Today in Royals history: Mike Magnante makes his debut

Mike Magnante - KC Police - 1996

Surely he appeared on the Royals Hall of Fame ballot at some point.

On April 22, 1991, reliever Mike Magnate pitched three mop-up innings in a Royals 10-4 loss to the Cleveland Indians.

Magnante was an 11th round selection in the 1988 draft out of UCLA. A starter throughout his development in the minors, the Royals called up Magnante after Mark Davis broke the tip of his ring finger on his pitching hand. Davis, who had long since washed out of the closer role, was the lone left-handed pitcher in the Royals pen to open the 1991 season. Magante was simply the best left-handed option the Royals had in the organization at that point.

His debut was notable in that it came in Kevin Appier's worst start of his 1991 season. Appier didn't make it past the fourth inning, allowing six runs on 11 hits. Thus, the need for a mop-up reliever.

Magante tossed the final three innings of the game. Turner Ward was his first strikeout victim. He surrendered his first home run to Carlos Baerga.

Pitching IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA BF Pit Str Ctct StS StL GB FB LD GSc IR IS WPA aLI RE24
Kevin Appier, L (1-2) 3.1 11 6 6 0 1 0 4.96 20 74 51 35 6 10 5 14 7 15 -0.229 0.99 -3.5
Luis Aquino 1.2 4 2 2 0 1 1 5.40 9 26 19 12 2 5 3 5 2 1 1 -0.035 0.09 -2.0
Mike Magnante 3 4 2 2 2 2 1 6.00 14 55 32 15 8 9 5 5 1 0 0 -0.001 0.04 -0.5
Team Totals 8 19 10 10 2 4 2 11.25 43 155 102 62 16 24 13 24 10 15 1 1 -0.265 0.34 -6.0

For an emergency lefty, Magnate pitched well for the Royals in '91, appearing in 38 games and throwing 55 innings. He finished with a 2.45 ERA, 42 strikeouts and 23 walks. His 170 ERA+ was the second best of his career and he posted a 3.29 FIP, also the second best rate of his career.

Magnante wrapped his Royals career at the end of the 1996 season. Sadly, his rookie campaign was his best season with the Royals - by far. In his remaining five seasons, his ERA never dipped below 4 and his strikeout to walk ratio was never better than 1.7. Overall for the Royals, he appeared in 191 games and threw just over 325 innings, finishing with a 4.40 ERA.

He signed as a free agent that winter with the Astros and pitched two seasons in Houston. After Houston, it was a year in Los Angeles with the Angels and he moved north to Oakland for his final three seasons.

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