DU Alum Joe Beimel Traded to Contender

Duquesne sports hall of famer Joe Beimel was traded by the 32-71 Washington Nationals to the 56-47 Colorado Rockies for two right-handed minor league pitchers and $300,000. Beimel, a lefty, signed a one-year $2 million free agent contract this spring with Washington.

According to the Washington Post, Joe Beimel was dining at the Tap Room pub in the Omni William Penn Hotel when he got the call around 3:00 p.m., an hour prior to the trade deadline. A subject of trade rumors, Beimel had concluded he would be with the Nationals for the rest of the year. The phone call changed that. "I'm excited. It's a chance to go pitch for a team that is competing," Beimel said. (MLB.com/wash)

Beimel headed to PNC Park "... to gather his belongings and say goodbye." (WP) Washington was scheduled to take on the home-team Pittsburgh Pirates that evening; the Pirates won 5-4.

In 45 appearances this season, Beimel pitched 39 2/3 innings and had a 3.40 ERA. He was credited with 10 holds but saw his record drop to 1-5.

The pitchers Colorado sent to Washington are Class AAA Ryan Mattheus, who recently had surgery, and Class AA Robinson Fabian.

Colorado, eight games behind MLB-leading Los Angeles Dodgers, is tied with fellow division rival San Francisco Giant in the wild card race. They have a half-game edge on St. Louis.

Colorado is now headed by former Pirate manager Jim Tracy who is also the father of Duquesne's Mark Tracy, a 2009 late-round draft pick by Colorado.

Tracy told Thomas Harding of MLB.com,

    "What we have now are two left-handers in our bullpen with very interesting contrasts. One [Morales] is a big-time power guy, and the other guy [Beimel] is a breaking-ball-type left-hander that can surprise you with a good fastball. He can throw a fastball in a very good spot. The thing that I really like about Joe Beimel is what he adds is experience, and he has the capability of making a very good left-handed hitter in the middle of somebody's order take a bad swing." (MLB.com/colo)

In 1998, Beimel was the first Duke ever to be selected in the MLB's First Year Player Draft when he was taken by the Pirates in the 18th round.

In addition to the Buccos, Beimel has also pitched with Minnesota, Tampa Bay and the L.A. Dodgers. His career rejuvenated when the Dodgers brought him up from its AAA team in Las Vegas in 2006. The Dodgers made the playoffs in two of Beimel's three seasons on the left coast.

He has a 4.23 career ERA in 435 appearances, mostly in relief though he did start 23 games with the Pirates. He has a 22-28 record with four saves and 65 holds. His strikeout to walk ratio is 282-214 (1.32). His lifetime batting average is .233; all 10 hits during his Pittsburgh stay. Beimel has a .931 fielding average with 29 putouts, 105 assists and nine double-plays against 10 errors.

The St. Mary's Pa. native, who transferred to Duquesne from Allegany College in Cumberland, Md., led the Dukes in wins (6), appearances (14), innings (65) and complete games (4) as a senior in 1998. He was second on the squad with 39 strikeouts and third in ERA at 4.71. He was inducted into Duquesne's Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.

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