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Rick Engle

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Richard Douglas Engle

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Pitcher Rick Engle made only one major league appearance in his career, pitching a couple of innings in relief for the Montreal Expos against the Cincinnati Reds on a rainy night at Riverfront Stadium on September 2, 1981. He relieved Stan Bahnsen, who was making a spot start, in the bottom of the 3rd with the Expos already down, 3-0. Struggling with his command, he gave up 4 runs on 6 hits and a walk before turning the ball over to Tom Gorman, who also made his debut that night. Gorman was much more impressive and ended up pitching regularly down the stretch, while Engle never got into another game. There was some thought of having him start the final game of the season against the New York Mets on October 4th, after the Expos had clinched the second-half title in the strike-shortened season, but manager Jim Fanning decided to give the ball to Bill Gullickson instead, who pitched a couple of innings before four relievers, including Gorman, completed the game. Engle thus ended up with an 18.00 ERA for his career

Signed by the Expos as an amateur free agent on March 17, 1977, Engle had some success as a starter in the minors, going 7-8, 2.67 with 5 shutouts with the West Palm Beach Expos in 1978 and 12-7, 4.50 with the Denver Bears of the American Association in 1980, one of the all-time great minor league teams. He was added to the Expos' 40-man roster after that season and returned to Denver in 1981, where he went 6-7, 3.74 in 31 games, including 21 starts, before being a September call-up. However, he struggled badly for the Wichita Aeros in 1982, going 3-3, 8.07 in 24 games and was demoted to the AA Memphis Chicks, for whom he pitched better, with a 3.52 ERA in 10 games. Both Denver and Wichita were tremendous hitters' parks, which inflated hitters' statistics and were very tough on pitchers. After the season, the Expos let him go and he moved to the Baltimore Orioles organization in 1983, but was released after going 2-2, 7.23 in 7 games for the Charlotte O's of the Southern League. Although he had some good stuff, he struggled a bit with his control in the minor leagues, walking more batters than he struck out in 1977, 1980, 1982 and 1983. In 7 minor league seasons, he went 43-41, 4.51 in 172 games, with 464 walks and 482 Ks in 791 innings.

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