San Antonio – Former St. Mary’s University baseball player Carlos Guevara was recently called up to Major League Baseball by the San Diego Padres. Guevara, a native of Uvalde, played for the Rattlers from 2001-03.
Guevara, who is in his first season in the Padres organization, was a Rule Five Draft selection by the Florida Marlins in December, who then shipped him to the Padres in a trade. He started out spring training with the Padres, until a hamstring injury sidelined him. Once fully recovered he started pitching for the Padres AAA Portland team. He tossed six scoreless innings over five games for the Beavers, allowing just two hits and one walk, while striking out five. That was enough for the Padres, who called him up on May 31 after Shawn Estes went on the disabled list.
Just three days after his call-up he made his major league debut against the Chicago Cubs in San Diego. He tossed a perfect ninth inning against the Cubs, striking out two. What’s more, he almost picked up the win as his Padre teammates rallied for three runs in the bottom of the inning, before falling by just one run, 7-6. Six days later he picked up his first Major League win with a scoreless inning of work against the New York Mets. Last night he tied for his longest night of work, tossing two innings against the New York Yankees, striking out three in the Padres 8-0 loss.
This year is the sixth for Guevara in professional baseball. He was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in 2003 in the seventh round. He quickly established himself as a strikeout pitcher, despite not have a 90-mile fastball in his repertoire. Guevara picked up 40 saves in five years, including 16 last season. He also struck out 389 batters in 303.2 innings of work in the minors. Over the past two years at Double-A, he struck out 176 batters including 87 in 62 innings last year.
During his career with the Rattlers Guevara posted a 22-8 overall record with a 3.17 ERA in 51 appearances. He primarily worked out of the bullpen over his first two years with the team, but was a major contributor to the Rattlers national championship run in 2001, going 7-1 with a 3.99 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 38.1 innings as a freshman. His senior season he went 9-3 with a 2.77 ERA and 100 strikeouts in just 87.2 innings. His 219 career strikeouts rank in the top 10 in St. Mary’s history. He also holds the St. Mary’s single-season record for fewest walks per nine innings with just 2.36 in 2003.
Guevara is the fifth former Rattler to get the call to the Major Leagues over the last 40 years. Bill Grabarkewitz was the first Rattler to make it to the major leagues, playing for five teams from 1969-75, starting with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Danny Heep was the most successful former Rattler in the Majors, playing in 883 games over 12 years and winning a World Championship with the New York Mets in 1986. Jeff Sparks was the next to make the jump, playing for the Tampa Bay Rays from 1999-00. Jeff Kubenka was the last Rattler to get the call, playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1998 and 1999 as a starting pitcher.
The Rattlers finished the 2008 regular season with a 39-17 overall record and a 35-14 mark in Heartland Conference play, good for second place in the league standings. The Rattlers finished the season by winning eight of their last nine games.
St. Mary’s Major League Baseball Players
1969-75 – Bill Grabarkewitz, Los Angeles Dodgers, California Angels, Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs, Oakland Athletics
1979-91 – Danny Heep, Houston Astros, New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox, Atlanta Braves
1998-99 – Jeff Kubenka, Los Angeles Dodgers
1999-00 – Jeff Sparks, Tampa Bay Devils Rays
2008 – Carlos Guevara, San Diego Padres