In this series, I will look at each player who played in 1981, the year I was born. Because, why not?
The Red Sox in the early 1980's were able to develop a startling number of good starting pitchers. Obviously the big name was Roger Clemens, but they also developed Oil Can Boyd, Bruce Hurst, Bob Ojeda and John Tudor.
Tudor was drafted in the third round of the secondary phase of the 1976 draft. The southpaw moved fairly quickly through the minor league system and made his Major League debut in 1979. He had a rough stint that first year, starting six games, but with a 6.43 ERA. He was good in 1980, going 8-5 with a 3.02 ERA in 16 games, 13 starts.
He made it into 18 games, starting eleven, in 1981. He pitched 78.2 innings with a record of 4-3 with a 4.78 ERA. He struck out 44 and walked 28. Tudor also notched his first, and only, career save and threw two complete games.
Tudor was able to build on this and turn into a solid, if unspectacular starter. He won 13 games each of the next two seasons. 1982 was the better year as he went 13-10 with a 3.63 ERA in 195.2 innings. He notched 146 strikeouts and 59 walks. The next year he was 13-12 with a 4.09 ERA in 242 innings, but his strikeouts dipped to 136 and he walked 81.
After the season, Boston had a surplus of young pitching and needed some more offense. Tudor was shipped to the Pirates in exchange for Mike Easler. Tudor had a good season, but the Pirates did not hang onto him either and he was sent to the Cardinals for George Hendrick. He had his best season there, finishing second in the Cy Young vote, going 21-8 with a 1.93 ERA. He was never quite as good again, but had several more good years with the Cardinals and Dodgers.
Tudor had a 39-32 record with the Red Sox with a 3.96 ERA over five seasons.