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Jeff Bajenaru

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Jeffrey Michael Bajenaru

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[edit] Biographical Information

Jeff Bajenaru was drafted in the 13th round of the 1998 amateur draft by the Oakland Athletics out of community college. He chose instead to go to the University of Oklahoma, where he got his degree. In '99, he went 3-0 with 8 saves and a 3.20 for Oklahoma and hit .312/.424/.502. Drafted by the White Sox in 1999, he did not sign for almost a year. Still with Oklahoma in 2000, he hit .342/.392/.551, making the Big Twelve Conference All-Conference team as an outfielder. On the hill, he went 1-2 with a 2.61 ERA and a conference-leading 20 saves.

Bajenaru was signed by scout John Kazanas as an undrafted free agent in June 2000. He made his pro debut that summer in rookie ball with the Bristol Sox and went 1-1 with five saves and a 3.77 ERA, but a stunning 31 strikeouts in 14 1/3 innings. He moved up to the Winston-Salem Warthogs and was 2-0 with 2 saves, a 4.38 ERA and 15 Ks in 12 1/3 innings. Returning to Winston-Salem in 2001, Jeff went 2-4 with 10 saves and a 3.35 ERA, striking out 51 in 40 1/3 IP. In two games with the Birmingham Barons, he fanned 5 in 4 innings and allowed no runs, but 7 baserunners. However, Bajenaru missed the whole 2002 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Jeff returned to baseball in 2003 and went 4-2 with 14 saves and a 3.20 ERA in Birmingham. He began the next season with the Charlotte Knights (1-2, 10 Sv, 1.80) before being called up to the majors in September. In 2005, he was again at Charlotte, and made the Triple A All-Star game. He had a fine 4-6, 19 Sv, 1.41 season, striking out 83 in 70 1/3 IP, allowing only 45 hits. Lefties hit .301 against him while right-handers managed just a .125 mark. He also was called up by the White Sox again, late in the season. In 12 2/3 innings in the major leagues, he has 11 strikeouts. In his first two big-league trials, he had a whopping 9.24 ERA, allowing 19 hits and 13 runs in 12 2/3 IP.

Before the 2006 season, the White Sox traded Bajenaru to the Diamondbacks for Alex Cintron. As of August 2, he is with the Tucson Sidewinders, where he has a record of 4-2 with 7 saves.

In 2010, Bajenaru was hired as a pitching coach at Riverside Community College for 2011. Months later, he was hired on as pitching coach for the AZL Diamondbacks for 2011-2013. He then coached the Missoula Osprey in 2014.

Beginning in 2005 he was a member of SABR.

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