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J. P. Howell

Howell playing for the Tampa Bay Rays on September 22, 2008.
Tampa Bay Rays — No. 39
Relief pitcher
Born: April 25, 1983 (1983-04-25) (age 26)
Modesto, California
Bats: Left Throws: Left 
MLB debut
June 11, 2005 for the Kansas City Royals
Career statistics
(through 2009 season)
Win-Loss     18-20
Earned run average     4.47
Strikeouts     307
Saves     19
Teams

James Phillip Howell (born April 25, 1983 in Modesto, California) is a Major League Baseball left-handed pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays. J.P. attended Saint Mary School in Sacramento, California. He is an alumnus of Jesuit High School in Carmichael, California and the University of Texas at Austin, where he lead the Longhorns to an appearance in the 2004 College World Series championship series . Howell had the best ERA in the World Series Tournament, achieving an impressive 0.77 ERA.

Howell is a soft tosser. He throws his sinker in the mid 80's, topping out at 90 MPH. He also throws a knuckle-curve that's been described by scouts as "heavy" because of its extremely sharp downward break. He throws a change-up that breaks away from right-handed hitters. Howell's arsenal also includes a cutter. Howell has solid command of all four pitches.

Howell made his Major League Baseball debut with the Kansas City Royals on June 11, 2005. On June 20, 2006 Howell was traded to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for infielder Fernando Cortez and outfielder Joey Gathright,and made his Devil Rays debut on August 1, 2006.

He pitched out of the bullpen for the Rays in 2008 and became one of the team's primary closers. He went 6-1 with a 2.22 ERA in 64 games, striking out 92 batters while earning three saves. He also pitched in the 2008 World Series.

On July 19, 2009, Howell became only the second Rays pitcher to record three saves in a row in a series (Troy Percival being the first). In a bit of baseball irony, this feat came against his former team, the Royals, in Kansas City.

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