Sean Newcomb

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Sean William Newcomb

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Biographical Information[edit]

Pitcher Sean Newcomb was drafted in the 1st round of the 2014 amateur draft by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and scout Nick Gorneault, with the 15th overall pick. That made him the highest drafted player in the history of the University of Hartford. He signed with the Angels on July 20th, a few days before the deadline. He made his debut that summer with the AZL Angels, appearing in two games before being promoted to the Burlington Bees. He was 0-1, 6.28 in 6 starts that first year, pitching 14 1/3 innings.

In 2015, he pitched for three different minor league teams. He began the season with Burlington, then was promoted to the Inland Empire 66ers after 7 starts, and moved up to AA with the Arkansas Travelers of the Texas League at the beginning of August. he was a combined 9-3, 2.38 in 27 starts and struck out 168 batters in 138 innings to confirm his rank as the top pitching prospect in the Angels organization. However, on November 12th, he was traded to the Atlanta Braves along with fellow pitching prospect Chris Ellis, SS Erick Aybar and $2.5 million in return for SS Andrelton Simmons and minor league catcher Jose Briceno. He then spent the 2016 season with the Mississippi Braves of the Southern League, where he was 8-7, 3.86 in 27 starts, striking out 152 batters in 140 innings. He began the 2017 season with the Gwinnett Braves and was 3-3, 2.97 after 11 starts when he was called up to Atlanta.

Newcomb made his major league debut starting for the Braves in the first game of a doubleheader against the New York Mets on June 10, 2017. He was terrific, giving up only an unearned run in 6 1/3 innings while striking out 7. The run was unearned because of his own error in the 2nd inning. Unfortunately, his opponent that day, Robert Gsellman, pitched even better, with 6 2/3 scoreless innings, and Sean was ultimately charged with his team's 6-1 loss. He recorded his first career win on June 27th, pitching six scoreless innings against the San Diego Padres in a 3-0 win. He went 4-9, 4.32 in 19 starts that first season.

On July 29, 2018 he came as close to pitching a no-hitter as a pitcher can, as he had two strikes on the Los Angeles Dodgers' Chris Taylor with two outs in the 9th when he gave up a single through the left side of the infield. It was his 134th pitch of the game, easily surpassing his previous career high of 111, and he was lifted after that hit. Until then, he had only given up a walk to Yasiel Puig in the 6th. Taylor eventually came in to score, but Newcomb was credited with a 4-1 win. The attention focused on him by the unsuccessful effort also had the result of unearthing some long-buried tweets he had made back in high school that contained homophobic language. It was a development very similar to what had happened to Josh Hader of the Milwaukee Brewers at the All-Star Game a couple of weeks earlier, and like Hader he expressed remorse for what he had done in the stupidity of his teenage years. He went 12-9, 3.90 in 31 games, including 30 starts, pitching 164 innings, during which he struck out 160 batters and allowed just 137 hits. In the Division Series against the Dodgers, he pitched 2 innings in relief in Game 1, allowing just one hit, then started Game 3 on October 7th. After facing the minimum number of batters through the first two innings, and with the Braves having taken a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the 2nd, he found trouble in the 3rd by walking a couple of batters and gave way to Kevin Gausman with 2 outs. Both runners then came in to score on a single by Justin Turner coupled with an error by LF Ronald Acuna. He was not involved in the decision as Atlanta eventually won the game, 6-5, before being eliminated in Game 4.

In 2019, he was sent down to AAA Gwinnett after just 3 starts, then when he came back in May moved to the bullpen where he pitched well as a set-up man. On August 10th, he was charged with a 7-6 loss when he gave up a run to the Miami Marlins in the bottom of the 10th, then erupted in the clubhouse, kicking a garbage can, which in turn caused a fire extinguisher to fall off the wall and discharge itself, covering the room in white powder. A clean-up crew had to be called in as his teammates were unable to recover their belongings until the clean-up was completed. A thoroughly embarrassed Newcomb had to apologize and offer to reimburse the costs. It had been a frustrating game all around, as the Braves had blown a four-run lead in the 9th against the worst team in the majors, with new acquisitions Mark Melancon and Shane Greene failing to get the job done.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • Won one World Series with the Atlanta Braves in 2021 (he did not play in the World Series)

Further reading[edit]

  • Tori McElhaney: "Newcomb falls 1 out shy of no-no in Braves' win",, July 29, 2018. [1]
  • Tori McElhaney: "Newcomb apologizes after offensive tweets surface",, July 29, 2018. [2]

Related Sites[edit]