Friday, August 26, 2016

One-Card Wonder Pt. 32: Bob Howry

Like Willie Banks, Bob Howry is a reliever who would not have a Red Sox card were it not for Upper Deck 40 Man.  Howry had been the White Sox closer in 1999, saving 28 games as a 25 year old in his second season.  Despite this, he did not return to that role.  Maybe some White Sox fans have a better idea of what happened with that.

In 2002, Howry was traded to the Red Sox at the trading deadline for minor league pitchers Byeong-Hak An and Frank Francisco.  Francisco would go on to a 10 year Major League career, mostly with the Rangers.  He was a closer for a few seasons himself.  Howry was expected to help out in the bullpen, but he ended up 1-3 with a 5.00 ERA.  He did have 14 strikeouts as compared to just 4 walks in 18 innings, but he was definitely not the bullpen savior Boston had hoped for.

In 2003, Howry was one of the players expected to fill out the disastrous bullpen-by-committee experiment at the beginning of the year.  But after four bad outings in which he blew a save on April 1 and had a 12.46 ERA before being hurt.  He did not make it back to the Majors with the Red Sox.

Howry's career continued for several seasons with five more teams.  He never had a chance to close again but he did not have a few productive seasons, particularly with the Cubs.


  1. I think he was having some early control and arm issues in 2000, which if that was accurate, lead to Howry blowing saves left and right. It was not pretty. He wasn't the closer that ended the 1999 season, so Keith Foulke took over.

  2. Thank you for the information. Obviously I don't spend as much time looking at other teams.

  3. Howrey truly found his niche as a set up man and put up some good numbers on the other side of Chicago. For a while there, the back end of the Cubs bullpen was locked down with Howrey, Kerry Wood and a young Jeff Samardzjia taking the late innings.