April 14, 1955 |
|April 12, 1981, for the San Diego Padres|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 5, 1986, for the Cincinnati Reds|
|Earned run average||4.45|
Christopher Charles Welsh (born April 14, 1955 in Wilmington, Delaware) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher and a current sportscaster for the Cincinnati Reds. He was a left-hander with a career ERA of 4.45 and career win/loss record of 22-31. He graduated from St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1973, and later graduated from the University of South Florida where he played baseball under coach Robin Roberts, whom he often mentions in his commentary.
Chris Welsh was first drafted by the New York Yankees in the 24th round of the 1976 amateur draft; however, he did not sign. In 1977 he was drafted again by the Yankees in the 21st round. He then went on to play for the former Yankees Class AAA organization, the Columbus Clippers. On March 31, 1981 Welsh was involved in a six-man trade with Ruppert Jones, Joe Lefebvre, and Tim Lollar to the San Diego Padres for Jerry Mumphrey and John Pacella. In his rookie season with the Padres in 1981, Welsh pitched 123.7 innings while compiling a 6-7 record and a 3.78 ERA. He had 4 complete games, 2 of which were shutouts. After two years with the Padres, he was purchased by the Montreal Expos. He was then traded on November 7, 1984 to the Texas Rangers for Dave Hostetler. With the Rangers he posted a 2-5 record with an ERA of 4.13. On April 4, 1986 Welsh signed as a free agent with the Cincinnati Reds, and he ended his Major League playing career with the Reds.
Welsh was known for an unusual pitching delivery in which he would "straight-arm" the ball; i.e., extend his left arm and pitch the ball sidearm with the arm almost completely straight, with little to no bending of his elbow. During his career, Welsh earned the nickname, "The Crafty Left-Hander", a moniker that Reds' TV play-by-play announcer Thom Brenneman uses to refer to Welsh from time to time.
Welsh has been the TV color analyst for Major League Baseball's Cincinnati Reds since 1993 for Fox Sports Net Ohio, teaming with long-time sportscaster George Grande until Grande's retirement in 2009 to form the longest-running TV broadcasting partnership in team history. He commonly jokes about his playing career being nothing more than mediocre during broadcasts. He is also known as "The Crafty Left-hander" due to his unconventional throwing motion. His current broadcast partner is typically Thom Brennaman, although he occasionally works with Jeff Brantley, George Grande or Jim Kelch, as well as also doing some games on the radio, teaming with legendary Hall of Fame broadcaster Marty Brennaman.