May 29, 1979 |
|April 22, 2006, for the Texas Rangers|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 28, 2007, for the Texas Rangers|
|Earned run average||5.65|
High school years
Rheinecker attended Gibault Catholic High School in Waterloo, Illinois, and was a student and a letterman in baseball. He grew up in Hecker, Illinois and first starred at the Hecker Dome. In baseball, as a senior, he batted .438 and as a pitcher, posted a 7-11 record and a 2.49 ERA. His summers were spent planting Christmas Trees.
College and professional career
After signing with the A's, Rheinecker spent the next four seasons in the organization's farm system. On March 31, 2006, Oakland traded him (along with infielder Freddie Bynum) to the Texas Rangers for troubled pitcher Juan Dominguez.
A southpaw starting pitcher, Rheinecker made his major league debut April 22, 2006, in a game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. On his 27th birthday (May 29, 2006, which was also Memorial Day), Rheinecker made his second start for the Rangers, pitching 8 1⁄3 shutout innings and earning his first major league win. For most of the 2006 season, he was shuttled back and forth between the Rangers and their Triple-A affiliate, the Oklahoma RedHawks.
Most recently, Rheinecker was diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) and underwent surgery to remove a rib to alleviate the symptoms. Arthroscopic shoulder surgery was performed on May 24, 2008, to clean up the shoulder joint and is said to sideline Rheinecker for another two to three weeks. Coincidentally, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome is the same ailment that afflicted both Hank Blalock and former Rangers pitcher Kenny Rogers. This caused him to miss the entire 2008 season other than 2 minor league rehab starts. He became a free agent at the end of the season.