year before in 1979 for Indianapolis with 136 where he started 25 games (166 IP) finishing with 9 wins and 9 losses and getting a 2.82 ERA.

The next season (1981) he pitched in 21 games (20 starts) getting 5 complete games, 3 shutouts while only allowing 77 walks and recording 106 strike outs finishing the season with a 9 – 6 record and getting a 3.50 ERA and a 7.6 SO/9. Coming in 4th in the National League Rookie of the Year voting getting beat out by Fernando Valenzuela, Tim Raines and Hubie Brooks. The Reds of course went on to finish 1st in the National League West that season with 66 wins and 42 losses with such players as Johnny Bench, Dan Driessen, Dave Concepcion, Ken Griffey, Mario Soto and Tom Seaver. But of course the 1981 season was divided into two halves with the first and second half champs (Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros) facing each other prior to the league championship series due to an extended player strike in the middle of the season. The Dodgers went on to win the World Series over the New York Yankees 4 games to 2.

Berenyi went on to pitch 5 years for the Reds and 3 years for the New York Mets finishing with a 44 – 55 career record with 607 SO and a 7.0 SO/9 and a 4.03 ERA. Which does not make him the best Reds pitcher in the history of the franchise but one that I will never forget.


Bruce Berenyi

                                                               
Year    Age   Tm  W  L  ERA  GS CG SHO    IP  BB  SO  WHIP SO/9
1980     25  CIN  2  2 7.81   6  0   0  27.2  23  19 2.060  6.2
1981     26  CIN  9  6 3.50  20  5   3 126.0  77 106 1.381  7.6
1982     27  CIN  9 18 3.36  34  4   1 222.1  96 157 1.367  6.4
1983     28  CIN  9 14 3.86  31  4   1 186.1 102 151 1.476  7.3
1984     29  TOT 12 13 4.45  30  0   0 166.0  95 134 1.554  7.3
1984     29  CIN  3  7 6.00  11  0   0  51.0  42  53 2.059  9.4
1984     29  NYM  9  6 3.76  19  0   0 115.0  53  81 1.330  6.3
1985     30  NYM  1  0 2.63   3  0   0  13.2  10  10 1.317  6.6
1986     31  NYM  2  2 6.35   7  0   0  39.2  22  30 1.739  6.8
7 Seasons        44 55 4.03 131 13   5 781.2 425 607 1.478  7.0
162 Game Avg.    11 14 4.03  33  3   1   195 106 151 1.478  7.0
                                                               
CIN (5 yrs)      32 47 3.96 102 13   5 613.1 340 486 1.492  7.1
NYM (3 yrs)      12  8 4.28  29  0   0 168.1  85 121 1.426  6.5

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/23/2011.

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