Keith Comstock

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Keith Martin Comstock

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Biographical Information[edit]

Keith Comstock was drafted in the 5th round of the 1976 amateur draft by the California Angels. He began his pro career with the Idaho Falls Angels of the Pioneer League. In 15 games he was 1-4, 3.89 ERA, with 5 SV. Showing a live arm, and a wild one, he struck out 45 in 37 IP, but walked 32. Moving up to A ball in 1977, Comstock split the year between low-A Quad City Angels and high-A Salinas Angels. In the Midwest League he was 1-0, 5.06 ERA, 5 Sv, with 39 SO in 32 IP, but also 18 BB. In the California League, he was 1-1, 4.64 ERA, 6 Sv, with 41 SO in 33 IP, but another 18 BB. Returning to Salinas in 1978, Comstock was 6-4 2.85 ERA in 27 games. He had 2 saves, but also made 6 starts, and his strikeout rate dropped appreciably, while his walks stayed level (46/71 BB/SO in 82 IP). Despite his wildness, 1979 saw Comstock reach AA with the El Paso Diablos. In 16 games (8 starts, 8 in relief) he was 2-5, 7.14 ERA, with an awful 35/18 BB/SO ratio in 63 IP. The Angels released him July 6 (after the draft infused new players to the system?).

In February of 1980, the Oakland A's signed the free agent and sent him to the Eastern League. For the West Haven Whitecaps Comstock was 2-7, 4.19 ERA in 29 games, with a 37/52 BB/SO ratio in 73 IP. Back with West Haven in 1981, Comstock got significant time in the rotation. In 35 games (22 starts), he was 8-7, 4.10 ERA, and his strikeout rate rebounded a bit as he K'd 133 in 145 IP while walking 80. Comstock spent most of 1982 in West Haven, but also got his first taste of AAA. In the EL, he was 9-5, 3.02 ERA in 24 games (18 starts), and having his best BB/SO ratio since 1977 (69/132 in 125 IP). With the Tacoma Tigers, things were a little rougher. He was 1-2 7.16 ERA in 5 games (all starts), striking out 22 but walking 12 in 27 2/3 IP.

In March of 1983, the Detroit Tigers bought Comstock, and they also sent him to AA. Playing in his third AA league (the Southern League), this time for the Birmingham Barons, Comstock was 12-3 3.21 ERA in 37 games (14 starts) for the SL champs. He had probably his best command of the strike zone yet as he struck out 136 in 145 2/3 IP and walked 63. On October 23 the Tigers granted Comstock free agency.

The Minnesota Twins immediately signed Comstock on October 23rd. On April 3, 1984, the 28-year-old Comstock made his major league debut. In 4 games for the Twins, Comstock compiled a 8.53 ERA in 6 1/3 IP with 2 SO and 4 walks. He spent most of the year with the Toledo Mud Hens where he was exclusively a starter. In 23 games he was 12-6, 2.79 ERA, with his best BB/SO ratio yet. He struck out 154 and walked 56 in 164 1/3 IP. The Twins released him in November.

Comstock spent 1985 and 1986 in Japan. For the Yomiuri Giants, he was 8-8 4.19 ERA in 1985 and 0-2 7.83 ERA in 3 games in 1986. The San Francisco Giants signed the free agent in November of 1986 and turned him back into a reliever.

For the Phoenix Firebirds in 1987, Comstock was 4-2, 2.77 ERA, 2 Sv in 17 games, with 35 SO and 23 BB in 39 IP. In the majors that year his K rate went up, and his walk rate went slightly down. For the Giants, he was 2-0, 3.05 ERA in 15 games with 21 SO and 10 BB in 20 2/3 IP. On July 4, the Giants traded Comstock, Chris Brown, Mark Davis, and Mark Grant to the San Diego Padres for Dave Dravecky, Craig Lefferts, and Kevin Mitchell.

The trade was a good one for the Giants, but probably not for Comstock. In 26 games for the Padres, Comstock was 0-1 and his ERA went up to 5.50. His K rate was up, but so was his BB rate (21/38 BB/SO in 36 IP). For the Padres in 1988, Comstock was 0-0 in only 7 games with a 6.75 ERA. As the closer for the Las Vegas Stars he was 5-4, 3.14 ERA, 17 Sv and showing his best command yet (78 SO 31 BB in 71 1/3 IP). Comstock returned to Las Vegas in 1989, appearing in 28 games, and the Padres released him on June 18. Two days later he was signed by the Seattle Mariners.

Comstock appeared in 5 games for the Calgary Cannons. His composite Pacific Coast League line for 1989 showed a 9-2, 2.93 ERA 10 Sv, with excellent control. He struck out 64 and walked only 21 in 55 1/3 IP. For the Mariners, he was 1-2, 2.81 ERA with a 10/22 BB/SO ratio in 25 2/3 IP. 1990 would be Comstock's most successful season. Appearing in the majors for the full year, he was 7-4 2.89 ERA, 2 Sv in 60 games. He had 50 SO in 56 IP against 26 BB. Despite his success in 1990, Comstock pitched only one game for the Mariners in 1991, giving up 2 runs in 1/3 IP. For Calgary, he was 3-1, 3.28 ERA in 15 games, with 38 SO and 16 BB in 35 2/3 IP. The Mariners granted him free agency in October.

In the minor leagues, Comstock struck out 1152 in 1263 1/3 IP (8.21 per 9 IP), but walked 640 (4.56 per 9 IP).

In 1995-1996, Comstock was pitching coach for the Burlington (IA) Bees. He then became manager of the 1998 Salem-Keizer Volcanoes. He managed the Bakersfield Blaze in 1999, the San Jose Giants in 2000 and the 2001 AZL Giants. In 2002, he was pitching coach for the Cedar Rapids Kernels, in 2004 he was pitching coach for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes and in 2005 he was pitching coach for the Arkansas Travelers.

Comstock was a roving instructor in the Los Angeles Angels minor league system in 2006. In 2007 he the pitching coach of the Spokane Indians. Comstock was also a coach at the Seattle Mariners Fantasy Camp in Peoria, Arizona in January of 2007. After the 2007 season, Comstock was named rehab pitching coordinator by the Texas Rangers, a position he still held in 2011.

Comstock's brother, Brad Comstock, was a pitcher in the Giants chain in 1987-1988.

Year-By-Year Minor League Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs
1998 Salem-Keizer Volcanoes Northwest League 43-33 3rd (t) San Francisco Giants League Champs
1999 Bakersfield Blaze California League 64-76 7th San Francisco Giants
2000 San Jose Giants California League 53-87 9th San Francisco Giants
2001 AZL Giants Arizona League 29-27 3rd San Francisco Giants

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