Traber with the New York Yankees in 2008
|Born: September 18, 1979|
|April 4, 2003, for the Cleveland Indians|
|Last MLB appearance|
|August 6, 2009, for the Boston Red Sox|
|Earned run average||5.65|
William Henry "Billy" Traber, Jr. (born September 18, 1979) is a former left-handed pitcher.
Traber attended Loyola Marymount University, where he was First-Team All-American and West Coast Conference Player of the Year. He set a single-season school strikeout record with 156 strikeouts (in 123 innings pitched).
In 2000, Traber entered the draft and was picked in the first round (16th overall) by the New York Mets. The Mets were prepared to offer Traber a contract worth $1.3 million, but after an MRI showed some damage to his pitching elbow, he signed a contract worth only $400,000.
In 2002, Traber was runner-up minor league pitcher of the year, going 17-5 for the Akron Aeros (Double-A) and Buffalo Bisons (Triple-A), and was voted by Baseball America as having the best control and curveball in the league. His numbers were also good enough to give him top-honors for Cleveland pitching prospects.
On April 4, 2003, Traber made his Major League debut. Although he started out well (1.59 ERA, 1-0 record in 7 games that spring) -- even pitching a one-hit shutout of the New York Yankees on July 8—Traber's season fell apart when elbow problems that haunted him in college and the minors came back to end his '03 campaign and ultimately the entire 2004 season when he needed Tommy John surgery.
During the 2004-2005 offseason, the Boston Red Sox signed Traber. Before playing a single game, he was placed on waivers by the Red Sox. On November 10, 2004, he was claimed by the Indians off waivers and was signed to a minor league deal on December 22, 2004.
On January 5, 2008, he signed a minor league deal with the New York Yankees and was invited to spring training. On March 15, he was added to the 40-man roster and he opened the season in the Yankee bullpen. He spent much of the season splitting time between the Yankees and their Triple-A affiliate. He was designated for assignment on September 1. In December 2008, he signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training to return to the Red Sox.
On August 5, 2009, he was called up by the Red Sox to bolster their undermanned bullpen. In October 2009, Traber was granted free agency. He was designated for assignment on August 7, 2009. In June 2010, Traber was signed by the Seattle Mariners.
Currently teaches physics at his former high school, El Segundo High School.
- "BASEBALL; Traber, Mets' Top Pick, Signs". The New York Times. September 2, 2000.
- Kepner, Tyler (July 9, 2003). "BASEBALL; Traber Shuts Down Yankees". The New York Times.
- Scout.com: 40-Man Roster
- Massarotti, Tony (August 5, 2009). "Reddick out, Traber in". The Boston Globe.
- Matt Eddy (June 10, 2010). "Minor League Transactions". Baseball America. Baseball America, Inc. Retrieved June 10, 2010.
- Thorpe, Dave (June 11, 2016). "El Segundo High picks Billy Traber to be next baseball coach". The Daily Breeze.
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