From BR Bullpen
Ryan Michael Cullen
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 2", Weight 204 lb.
Ryan Cullen reached AAA in 2006 and 2007, then pitched in the independent leagues and in Taiwan's CPBL.
Cullen was picked by the Texas Rangers in the 33rd round of the 1998 amateur draft as a draft-and-follow pick. After a semester of junior college, he made his professional debut with the 1999 Pulaski Rangers, going 1-2 with a 3.54 ERA and 47 K in 40 2/3 IP.
In 2000, the southpaw was 6-6 with 9 saves and a 3.04 ERA for the Savannah Sand Gnats. He whiffed 103 in 94 2/3 innings. He was then traded with Aaron Harang to the Oakland Athletics for Randy Velarde.
During 2001, he pitched for the Modesto Nuts, going 2-4 with a save and a 4.23 ERA; he allowed 112 hits in 83 innings after giving up well under a hit per inning the prior campaign.
Ryan was 3-4 with four saves and a 4.91 ERA for the 2002 Visalia Oaks, again giving up over a hit per inning. In '03, the 23-year-old split time between Modesto (1-0, 3 Sv, 2.83) and Midland Rockhounds (2-1, 2 Sv, 3.38, 49 K in 45 1/3 IP).
In 2004, the Pennsylvanian native did not pitch. He was signed by the New York Mets chain for 2005 but bombed with the Binghamton Mets (2 R in 2 IP) and St. Lucie Mets (27 H, 13 R in 12 1/3 IP, 0-1). In 2006, he pitched for Binghamton (5-4, 2.98, 52 K in 30 1/3 IP), Brooklyn Cyclones (1 R in 3 1/3 IP) and Norfolk Tides (5 R in 7 2/3 IP).
Cullen pitched in 2007 for the Tigres del Licey (5.87, 2 Sv), Binghamton (0-1, 4.38) and New Orleans Zephyrs. In his longest look at AAA with New Orleans, he was 2-4 with a 3.06 ERA in 40 games as a reliable relief pitcher.
In July of 2009, the Brother Elephants of Taiwan signed Ryan to replace Tagg Bozied on the roster. He was amazing in his 29 outings, registering 20 saves and allowing a 0.56 ERA and .80 WHIP. Despite not coming to Taiwan until mid-season, he nearly led the 2009 CPBL in saves, finishing second to Yueh-Ping Lin's 24. He helped the Elephants post the best second-half record in the CPBL after the worst first half, earning them a spot in the 2009 Taiwan Series.