Jair Jurrjens

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Jair Jurrjens
Jair Jurrjens on May 18, 2013.jpg
Jurrjens with the Baltimore Orioles in 2013
Colorado Rockies
Starting pitcher
Born: (1986-01-29) January 29, 1986 (age 28)
Willemstad, Curaçao
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
August 15, 2007 for the Detroit Tigers
Career statistics
(through 2013 season)
Win–loss record 53–37
Earned run average 3.63
Strikeouts 505
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Jair Francoise Jurrjens (/ˈ.ər ˈɜrənz/ JY-ər JUR-jənz; born January 29, 1986) is a Curaçaoan professional baseball pitcher for the Colorado Rockies of Major League Baseball (MLB). He has previously played for the Detroit Tigers, Atlanta Braves and Baltimore Orioles.

Childhood[edit]

Jurrjens grew up in 'Kura Piedra', Curaçao, pronounced in Dutch as 'Steenkoraal' or 'Stenenkoraal', and was always active in baseball.[citation needed]

In 2002, Jurrjens' Curaçao Senior League team won the Senior League World Series in Bangor, Maine.[1]

Jurrjens speaks English, Spanish, Dutch and Papiamentu.[2]

Professional career[edit]

Detroit Tigers[edit]

Jurrjens was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Detroit Tigers in 2003. In seven games during his 2003 campaign with the GCL Tigers, Jurrjens accumulated a 2–1 record with 20 strikeouts and just three walks. However, Jurrjens really broke out during his 2005 season with the West Michigan Whitecaps, the Tigers' single-A affiliate. In 26 games started, Jurrjens went 12–6 with 108 strikeouts and 36 walks. He continued to improve during the 2006 season, as a 5–0, 2.08 ERA start with the Whitecaps earned Jurrjens a promotion to the Erie SeaWolves, the Tigers' Double-A affiliate. In 12 games with the SeaWolves, Jurrjens went 4–3 with a 3.36 ERA.

Jurrjens began the 2007 season pitching for the SeaWolves. On August 15, the Tigers purchased Jurrjens' contract from the SeaWolves, adding him to their 40-man roster. Jurrjens made his major league debut on August 15, 2007, as a starting pitcher against the Cleveland Indians, making him the first pitcher from Curaçao to reach the major leagues. In that game, he gave up four earned runs in seven innings, taking the loss.[3] He recorded his first major league win in his next start, also against the Indians, allowing only one run on one hit in 6 23 innings pitched.[4]

2006 World Baseball Classic[edit]

Jurrjens joined fellow Curaçao native Andruw Jones on the Netherlands national baseball team for the 2006 World Baseball Classic. Jurrjens pitched one inning against Puerto Rico in the WBC, giving up three runs and earning him a loss.[5][6]

Atlanta Braves[edit]

On October 29, 2007, Jurrjens and outfielder Gorkys Hernandez were traded to the Atlanta Braves for shortstop Edgar Rentería.[7] Jurrjens was listed by Baseball America as the Braves' 3rd-best prospect entering the 2008 season.[8]

By the end of April 2008, Jurrjens was 3–2 with a 3.05 ERA and 28 strikeouts. Jurrjens was asked prior to the game on April 20 about how he felt facing his fellow countryman Andruw Jones. Jurrjens said, "It's going to be fun to face him", then said "It's going to be even more fun to strike him out." [9] Jurrjens then went on to strike Jones out all three times he faced him.

Jurrjens pitched well throughout the first half of the 2008 season, compiling a 9–4 record with an impressive 3.00 ERA prior to the All-Star Break. On July 9, 2008 Jurrjens was named National League Rookie of the Month for the month of June.[10] Jurrjens appeared to tire during the second half of the season, going 4–6 with a subpar 4.66 ERA after the All-Star Break. Overall, Jurrjens finished his rookie 2008 season with a record of 13–10 and a 3.68 ERA in 18813 innings.

Jurrjens finished third in voting for the 2008 NL Rookie of the Year award. Jurrjens lost the award to Geovany Soto with Joey Votto finishing second.

Despite his impressive rookie season, some remained skeptical of Jurrjens' future prospects as a pitcher in the major leagues.[11][12] As a result, Jurrjens went into the 2009 season looking to avoid a "sophomore slump."[13]

Jurrjens pitching for the Atlanta Braves in 2009

Jurrjens again pitched very well in the first half of 2009, going just 7–7 but posting an excellent 2.91 ERA in 19 starts. Unlike 2008, there would be no drop-off in the second half for Jurrjens, as he went 7–3 with an exceptional 2.24 ERA in 15 second-half starts. Overall in 2009, Jurrjens went 14–10 while finishing third in the National League with a 2.60 ERA in 215 innings and tying for the league lead with 34 games started.[14] Jurrjens went 7–6 with a 4.64 ERA in 2010, a season in which he dealt with some health problems.[15] He underwent arthroscopic surgery for a torn meniscus in his right knee in October, having missed September and the Division Series with pain in his knee.[16]

Jurrjens began the 2011 season on the disabled list, but got off to a strong start after he was activated. He pitched his first career shutout on July 1, 2011 against the Baltimore Orioles, allowing one hit and one walk.[17] It was his eleventh win of the season and improved his ERA to a league-best 1.89 ERA.[18] Jurrjens led the National League in wins and ERA at the All-Star break, and was chosen to play in his first All-Star Game. He pitched 123 scoreless innings in the NL's 5–1 win. Following the All-Star break, Jurrjens went 0–1 with a 6.26 ERA in four starts. On August 6, the Braves placed him on the 15-day DL due to pain in his surgically repaired right knee. The move was retroactive to August 2.[16] He returned briefly, but did not play for the Braves in September.[19]

Jurrjens got off to a poor start in the 2012 season, with an 0–2 record and a 9.37 ERA in his first four starts. On April 23, he was optioned to the Braves' Triple-A affiliate in Gwinnett, his first demotion in five seasons with the Braves. Atlanta's general manager, Frank Wren, stated that the move was intended to give Jurrjens the opportunity to work through his difficulties at the Triple-A level and get back on track pitching wise.[20][21][22]

On June 22, 2012, Jurrjens was called back to the majors by the Braves after teammate Brandon Beachy injured his right elbow and underwent Tommy John surgery. He got his first win of the 2012 season against the Boston Red Sox.[23]

Baltimore Orioles[edit]

On January 24, 2013, Jurrjens agreed to a one-year deal with the Baltimore Orioles for $1.5 million. Incentives could bring the deal to $4 million.[24] However, after the Orioles reviewed Jurrjens' medical information,[25] they instead signed Jurrjens to a minor league contract.[26] Jurrjen's contract was purchased from the Triple-A Norfolk Tides on May 18. He made his first start with the Orioles on that day, pitching 5 innings and picking up a no-decision, while the Orioles lost the game 6-10. He was optioned back to the Norfolk Tides on May 21, and recalled on June 29.[27] He was optioned back to Norfolk on July 1. Jurrjens was designated for assignment by the Orioles on July 12 in order to clear room for Jairo Asencio.[28] Jurrjens opted for free agency instead of playing in Triple A, and became a free agent on July 18.[29]

Return to Detroit[edit]

On July 24, 2013, Jurrjens was signed to a minor league deal bringing him back to Detroit. Jurrjens was quickly optioned to the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens.[30]

Cincinnati Reds[edit]

On May 20, 2014, Jurrjens signed a minor league deal with the Cincinnati Reds.[31]

Colorado Rockies[edit]

On July 2, 2014, Jurrjens was traded to the Colorado Rockies in exchange for minor league first baseman Harold Riggins.[32][33] Jurrjens made his 2014 season debut on July 4, making his first major league start since June 29, 2013,[34] pitching 4 23 innings and allowing eight runs on twelve hits. After the start, Jurrjens was taken to the hospital, though his "breathing problem" had since ceased.[35] He was designated for assignment on July 21.[36]

Pitching repertoire[edit]

Jurrjens has a four-seam fastball that he used to throw at 91–92 MPH, but by the 2012 season had dipped into the 87–90 range. Jurrjens pairs his fastball with a changeup to lefties in the low 80s and a slider in the high 70s to righties.[37]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brigandi, Ben (August 17, 2008). "Braves pitcher visits World Series". Williamsport Sun-Gazette. Retrieved July 5, 2014. (subscription required (help)). 
  2. ^ Hummer, Steve (July 9, 2011). "Jurrjens a star in any language". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Tribe top depleted Tigers, share AL Central top spot". ESPN.com. Associated Press. August 15, 2007. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Jurrjens holds Tribe to one hit in AL Central showdown". ESPN.com. Associated Press. August 21, 2007. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Puerto Rico beats Netherlands; faces Cuba next". ESPN.com. Associated Press. March 9, 2006. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  6. ^ Sanchez, Jesse (March 9, 2006). "Puerto Rico flexes muscle vs. Dutch". MLB.com. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Braves get two prospects for Renteria". mlb.com. October 29, 2007. 
  8. ^ "Top 10 Prospects: Atlanta Braves". Baseball America. November 5, 2007. 
  9. ^ "Andruw Jones Faces Fellow Countryman Jair Jurrjens Sunday". The Chattanoogan. April 20, 2008. Retrieved June 2, 2014. 
  10. ^ "June NL Rookie of the month". mlb.com. July 9, 2008. 
  11. ^ "10 Pitchers to Avoid in 2009: Future of Fantasy". Future of Fantasy. March 9, 2009. 
  12. ^ Kalkman, Sky (May 13, 2009). "Top 10 Overrated Starters in 2009". SB Nation. 
  13. ^ Rogers, Carroll (March 7, 2009). "Jurrjens feels back on track after dominating Yankees". Archived from the original on June 4, 2011. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  14. ^ "2009 National League Pitching Leaders". baseball-reference.com. 
  15. ^ Rogers, Carroll (April 15, 2011). "Jurrjens set to make 2011 debut Saturday". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved June 2, 2014. 
  16. ^ a b Rogers, Carroll (August 6, 2011). "Braves place Jurrjens on DL with knee strain". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 
  17. ^ Rogers, Carroll (July 1, 2011). "Jurrjens dominates Orioles for 11th win". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  18. ^ "MLB interleague roundup: Braves' Jurrjens throws one-hitter". July 1, 2011. Retrieved June 2, 2014. 
  19. ^ O'Brien, David (February 19, 2012). "Jurrjens, Hudson: worried to optimistic in 212 months". Retrieved June 2, 2014. 
  20. ^ Bowman, Mark. "Jurrjens optioned after latest struggles in LA". MLB.com. Retrieved June 2, 2014. 
  21. ^ O'Brien, David (April 24, 2012). "Jurrjens optioned to Triple-A after loss". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved June 2, 2014. 
  22. ^ Rogers, Carroll (April 25, 2012). "Jurrjens on demotion: "Nobody to blame but myself"". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved June 2, 2014. 
  23. ^ O'Brien, David (June 22, 2012). "Jurrjens comes up big in Braves' 4-1 win over Red Sox". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved June 2, 2014. 
  24. ^ "Jair Jurrjens deal gives Orioles more rotation depth". Mlb.com. January 25, 2013. Retrieved June 2, 2014. 
  25. ^ Encina, Eduardo A. (February 8, 2013). "Friday morning Orioles observations: Saunders, Jurrjens, arbitration". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved June 2, 2014. 
  26. ^ Encina, Eduardo A. (February 15, 2013). "Orioles sign Jair Jurrjens to minor league contract". baltimoresun.com. Retrieved June 2, 2014. 
  27. ^ Ghiroli, Brittany (June 29, 2013). "Orioles designate Ishikawa, recall Jurrjens". MLB.com. Retrieved June 29, 2013. 
  28. ^ Gleeman, Aaron (July 12, 2013). "Orioles designate Jair Jurrjens for assignment". Retrieved July 12, 2013. 
  29. ^ "Jair Jurrjens chooses free agency over Triple-A with Orioles". Hardballtalk.nbcsports.com. Retrieved June 2, 2014. 
  30. ^ Iott, Chris (July 24, 2013). "Jair Jurrjens signs minor-league deal with Detroit Tigers". Retrieved June 2, 2014. 
  31. ^ "The Reds sign Jair Jurrjens | HardballTalk". Hardballtalk.nbcsports.com. Retrieved June 2, 2014. 
  32. ^ "Rockies acquire RHP Jair Jurrjens from Reds". ESPN.com. Associated Press. July 2, 2014. Retrieved July 3, 2014. 
  33. ^ Groke, Nick (July 2, 2014). "Jair Jurrjens traded to Rockies from Reds as Colorado adds pitching depth". Denver Post. Retrieved July 3, 2014. 
  34. ^ "Jurrjens calls tightness in chest "super scary"". ESPN.com. Associated Press. July 5, 2014. Retrieved July 6, 2014. 
  35. ^ "Jurrjens goes to hospital with breathing issues". ESPN.com. Associated Press. July 4, 2014. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  36. ^ "Rockies place 1B Justin Morneau on 15-day DL". ESPN.com. Associated Press. July 21, 2014. Retrieved July 22, 2014. 
  37. ^ "Brooks Baseball · Home of the PitchFX Tool - Player Card: Jair Jurrjens". Brooks Baseball. Retrieved May 26, 2012. 

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