Friday, April 29, 2011
#151 - Diego Segui
Diego Segui took a tough route to the majors. He was born in Cuba where he played high-level ball and then in '58 was signed by the Reds, who brought him north and the promptly dropped him. While things in Cuba weren't out of control yet, they were a bit dicey and rather than try to return, Diego made his way to an independent team for whom he put up not great numbers that season. After it he was sold to the Kansas City A's. The next three years Diego worked his way through the KC system, perfecting his forkball, and having serviceable numbers as both a starter and reliever, but nothing fantastic. In '61 at Triple A Hawaii he went 5-10 with a 4.62 ERA, which didn't exactly demand his elevation. Still, like a lot of KC pitchers he could hit - 18 RBI's one year and a .286 average another - and his ability and willingness to both start and relieve as well as KC having nothing spectacular up top contributed to his coming up to the A's in '62.
In '74 Diego threw 108 innings in relief for Boston, but his ERA shot up over a run and his saves total fell to ten. His '75 was not a very good season (2-5 with six saves and a 4.82 ERA), although he did get a bit more post-season action. He was released by the Sox just as the '76 season started and hooked up with Hawaii, the Padres' Triple A club. There he had a pretty good year (11-5 with a 3.18 ERA as a starter). For '77 he was bought by the new Seattle Mariners for whom he would be the starting pitcher in the team's first game, equaling that distinction with the old Pilots. He is the only guy to play for both teams. After a few winless starts he returned to the bullpen and was released at the end of the season. For his career, Diego was 92-111 with a 3.81 ERA, 28 complete games, seven shutouts, and 71 saves. As a hitter up top he had four homers and 24 RBI's and in the post-season was 0-1 with a 4.76 ERA in two games.
After his release, Segui pitched for eight seasons in Mexico going a combined 96-61 with a 2.91 ERA and throwing until he was 47. In his first season there in '78 he threw a perfect game. After his Mexican run he eventually worked his way back to the Kansas City area. He was a farmer for a bunch of years and also, according to a Seattle Pilots website, a competitive fisherman. There is a Diego Segui still active in Olathe, Kansas, for the Bass Pro Fishing Shops. I suppose it could be the same guy, although since he'd now be 73, I do not know that he would still be working.
Segui was sort of famous for that forkball. There is an in depth piece about him from the SABR guys here. Like most of these write-ups it is very in depth. It does seem to imply that his '75 appearance in the playoffs was his first, which would be wrong, and it has some decent biographical holes but outside of that it's a good read.
No predictions on this card regarding Diego in Boston. It was a pretty big trade in terms of bodies. Diego nearly played for the Padres. Had he, I am pretty sure he would have been the first guy whose first name was the same as all or part of his team's name. Diego also had a long run in Venezuela winter ball, in addition to his time outlined above. There he went 95-58 with a 2.76 ERA and is in that country's baseball hall of fame. His son, David, would be a big league first baseman for 15 years.
Diego played for the wrong KC team to make this quick, So:
1. Segui and Bob Stinson '77 Mariners;
2. Stinson and John Mayberry '75 to '76 Royals.