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John Wetteland

Born: August 21, 1966 (1966-08-21) (age 43)
San Mateo, California
Batted: Right Threw: Right 
MLB debut
May 31, 1989 for the Los Angeles Dodgers
Last MLB appearance
September 20, 2000 for the Texas Rangers
Career statistics
Games pitched     618
Earned run average     2.97
Strikeouts     804
Saves     330
Career highlights and awards

John Karl Wetteland (August 21, 1966) is the bullpen coach for the Seattle Mariners. He has been a Major League Baseball pitcher who specialized as a closer for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Montreal Expos, New York Yankees, and Texas Rangers.


Playing career

Wetteland was signed by the Dodgers as their second choice in the June 1985 amateur draft (Secondary Phase). He was later claimed by the Detroit Tigers in December 1989 as a Rule 5 Draft pick, but was soon returned to the Dodgers. While playing in the Pacific Coast League, he garnered notice by earning 20 saves in 20 chances. He made his major league debut on May 31, 1989. After struggling with his first five starts in 1990, Wetteland asked to be switched to the bullpen, and became a full-time closer in 1992.

After the 1991 season, Wetteland was traded twice; first to the Cincinnati Reds for Eric Davis, and then to the Expos for Dave Martinez. On April 5, 1995 he was traded to the Yankees for Fernando Seguignol.

During the 1996 season, he led the American League in saves, with 43, and appeared in the All-Star Game. Wetteland was given the World Series MVP Award that year, recording the maximum four saves possible during the Series, tying the record for the most saves in a single postseason series, and setting a record for saves in the full postseason, with seven. He was awarded with the 1996 Rolaids Relief Man Award.

The Yankees allowed Wetteland to leave as a free agent due to the emergence of Mariano Rivera. He joined the Texas Rangers on December 16, 1996, signing a 4-year contract worth $23 million. Before the 1999 season, Wetteland underwent elbow surgery. Although this robbed him of some of his fastball speed, it allowed him to expand his repertoire to include a slider, curveball, and change-up. Wetteland was again named to the All-Star team for the 1999 season, where he pitched a scoreless 9th inning, and became the first Rangers pitcher to earn an All-Star save. His 43 saves that year set a new Rangers record. His final game was on September 20, 2000, and he retired after his Rangers contract expired during the 2000 offseason.

Wetteland was awarded the Rolaids Reliever of the Decade after earning the most saves of any pitcher during the 1990s. He is also the Rangers all-time saves leader. His final win/loss percentage was .516, with 48 wins and 45 losses.

In 2005, Wetteland was inducted into the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame.


Wetteland, met his wife, Michele, while playing for the Double-A San Antonio Missions. They, along with their four children, live in Texas. He was known for wearing the same baseball cap throughout the entire season.

On May 18, 2007, Wetteland, a born-again Christian, was introduced as an assistant baseball coach and Bible teacher at Liberty Christian School in Argyle, Texas, where he currently lives.

On November 12, 2009, Wetteland was hospitalized for what was originally reported to be a "mental issue."[1] In a subsequent statement upon Wetteland's release the same night, the Seattle Mariners indicated that the cause of the hospitalization was "because of an extremely high heart rate" linked to high blood pressure.[2]

Coaching career

On January 27, 2006, Wetteland was hired to be the bullpen coach of the Washington Nationals. However, on June 15, 2006, Wetteland was relieved of his duties by manager Frank Robinson, and offered another position within the organization.

On December 3, 2008, Wetteland was announced as the bullpen coach for the Seattle Mariners.[3]

See also


External links

Preceded by
Jose Mesa
American League Saves Champion
Succeeded by
Randy Myers
Preceded by
Tom Glavine
World Series MVP
Succeeded by
Liván Hernández
Preceded by
Bob Natal
Washington Nationals Bullpen Coach
Succeeded by
Randy Knorr
Preceded by
Norm Charlton
Seattle Mariners Bullpen Coach
Succeeded by


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