Robert D. Whalen
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 200 lb.
- High School Haines City High School
- Debut August 3, 2016
- Final Game June 15, 2018
- Born January 31, 1994 in Stroudsburg, PA USA
Starting pitcher Rob Whalen began his professional career in 2012 at 18 years old.
He was taken by the New York Mets in the 12th round of the 2012 amateur draft, out of a high school in Florida. The scout was Mike Silvestri. He pitched one game for the Kingsport Mets that year and did not give up any earned runs. In 2013, he was 3-2 with a 1.87 ERA in 12 starts for Kingsport, allowing only 50 hits and 17 walks while striking out 76 batters in 72 1/3 innings. He was second in the Appalachian League in ERA (behind Edwin Diaz) and strikeouts (3 behind Diaz) and led in lowest opponent average.
Health issues limited him to 14 games in 2014, but he was excellent with the Savannah Sand Gnats of the South Atlantic League, going 9-1, 1.01 in 11 games. His other appearances that season came on a rehabilitation assignment with the GCL Mets. He allowed only 48 hits in 69 2/3 innings between the two teams.
In 2015, he began the year with the St. Lucie Mets of the Florida State League, going 4-5, 3.36 in 15 games. On July 24th, he was traded to the Atlanta Braves along with fellow pitching prospect John Gant, in return for major league infielders Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson. He finished the year with the Carolina Mudcats, going 1-2 in 3 starts for a combined record of 5-7, 3.35 in 18 games.
Rob began the 2016 season with the Mississippi Braves of the AA Southern League. In 18 starts, he went 7-5, 3.11, to earn a promotion to the AAA Gwinnett Braves on July 17th. Two weeks later, after going 0-1, 1.93 in 3 starts, he was called up to make his major league debut on August 3rd, starting against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He gave up 4 runs in 5 innings (all in the first, 3 on a Matt Joyce homer) but pitched just well enough to get credit for an 8-4 win as opposing hurler Jeff Locke (a former Braves farmhand) got rocked. In all he made 5 starts for the Braves, going 1-2, 6.57. On November 28th, he was sent to the Seattle Mariners alongside fellow P Max Povse in a trade for former top draft pick Alex Jackson. He pitched just once for Seattle in 2018, allowing just 1 hit in 4 innings of relief against the Boston Red Sox on June 15th. Most of his season was spent in AAA with the Tacoma Rainiers, where he was 7-7, 5.16 in 20 games, all starts. He headed to spring training with the M's in 2019, but surprisingly, announced his retirement at the end of February.