Cormier with the Tampa Bay Rays
|Born: August 19, 1980|
|June 19, 2004, for the Arizona Diamondbacks|
|Last MLB appearance|
|May 21, 2011, for the Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Earned run average||5.07|
Lance Robert Cormier (CORE-mee-ay) (born August 19, 1980) is an American former professional baseball pitcher. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Tampa Bay Rays, Atlanta Braves, Arizona Diamondbacks, Baltimore Orioles, and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Cormier went to Lafayette High School, and graduated in 1998. He attended the University of Alabama, and in his pitching career there, he went 31-16 with a 3.98 ERA and 17 saves. Lance started his career as a closer and recorded a University of Alabama freshman record 11 saves. In his junior year, he switched to being a starting pitcher and went 20-8 in the last two seasons of his college career. A highlight of his college career includes being a first team Academic All-American in his senior year. He graduated in 2002 with a degree in finance.
Twice Cormier was drafted by a major league team, but he did not sign for either. On June 2, 1998, he was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 40th round of the 1998 Major League Baseball draft, but did not sign. On June 5, 2001, he was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 10th round of the 2001 Major League Baseball draft, but again he did not sign. The Arizona Diamondbacks drafted him in the 4th round of the 2002 Major League Baseball draft on June 4, 2002.
In 2002, Cormier pitched for the Single-A South Bend Silver Hawks and the Yakima Bears. With the Silver Hawks, he went 3-0 with 17 strikeouts and a 2.93 ERA in 27.2 innings. With the Yakima team, he went 0-0 with 3 strikeouts and a 27.00 ERA in 1 inning. His combined statistics for the year were 3 wins and 0 losses, with 20 K's and a 3.83 ERA in 28.2 innings pitched.
Cormier played 15 games for the Lancaster JetHawks in 2003, going 6-5 with 59 strikeouts and a 3.82 ERA, before being moved up to the Double-A El Paso Diablos. He had 2 wins and 3 losses, 26 strikeouts, and a 6.10 ERA with the Diablos. His stats for the season were an 8-8 win-loss record, 85 strikeouts, and a 4.53 ERA in 135.2 innings.
Lance started 2004 with El Paso, going 2-3 with a 2.29 ERA in 10 games, including one of his best games on May 6, where he allowed 2 hits in 7 innings and struck out 10. In May, he was promoted to the Triple-A Tucson Sidewinders, where he had 1 win and 1 loss and a 1.77 ERA. On June 18, he was called up to the big leagues when pitcher José Valverde was placed on the disabled list. His first major league start was on June 19 against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He lost 11-4, and allowed 5 hits in 1 inning, and was sent back down to Tucson, where he was elected the Diamondbacks June Minor League Pitcher of the Month.
After being brought back up to the majors on July 29, Cormier beat the Houston Astros, 6-4 in 6.0 innings pitched. He struck out five, and recorded his first major league hit. He made a move to the bullpen after losing his next 2 games. From August 29 to September 11, batters only hit .136 off of Lance. He recorded his first big-league RBI on July 29.
In 2005, Cormier appeared in 67 games for the Diamondbacks. His 7 wins tied for fourth place among National League relief pitchers. He pitched 18.0 scoreless innings at the beginning of the season, and on April 29, he recorded a career-high four strikeouts against the San Diego Padres. He compiled a 1.04 ERA in his last 9 games of the season.
On December 7, 2005, Cormier was traded to the Atlanta Braves along with pitcher Óscar Villarreal for catcher Johnny Estrada. He made his first appearance for the Braves on April 3, 2006. After being demoted to the Richmond Braves on August 21, Cormier was called back up to the big league team four days later on August 25.
Cormier suffered an injury during spring training 2007 which kept him out for the season's first two months. In his season debut, he allowed 8 earned runs in only 4 innings against the Chicago Cubs. In his next start, he allowed 5 earned runs again against the Cubs. It was obvious that he needed more rehab, and was sent down to Triple-A Richmond. After pitching a complete game shutout in Richmond, Cormier was called up on August 2. He allowed 2 earned runs in relief against the Colorado Rockies on August 3. On August 11, his first start since June 3, Cormier allowed 4 runs in 4 innings and left with a no-decision. He earned his first win of the 2007 season on August 27 allowing 2 runs in 7 innings pitched. He won consecutive starts for the first time in his career one start later against the Philadelphia Phillies. He finished the season a disappointing 2-6 with a 7.09 ERA.
Tampa Bay Rays
Los Angeles Dodgers
On February 16, 2011, he signed a minor league contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers and made the big league club out of spring training. The Dodgers mostly used him in long relief, where he was 0-1 with a 9.88 ERA before he was designated for assignment on May 24. On June 2, he cleared waivers and became a free agent.
Return to Tampa Bay
Cormier signed a minor league contract with the Tampa Bay Rays on June 6, 2011. He was assigned to the Triple-A Durham Bulls. With Durham, he appeared in 20 games (making 4 starts) and was 4-3 with a 5.51 ERA.
- Zenor, John (5 June 2002). "Tide's Brown leads state draft choices". The Gadsden Times. p. B3. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
- Rubby De La Rosa to be recalled?, ESPN, May 24, 2011.
- "Dodgers | Lance Cormier becomes free agent". KFFL.com. fantasysp.com. Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 2 June 2011.
- Nicholson-Smith, Ben. "Rays Sign Lance Cormier". MLBTradeRumors.com. Retrieved 6 June 2011.
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