Thursday, June 14, 2018

The 47 Best Players on the 1998 Chicago Cubs - #37 Ben Van Ryn

37. Ben Van Ryn
On a per-inning basis, Ben Van Ryn may have been one of the Cubs three best relievers in 1998. Outside of a game in 1996, 1998 was the only season that Van Ryn spent in the major leagues, and even then, he didn't make it the entire year. But at the beginning of 1998, pitching low leverage innings for the Chicago Cubs, Ben Van Ryn was straight fire.

Ben Van Ryn started off the year making eight separate appearances and gave up a total of zero earned runs. It seemed as if no one could score on Van Ryn. Sure, those eight appearances only totaled six innings, and two of those outings ended without him getting a single out, but they were still scoreless.

After going all of March (one game) and most of April, Van Ryn was finally solved by the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers had already put up nine runs on the collection of Kerry Wood and Amaury Telemaco, so the Cubs turned to Van Ryn to stop the bleeding. In fact, they even subbed Van Ryn in for Sammy Sosa, because Jim Riggleman LOVED double switches. Going through these box scores has truly been an incredible experience to see how many double switches the Cubs made that year. Anyway, Van Ryn in for Sosa, but not even Van Ryn could stop the red hot bats of Todd Zeile, Jose Vizcaino, and Matt Luke. The Dodgers exploded for three runs and ended Van Ryn's scoreless streak.

The Cubs apparently had incredibly high standards for their bullpen as Van Ryn would never pitch for the Cubs again. Just 11 days later, they would trade him to the Padres in exchange for Don Wengert. 24 days after being traded, the Padres released Van Ryn who put up a 10.13 ERA for San Diego. The Blue Jays picked him up but quickly realized that it was a bad idea when he put up a 9.00 ERA. He would never pitch in the major leagues again.

But for the beginning of 1998, Van Ryn was pretty dang good, putting up a 3.38 ERA in eight innings for the Cubs, good enough for the fourth best ERA on the team. BVR? More like DVR, because this guy was must see TV.

In case you missed it:
#47 - Matt Karchner
#46 - Jose Nieves
#45 - Rodney Myers
#44 - Justin Speier
#43 - Tony Fossas
#42 - Kennie Steenstra
#41 - Chris Haney
#40 - Bob Patterson

#39 - Pedro Valdes

#38 - Derrick White

No comments:

Post a Comment