Sunday, August 14, 2011

Mark Gubicza

Former 20-game winner Mark Gubicza turns 49 years old today. The right-hander spent 13 seasons with the Kansas City Royals as an inning-eater starter, winning 132 games and losing 136.

Gubicza was a second round pick by the Royals in 1981 (34th overall) and spent 3 seasons in the minors before earning a full-time spot with the Royals in 1984 out of spring training. He won 14 games with Jacksonville (AA) with an ERA of 3.08.

He made his debut on April 6th,1984 at the age of 21, getting a win against the Tigers.

Statistically, he had two dominating seasons, both of which earned him a trip to the all-star game.  He went 20-8 in 1988 with an ERA of 2.70 and in 1989, 15-11 with an ERA of 3.05. Besides those two seasons, Gubicza pitched a lot of innings, lost a lot of games, gave up a lot hits, walked a few too many and struck out 6 per 9ip. He found himself with ERA in the 4s many seasons and the Royals even tried Gubicza out as a long reliever in 1993.

He was a member of the 1985 world-series winning squad but played only in the ALCS. He has twice been named pitcher of the month and player of the week once.

The Royals parted ways with Gubicza after the 1996 season, sending him to California for Chili Davis. He would only make 2 starts in Anaheim the following season, allowing 13 runs in 4 innings. He had shoulder trouble and was placed on the DL early that April and never returned. In 1998, he signed a Minor League contract with the Dodgers but in February, decided to retire instead. He expressed interest in 1999 for a comeback as well but found no takers.

Since his retirement, Gubicza has resurfaced as color commentator for Los Angeles Angels broadcasts. He has also served as high school baseball coach in the Los Angeles area for Chaminade high school.

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