Thursday, May 17, 2012

Collection: Yhency Brazoban SPx Auto

Here is another Dodgers autograph card from the 2005 Upper Deck SPx Collection.  It features once rising relief prospect Yhency Brazoban. 

What happened to this guy?  He came to LA by way of the Yankees as a result of a trade that sent Kevin Brown to New York in exchange to Jeff Weaver and Brazoban in December of 2003.  Yhency was a hard throwing right hander who was fairly new to the art of pitching.  He had only recently been converted from an outfielder to a pitcher by the Yankees in 2003, so he had less than a year of experience on the mound when the Dodgers traded for him.  They must have seen something special in his arm.  And for a while, they were right.  Brazoban could pitch.

He first came up to the big club in August 2004, and immediately impressed the brass.  In fact, over the last two months of that season he would enter into 31 games and record a 2.48 ERA with 27 strike outs in just under 33 innings.  That's a lot of work for an arm just getting use to throwing on the mound.  The following season, Brazoban would continue to be impressive and be a bullpen a workhorse.  He established a Dodgers rookie record that year by appearing in 74 games while saving 21. 

Then, something happened.  Early in the 2006 season he hurt his arm.  Yhency was diagnosed with an elbow injury that lead to Tommy John Surgery.  In 2007 he was back in Dodger Blue, but again went down with an arm injury that cost him the entire season.  In 2008 Brazoban worked himself back onto the Dodgers roster, but was eventually sent back down to the minors where he again found a home on the disabled list with another arm injury.  I think it's fair to say that the workload he experienced early on in his pitching career caused some problems.

Today, Brazoban continues to play professional Baseball.  After bouncing around a little bit from the Mexican League to the minors with several different clubs he was eventually sold to the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks in Japan last year. 

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