Michael Thomas Roth
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 1", Weight 210 lb.
- School University of South Carolina
- High School Riverside High School (Greer)
- Debut April 13, 2013
Michael Roth was one of the top pitchers in College World Series history. He made his big league debut in 2013 after just 27 minor league innings.
Roth was All-State twice in high school and was named a high school All-American twice by Louisville Slugger. He was 1-1 with a 4.22 ERA as a college freshman in 2009. In 2010, he was superb, going 2-1 with 3 saves and a 1.34 ERA in 37 games, with a WHIP under 1. He did not start a game until the 2010 College World Series, when he was called on twice and excelled, beating Clemson with a 3-hit, 1-run complete game. He then got the call in the national title game on three days' rest, the last one played at Rosenblatt Stadium. He allowed one run on a Niko Gallego hit, but left with a deficit against Rob Rasmussen and UCLA. After he left, South Carolina rallied for a 2-1 win. He was 1-0 with a 1.10 ERA in the College World Series, with 9 hits in 16 innings.
Michael was one of the top pitchers in college baseball in 2011, with a 14-3, 1.06 record and .208 opponent average. He was named first-team All-Southeastern Conference (along with Grayson Garvin, who beat him out for Conference Pitcher of the Year) and was named a first-team All-American by Baseball America (the other pitchers selected were Trevor Bauer, Sean Gilmartin, Taylor Jungmann and Cody Martin). He led the SEC in wins, innings (145) and ERA. Nationally, he was second to Martin in ERA, tied Ross Stripling for first in wins and was 24th with 112 strikeouts. In the 2011 College World Series, he turned in two quality start no-decisions. Then, in the finale, he beat Karsten Whitson and the University of Florida (2 R, 5 H in 7 2/3 IP) to give South Carolina another title. He was 1-0 with a 1.23 ERA and 13 hits in 22 innings for the Series. Roth and Matt Price were the pitchers named to the CWS All-Tournament Team. The Cleveland Indians took him in the 31st round of the 2011 amateur draft but he did not sign.
Roth was South Carolina's ace again during 2012 at 9-1, 2.43 with a .209 opponent average. He was 64th in Division I in ERA and tied for 37th in wins. He was second in the SEC in ERA, .05 behind Chris Stratton. Stratton and Kevin Gausman were named the All-Conference pitchers. He beat Florida and Kent State in the 2012 College World Series. For the third year in a row, he was called on for the College World Series finale. This time, he did well, giving one run and 3 hits in 6 2/3 IP against the University of Arizona, but his bullpen blew it and he had a no-decision in a 4-1 defeat. He again made the All-Tournament team.
Roth finished as the career leader in College World Series finale starts (3) and innings pitched in College World Series play (60 1/3). His four College World Series wins were second all-time behind Price's five. His 1.49 College World Series ERA was 5th-best among hurlers with 30+ innings.
Roth was 0-2 with a 4.91 ERA in 11 games for the 2012 Orem Owlz. He pitched for the Great Britain national team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers. He made one appearance and led the team for the event with 5 strikeouts but otherwise it was not too good; relieving Kyle Wilson with a 2-0 deficit to open the 4th against Team Canada, he worked 3 1/3 innings and allowed six hits, a walk and four runs before Greg Hendrix replaced him in a 11-1 defeat. The biggest hits were a two-run homer by Jimmy Van Ostrand and a RBI double by Adam Loewen.
Roth made one start for the 2013 Arkansas Travelers and threw five shutout innings for his first pro win. He was then called up to the Angels with 27 minor league innings under his belt, after Kevin Jepsen went on the DL. In his MLB debut, he replaced Sean Burnett with a 4-1 deficit in the top of the 8th against the Astros and retired Justin Maxwell on a grounder then fanned both Jason Castro and Chris Carter. In the 9th, he continued with the Ks, getting both Carlos Pena and J.D. Martinez. Brett Wallace popped out to cap a superb debut for Roth. Meanwhile, the Angels had scored twice in the bottom of the 8th and got two more in the bottom of the 9th to hand him the victory.
Michael was 1-1 with a 7.20 ERA in 15 games overall for the 2013 Angels and 6-3, 4.20 with Arkansas. He was 1-0 with a 3.43 ERA for the Mesa Solar Sox of the Arizona Fall League. He spent most of 2014 back with Arkansas and was sharper at 11-7, 2.63 but again struggled in the majors, going 1-0 with a 8.65 ERA and 2.03 WHIP in 7 games for the 2014 Angels. He tied for third in the Texas League in wins and second in ERA (.64 behind Tyler Anderson). Among Angels farmhands, he tied Nate Smith for second in wins, 3 behind Tyler DeLoach. He joined Anderson, Cam Bedrosian, Andy Ferguson, Chris Jensen, James Needy and Tommy Shirley as the TL All-Star pitchers.
A free agent, he signed by the Cleveland Indians. He spent all of 2015 in the minors, going 9-9 with a 4.85 ERA for the Columbus Clippers. He was 1-2 with a 3.38 ERA in the Dominican League for the Águilas Cibaeñas, walking only four in 32 innings. Let go by Cleveland, he signed with the Texas Rangers. He was 11-5 with a 2.97 ERA for the Round Rock Express. He was second among Rangers minor leaguers in wins, one behind Yohander Mendez. He was second in the 2016 Pacific Coast League in ERA (.11 behind Brady Rodgers) and tied Jharel Cotton for 10th in wins. He did not make the PCL All-Star team as Ty Blach was picked as the top lefty pitcher. He got into one game for the 2016 Rangers but struggled (10 H, 3 HR, 1 BB, 6 R, 3 K in 3 2/3 IP).
Back with Great Britain for the 2017 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers, he got the nod in the opener versus Israel. He allowed only one run in six (6 H, 0 BB, 4 K) to battle evenly with fellow big league vets Jason Marquis and Josh Zeid. In the 7th, Vaughan Harris took over and Britain went on to lose the game as the bullpen failed to do as well. He tied Steven Kent for third in all the qualifiers in ERA for pitchers who allowed at least one earned run, behind only Marquis and Zeid interestingly enough). Among hurlers with 6+ IP, Dylan Unsworth, Karl Triana and Alex Sogard had 0 ERAs, putting Roth tied for 6th in ERA among pitchers with six or more innings. Britain did not advance to the 2017 World Baseball Classic.