Here at Capitol Baseball we proudly celebrate our past, good and bad. Mostly in these posts, we are celebrating the very worst of Nationals Baseball history, but that's the fun part. We promise not to pull any punches in terms of shying away from the embarrassing. That's where today's Former Nats Great comes into the picture; it is the perfect mixture of endless promise and untimely demise. Who do we have today, you ask?
The envelope please...
It's Ryan Drese!
We picked up this Right-Handed Pitcher straight off of the waiver wire from the Texas Rangers in June of 2005. He immediately joined the starting rotation and made a significant impact, winning 3 of his first 5 starts wearing the curly-W. Most impressive among his victories include a pair of 8 inning masterpieces; a 2 hit 1-0 win against the Angels (his first Nationals start) and a 2-1 win against the Pirates. Relying on a heavy dose of ground balls, Drese seemed to be fitting in nicely in the Nationals rotation; all while the Nationals were mired in a second half collapse.
As is often the case with these Former Nats Greats, the honeymoon was not to last.
After winning an 8-7 decision against the Phillies on July 8th, Drese would go on to lose 5 straight starts against the Brewers, Astros (x2), Braves, and Friars. His earned run average amazingly stayed steady in the mid-5's. It wasn't until August 18th that the wheels came completely off of the wagon. Pulled from a game against the Phillies, down 4-0 after 4, Drese was feeling some pain in his shoulder and just like that he went from the 15-Day DL to the 60-Day DL. Season over.
The following year, Drese found himself in the 5 hole in the rotation; behind Livan, John Patterson, Ramon Ortiz, and Tony Armas (Murderer's Row of Former Nats Greats). Two starts later (both losses) and Drese was out for the year with a right elbow injury.
He hasn't appeared in a Big League Game since.
His stats with the Nationals...
13 Games. 3-8 W/L. 68.1 IP. 5.00 ERA. 1.537 WHIP. 83 ERA+. 38 ER. 30 BB. 31 K. -1.7 WAR.
My favorite stat, 5 Wild Pitches.
Thanks for the memories, Ryan! And congratulations on becoming our 11th representative to the pantheon of Former Nats Greats!