Originally posted on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 4/26/12

The former righty pitcher Kirk Saarloos is from Long Beach, California and graduated high school from Valley Christian High (school was founded in 1935 in case you were wondering). Kirk was a three-sport athlete in baseball, soccer, and football but decided to pursue baseball at Cal State Fullerton. In his first three seasons Kirk was strictly a relief pitcher out of the bullpen, but was able to put up a 18-10 record to go along with his 18 saves. In his Senior year Saarloos was moved into the rotation due to the addition of closer Chad Cordero, and he translated perfectly with a 15-4 record and a 2.18 ERA (he even threw a no-hitter). He was clearly named an All-American, and set a career record for most appearances as a Titan with 127.

After showing great promise as an ace for Cal State Fullerton, the Houston Astros selected Kirk Saarloos 86th overall in the 3rd round of the 2001 MLB Draft. In his first year in A ball Kirk posted a 1-1 record with 11 saves and a 1.17 ERA in 30.2 IP. The next year in AA Saarloos dominated with a 10-1 record, and then proved himself once again in AAA with a 2-0 record and a 1.40 ERA. He got called up in June, just one short year after the pitching product was drafted.

However Saarloos’ rookie year did not treat him very well, it got ugly quick. He went 6-7 in 17 games started, and posted a 6.01 ERA. The next season he came out of the bullpen and  had a winning 2-1 record  in 49.1 IP, but he also had a complimenting 4.93 ERA. In April 2004 Saarloos was traded to the Oakland Athletics for Chad Harville.

As an Athletic he went 2-1 in the 5 games he started and once again gave up an ERA over 4. In 2005 Saarloos got the last spot in the rotation and started a career high 27 games, and went 10-9 with a career high (or career low) 4.17 ERA. In his 159.2 IP Kirk struck out 53 guys (it’s okay he’s a groundball sinker pitcher).

The next season Saarlos started off the season in the bullpen with the addition of Esteban Loaiza, but later became a starter after the injury of Rich Harden. He went 7-7 with 2 saves.

In 2007 Kirk was traded to the Cincinnati Reds for David Shafer. He had a career worst year with a 1-5 record and an insulting 7.17 ERA.   After the poor season Saarloos was signed to the A’s. He played in 8 games but was later called down. The next season he gave it a go with the Cleveland Indians, but unfortunately couldn’t make the major league squad.

Kirk Saarloos finished with a 29-30 career record and a 5.02 ERA.

Currently Saarloos is the pitching coach for Cal State Fullerton.

-Schotz

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