Wednesday, February 8, 2017

One-Card Wonder Pt. 38: Kevin Jarvis

I have mentioned before that Topps seems to find one outside-the-box choice for the Red Sox almost every year for the Update set.  Players like Daniel Bard in 2013 (2 games), Carlos Peguero in 2015 (4 games), and Kelly Johnson in 2014 (traded to the Orioles at the end of August) are all odd choices for inclusion.  Not to say I am upset about their inclusion, well maybe Bard who I think should have been replaced by Andrew Miller who never got a Boston Red Sox card even though he was one of the team's top relievers early that year.  The weirdest one for 2006 was one of the weirdest ones of all time.

Kevin Jarvis appeared in just four games for the Red Sox in 2006.  He started the season with the Diamondbacks and appeared in just five games for them.  He was 0-1 in five games for Arizona, starting one, and had an 11.91 ERA in 11.1 innings.  He was sent to the Red Sox at the August trading deadline as part of a conditional deal.  He started three of the four games he pitched in for Boston at a time when the Red Sox starting rotation was in shambles as the team was desperately trying to stay in contention.  It did not really work out.  Jarvis was slightly better for Boston, pitching 16.2 innings with a 4.86 ERA.  He struck out seven and walked six.

Jarvis was also an odd pick because he never really had much success in his Major League career, which lasted 12 years.  His best season was 2001 with the Padres when he was 12-11 with a 4.79 ERA, but he led the league in home runs allowed that season.  That was one of only two seasons he had a winning record (he was 1-0 in 2004) and one of only two seasons he won more than four games (he was 8-9 in 1996).  And it is not as if he has primarily been a reliever.  He started 118 of his 187 career games.

Topps's decision to include Kevin Jarvis in the 2006 Topps Update set was definitely a bizarre one, but as someone who wants to see as many Red Sox players as possible on cardboard, it was a welcome one.

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