I find it quite fascinating that below’s referenced Cincinnati Enquirer story about Don Gullett includes Brett Tomko as one of Don Gullett’s reclamation projects, when he came up under Gullett’s watch….and the only work done here was questioning Tomko’s desire (or manhood) to pitch.

As I recall, manager Jack McKeon did the talking, but it sure seems to me that Gullett would have either been intervening to stop or feeding the story. You may remember, that Tomko did feel some sort of elbow twitch (something in his arm) and didn’t want to pitch for fear of greater injury (sounds reasonable to me). Instead, he got the “good ole boy” “he’s not man enough” routine and was run out of town.

As the story turns, he’s become a pretty decent pitcher, despite what another Enquirer article has said, which mentioned going back to the Jack Armstrong days as the last Reds first round starting pitcher developed (okay, technically Tomko was a 2nd round choice…but the Reds first draft pick in 1995 since they had forfeited the 1st round pick for rights to sign Damon Berryhill).

Lots more good stuff under the fold:

Tomko’s record shows that he’s won more than 10 games five times in his career, and his career ERA is 4.53. His ERA+ (ERA adjusted for league and park conditions) is 94 (or 94% of average), which is essentially average. He’s been around 200 innings pitched four times in his eight seasons (one wasted minor league year), and, get this…he’s made over $1.2 million only once in his career.

So, we could get this kind of production out of a guy that’s making less than what we paid a couple of journeymen minor league pitchers over the winter.

The punch line? His 2nd most similar player of his career (to this point), meaning the pitcher whose pitching line is most similar to his over their career is none other than Eric Milton, the new Red making about $9 million this year. In fact, Tomko hasn’t made as much in his career as Milton will make this season alone.

For their careers, Milton has won 71 games in 7 seasons; Tomko has won 73 games in eight seasons. Milton’s most similar pitcher is none other than Brett Tomko. Information below is from baseball-reference.com.

Tomko Similar Pitchers:

Mark Clark (968)
Eric Milton (959)
Joey Hamilton (959)
Chris Carpenter (957)
Armando Reynoso (952)
Sidney Ponson (949)
Dustin Hermanson (948)
Len Barker (946)
Mike Smithson (945)
Curt Young (945)

Tomko Salaries:

1997 Cincinnati Reds $150,000
1998 Cincinnati Reds $230,000
1999 Cincinnati Reds $400,000
2001 Seattle Mariners $1,100,000
2002 San Diego Padres $1,100,000
2003 St. Louis Cardinals $3,300,000
2004 San Francisco Giants $1,200,000
Career (may be incomplete) $7,480,000

Milton Similar Pitchers:

Brett Tomko (959)
Armando Reynoso (958)
Chris Carpenter (951)
Mark Clark (946)
Curt Young (944)
Sterling Hitchcock (939)
Pete Schourek (937)
Sidney Ponson (936)
Johnny Marcum (934)
Jeff Weaver (931)

Milton Salaries
1998 Minnesota Twins $170,000
1999 Minnesota Twins $240,000
2000 Minnesota Twins $285,000
2001 Minnesota Twins $2,150,000
2002 Minnesota Twins $4,000,000
2003 Minnesota Twins $6,000,000
2004 Philadelphia Phillies $9,000,000
Career (may be incomplete) $21,845,000

Explanation of similarity scores here.

Join the conversation! 4 Comments

  1. My memory is different. Tomko wasn’t claiming any injury, fatigue, or anything. He was bitching after a game where McKeon didn’t come rescue him once he got a couple guys on in a tie game. Tomko couldn’t get out of the 7th and lost it. The quote was something pathetic like, “that’s a situation where I’m not likely to succeed. I shouldn’t have been out there.” I think it was this game:

    Game Played on Tuesday, June 9, 1998 (N) at Qualcomm Stadium
    CIN N 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 – 1 8 1
    SD N 0 0 0 0 1 0 4 0 x – 5 6 1
    Cincinnati Reds IP H HR R ER BB K
    Tomko L(5-5) 6.2 6 1 5 5 7 4

    McKeon was not decent to any of the younger guys, but Tomko asked for that one himself.

  2. No, I haven’t found the right game. Tomko pitched well in that one, but gave up a grand slam to future Red Greg Vaughan. He earned post-game praise from McKeon for his toughness.
    http://reds.enquirer.com/1998/06/061098game.html

  3. Here’s a funny story from that era. They certainly were all over Tomko to “toughen up,” though I still disagree with Steve’s inference that they were ignoring an injury. It was a matter of his not challenging hitters, and his general petulance.

    Tomko hasn’t missed significant time to injury except in one year – 2001 with Seattle.

  4. It was spring of 1998; Tomko had early shoulder soreness and the Reds decided to work on his mechanics. McKeon said that if Tomko didn’t pitch he wouldn’t have a rotation spot…and the toughness debate began.

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