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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Joe Thatcher
Joe Thatcher 01.JPG
Thatcher with the San Diego Padres in 2009
Relief pitcher
Born: (1981-10-04) October 4, 1981 (age 38)
Kokomo, Indiana
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
July 26, 2007, for the San Diego Padres
Last MLB appearance
October 2, 2015, for the Houston Astros
MLB statistics
Win–loss record11–16
Earned run average3.38

Joseph Andrew Thatcher (born October 4, 1981) is an American college baseball coach[1] and former professional baseball pitcher. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the San Diego Padres, Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Houston Astros.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Joe Thatcher thriving with Padres
  • ✪ Joe Thatcher on Trade to Diamondbacks & what He'll Miss about the Padres
  • ✪ ATL@NYM: Burke strikes out three in relief
  • ✪ LAA@OAK: Smith throws a scorless 8th inning
  • ✪ LAA@TB: Thatcher exits in 4th with injury



Early life

Thatcher was a member of Kokomo High School's baseball and basketball teams for four years; he was an all-region basketball player.[2] He was a freshman on the 1997 team that played in Indiana's final true state tournament and set a school record for 3-pointers in a game as a senior in 2000.

College career

Thatcher pitched for four seasons with Indiana State University. He served as the Sycamores' closer in 2004, his final year with the team.[3]

Professional career

River City Rascals

Thatcher was not drafted upon graduating college, he signed with the River City Rascals of the independent Frontier League, appearing in 47 games (6-5 W/L, 10 Saves) in 2004 and 2005.[4]

Milwaukee Brewers

Thatcher was signed by the Milwaukee Brewers as a free agent in 2005 and assigned to the Rookie League Helena Brewers.

San Diego Padres

Thatcher had progressed to the Triple-A Nashville Sounds in 2007 when he was traded to the San Diego Padres, along with prospects Will Inman and Steve Garrison, for relief pitcher Scott Linebrink. Thatcher was immediately placed in the bullpen of the Padres big league club.[5]

Thatcher made his Major League debut with the Padres on July 26, 2007, in Houston against the Astros. He appeared in 22 games in 2007, finishing with a 2-2 record and 1.29 ERA. He also appeared in 8 games with the Triple-A Portland Beavers.

Thatcher began 2008 with the San Diego Padres, but was sent down to Portland in mid-May after posting a 6.75 ERA in 16 appearances. He made nine more appearances with the big league club in 2008, the final one on July 23. He finished the year with a 0-4 record and 8.42 ERA in San Diego. With Portland, he posted a 2.77 ERA over 39 total innings.

Following spring training in 2009, Thatcher started the season in Portland but was called up to San Diego on May 15, 2009. Aside from five days in June and two weeks in mid-July, he remained with the Major League club through the remainder of the year. He finished 2009 with a 2.80 ERA in 45 innings across 52 games, and 55 strike-outs against 18 walks.

Thatcher had shoulder soreness in spring training in 2010 and started the season on the disabled list, but he rejoined the team in mid-April. Thatcher emerged as one of the top left-handed specialists in the National League.[6] He posted a 1.29 ERA in 35 innings and 65 games, with 45 strike-outs and 7 walks. He held batters to a .185 batting average and .465 OPS.

Thatcher's shoulder again gave him trouble in spring training of 2011, and he again began the season on the disabled list. But the shoulder did not respond to treatment and he was forced to undergo surgery in May.[6] The surgery cleaned up the labrum and the rotator cuff, and Thatcher rejoined the team in August after a rehab stint.[7] He finished with a 4.50 ERA in 10 innings over 18 games.

In 2012, Thatcher returned to his role as left-handed specialist. He initially pitched through a nagging knee soreness that eventually forced him to rest the knee throughout August and then required arthroscopic to repair a tendon after the season.[8] Thatcher still put up a 3.41 ERA and 39 strike-outs in 31​23 innings. From 2009 through 2012, Thatcher appeared in 190 games and held left-handers to a .182 average. Overall, he has a 2.66 ERA and .221 opponents batting average during that span.[8]

Arizona Diamondbacks

Thatcher again began 2013 as the Padres' left-handed specialist, pitching to a 2.10 ERA in 30 innings over 50 games. At the end of July, the Padres traded Thatcher with Matt Stites and a compensatory draft pick to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Ian Kennedy.[9] With the Diamondbacks in 2013, Thatcher allowed 7 earned runs in 9​13 innings across 22 games. In the off-season, Thatcher and the Diamondbacks agreed to a one-year contract to avoid arbitration.[10]

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

On July 5, 2014, Thatcher was traded along with Tony Campana to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in exchange for prospects Zach Borenstein and Joey Krehbiel.[11]

Houston Astros

Thatcher with the Houston Astros
Thatcher with the Houston Astros

On February 13, 2015, Thatcher signed a minor league contract with the Houston Astros.[12][13] On March 30, 2015, the Astros announced that Thatcher had made the Opening Day roster. On July 21, 2015, the Astros designated Thatcher for assignment after 36 appearances. On August 2, Thatcher was resigned to a minor league deal.[14] He was re-added to the major league roster on September 1.[15]

Cleveland Indians

In December 2015, he signed a minor league contract with the Cleveland Indians.[16][17] He was released in March 2016.

Los Angeles Dodgers

In April 2016, he signed a minor league contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers.[18] In 17 games, he had an ERA of 3.60. He was released on June 3, 2016 after exercising an opt-out clause in his contract.[19]

Cleveland Indians

The Indians re-signed Thatcher to a minor league contract on July 23, 2016.[20] He was released on August 13, 2016.

Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs signed Thatcher to a minor league contract on Aug 15, 2016.[21] He retired after the season.[22]


In 2016, after retiring from professional baseball, Thatcher accepted a position as associate coach of the Indiana University Kokomo baseball team.[23]

Pitching style

Thatcher was unusual in that he threw only two pitches, neither of which was a four-seam fastball. He almost exclusively threw a cut fastball at 83–87 mph or a slider at 77–79. His slider was mainly a 2-strike pitch. Early in his career, he threw a changeup to right-handed hitters, but he threw only a small handful of those after the 2008 season.[24]

Personal life

During the offseason, Thatcher resides in Kokomo, Indiana and enjoys playing golf on his down time.[25] He is the son of Phil and Sara Thatcher and his father also pitched for Indiana State University while his mother was a cheerleader.[26]

Thatcher's wife, Katie, is also a Kokomo native.[27] The couple formed the Joe and Katie Thatcher Endowment Foundation in 2008 to benefit the Howard County, Indiana, community.[28]

Thatcher is a member of Catholic Athletes for Christ.[29]


  1. ^ Tribune, PEDRO VELAZCO Kokomo. "Howard, Thatcher excited to build IUK baseball program". Kokomo Tribune. Retrieved 2016-12-14.
  2. ^ Center, Bill (March 23, 2013). "LHP Thatcher made shrewd decision in choosing baseball". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  3. ^ "Joe Thatcher Traded To San Diego Padres, Set To Join Major League Club". Indiana State Sycamores. July 26, 2007. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Hughes, David (July 27, 2007). "Former Indiana State pitcher Joe Thatcher gets ultimate call". Tribune-Star. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  6. ^ a b Brock, Corey (April 27, 2011). "Thatcher slated for left shoulder surgery". Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  7. ^ Brock, Corey (February 20, 2012). "Thatcher hoping shoulder woes behind him". Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  8. ^ a b Brock, Corey (March 13, 2013). "Thatcher comfortable taking it slow in spring". Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  9. ^ Nightengale, Bob (July 31, 2013). "Diamondbacks deal Ian Kennedy to Padres". USA Today. Retrieved April 13, 2014.
  10. ^ "D-backs avoid arbitration, agree to a one-year contract with Joe Thatcher for 2.38 million". D-backs Press Release. January 17, 2014. Retrieved April 13, 2014.
  11. ^ "Angels pick up Thatcher from Diamondbacks". Associated Press. July 5, 2014. Retrieved July 6, 2014.
  12. ^ "Reliever Thatcher agrees to minor league deal with Astros". Associated Press. February 13, 2015. Retrieved February 15, 2015.
  13. ^ McTaggart, Brian (February 13, 2015). "Astros invite reliever Thatcher to Major League camp". Retrieved February 15, 2015.
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Houston Astros Farm Report: Fresno Grizzlies are gearing up for a championship". Climbing Tal's Hill. Retrieved 2015-09-17.
  16. ^ Links, Zach (December 17, 2015). "Indians To Sign Joe Thatcher". MLB Trade Rumors. Retrieved December 21, 2015.
  17. ^ Bastian, Jordan (December 21, 2015). "Indians add 2 lefties on Minor League deals".
  18. ^ "Storylines: Tomlin leaves with sore hamstring". Retrieved 2016-04-21.
  19. ^ Stephen, Eric (June 4, 2016). "Dodgers release Joe Thatcher from minors contract". SB Nation. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  20. ^ Hoynes, Paul (July 23, 2016). "Cleveland Indians working hard to stay cool, while handling summer heat".
  21. ^ "Cubs' Joe Thatcher: Signed by Cubs". Retrieved 2016-09-03.
  22. ^
  23. ^ "IU Kokomo - 2017 Baseball Coaches". Retrieved 2016-12-14.
  24. ^ "PITCHf/x Player Card: Joe Thatcher". Brooks Baseball. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
  25. ^ "Thatcher Endowment to hold golf outing". Retrieved 2015-09-17.
  26. ^ Geiselman, Steve (August 15, 2009). "Major league drama". Kokomo Perspective. Retrieved April 13, 2014.
  27. ^ Brock, Corey (November 21, 2012). "Indiana will always be home for Thatcher". Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  28. ^ Goad, Jenn (March 20, 2014). "The Joe and Katie Thatcher Foundation gives back". Kokomo Perspective. Retrieved April 13, 2014.
  29. ^ Beattie, Trent (June 15, 2014). "Arizona Diamondbacks Pitcher Shares Father's Day Reflections". National Catholic Register. Retrieved July 6, 2014.

External links

This page was last edited on 20 November 2019, at 10:07
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