In this series, I look at one player per year from 1991-the present who came out of nowhere or had a great year that no one really noticed or expected.
One of the biggest reasons that Boston was so successful in 2007 was their bullpen. Anchored by Jonathan Papelbon and also featuring strong years from Hideki Okajima, Javier Lopez, and the ageless Mike Timlin, their bullpen was one of the best they have had in a long time. 2007 was also the second full season by Manny Delcarmen, the Boston native.
Delcarmen pitched in just 44 games due to starting the season in Pawtucket, but he made it to the Red Sox to stay in mid-June and made a big impact. Delcarmen pitched to a very impressive ERA of 2.05 and struck out 41 in 44 innings against 17 walks. He also finished with a nice WHIP of 1.023. It was a very strong season and Delcarmen made the case to become the principal right-hander out of the pen for the next couple of years.
Delcarmen was effective again in 2008 as the main setup man but then began to falter in 2009. He struggled in 2010 before being traded to the Rockies. It was his last year in the Majors. Delcarmen has been bouncing from team to team trying to make it back since.