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Brent Strom

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Brent Terry Strom

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Lefthander Brent Strom pitched for the New York Mets, Cleveland Indians, and San Diego Padres from 1972 to 1977. He compiled 22-39 lifetime record.

Prior to playing professionally, Strom attended the University of Southern California, leading them to two NCAA championships. He was originally drafted in the sixth round by the California Angels in the June Secondary phase of the 1967 amateur draft. In the January Regular phase of the 1967 draft, he was drafted in the second round by the San Francisco Giants. He did not sign either time. He finally did sign when the Mets drafted him third overall in the 1970 amateur draft.

Strom began his professional career as a starting pitcher in 1970 with the Visalia Mets. For them, he went 4-5 with a 3.75 ERA and 79 strikeouts in 72 innings of work. The following year, he split time between the Memphis Blues and Tidewater Tides, going a combined 13-5 with a 2.85 ERA and 147 strikeouts in 180 innings of work.

He earned a call up to the majors in 1972 after doing well with the Tidewater Tides. With them, he went 6-7 with a 3.30 ERA in 142 innings of work. He made his big league debut on July 31, pitching well against the Montreal Expos. In his first game, he pitched 6 2/3 innings of work, allowing only two runs on two hits and four walks, striking out seven in the process. Although he pitched well, he did not get the decision. The rest of his season didn't turn out too well - overall, he appeared in 11 games, starting five of them. He went 0-3 with a 6.82 ERA.

On November 27, 1972, he was traded with Bob Rauch to the Indians for Phil Hennigan. He played only one season with the Indians - 1973 - going 2-10 with a 4.61 ERA in 27 games (18 starts).

He did not play in 1974, but on June 21 of that year he was sent (with Terry Ley) to the Padres to complete an earlier trade that occurred on June 15. The Indians received Steve Arlin in return.

He went 8-8 in 18 games for the Padres in 1975. His 2.54 ERA was second on the team among all pitchers with at least 15 starts - he trailed only Randy Jones' 2.24 ERA. He had another respectable year in 1976, although his record was 12-16. In 210 2/3 innings, he posted a 3.29 ERA, and his 103 strikeouts led the team. 1977 would end up being his final season in the majors. He appeared in only eight games, making three starts. He went 0-2 with a 12.42 ERA. He played his final game on May 17, a game in which the Padres were routed by the Chicago Cubs 23-6.

Strom's sudden decline can be attributed to an elbow injury.[1]

Although he did not play in the majors after the 1977 season, he remained active in the minors for a few more years. He did not play ball at all in 1978 after being released by the Padres in March of that year. However, he was signed by the Houston Astros in March of 1979. In his first year in their system, he pitched for the Daytona Beach Astros, the Columbus Astros and Charleston Charlies. He went a combined 10-7 with a 3.63 ERA in 139 innings of work. In 1980, he pitched for the Tucson Toros, 11-6 with a 4.37 ERA in 136 innings. He played his final year in 1981 with the Albuquerque Dukes, in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization.

Statistically, he is most similar to Ross Baumgarten, according to the Similarity Scores at Baseball-Reference.com (through May, 2008).

In 1992, Strom served as the pitching coach of the Tucson Toros. He also served as the pitching coach for the Houston Astros and Kansas City Royals. He served as the minor league pitching coordinator in the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals organization as well. He then serves as the St. Louis Cardinals' minor league pitching instructor. Strom coached for the Chinese national team in the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

In 2014, he returned to the major leagues as pitching coach for the Astros.

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