Ernesto Frieri

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Ernesto Frieri
Frieri with the Pittsburgh Pirates
Free agent
Relief pitcher
Born: (1985-07-19) July 19, 1985 (age 34)
Arjona, Colombia
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
September 26, 2009, for the San Diego Padres
MLB statistics
(through 2015 season)
Win–loss record 11–13
Earned run average 3.55
Strikeouts 382
Saves 73

Ernesto (Gutiérrez) Frieri [free-eh'-ree] (born July 19, 1985) is a Colombian professional baseball relief pitcher who is a free agent. He has played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Tampa Bay Rays.

Professional career

San Diego Padres

Frieri was signed by scouts Robert Rowley and Marical DelValle. He began his professional career in 2005, splitting the season between the AZL Padres and Lake Elsinore Storm. For the AZL Padres, he went 7–1 with a 1.17 ERA in 17 games in five starts. In 4613 innings, he struck out 59 batters. In two relief appearances with the Storm, he went 0–0 with a 2.70 ERA.

In 2006 Frieri split the season between the Eugene Emeralds, Fort Wayne Wizards and Lake Elsinore Storm. With the Emeralds, he went 3–3 with a 3.82 ERA in 27 appearances in one start. In one game with the Wizards he had a 9.00 ERA, and in two games with the Storm he had a 6.00 ERA.

In 2007 played for the Wizards, appearing in 40 games, and Storm, appearing in 13 games, going a combined 2–2 with a 1.98 ERA and 92 strikeouts in 8613 innings.

In 2008, he played for the Storm, the Double-A San Antonio Missions and the Triple-A Portland Beavers. He went 8–6 with a 4.00 ERA in 33 games, appearing in 18 starts with the Storm. With the Missions, he went 1–0 with a 4.09 ERA in two games, and with the Beavers he went 1–0 with a 1.50 ERA in one game. Frieri had a break-out year in 2009 playing for the Double-A Missions and the Padres. With the Missions he went 10–9 with a 3.59 ERA with 118 strikeouts in 14013 innings pitched appearing in 27 games, 26 for starts. He made the Texas League All-Star team and on July 27 he was awarded the Texas League Pitcher of the Week. On September 14 he and Luis Durango were called up to the Major Leagues.[1][2] He made his Major League debut on September 26 against the Arizona Diamondbacks, pitching one inning of no-run ball and throwing two strikeouts. Frieri finished the 2009 season appearing in two games without giving up a run.

In 2010, Frieri made 33 appearances, sporting an ERA of 1.71 with 41 strikeouts. He became a permanent bullpen piece in 2011, appearing in 59 games for the Padres.

Frieri's pitching repertoire consists of a four-seam fastball (90–94 mph), which is his primary pitch, as well as a breaking ball (77–80) that is referred to variously as a curveball[3] or a slider.[4]

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Frieri during his tenure with the Los Angeles Angels in 2014

On May 3, 2012, Frieri was traded to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for second baseman Alexi Amarista and minor league pitcher Donn Roach.

Since joining the Angels, he has had historic numbers, including no hits or runs in 13 innings pitched in his first 13 appearances. With his strong pitching repertoire and historic numbers, he quickly became an Angels fan favorite. He earned his first career save on May 23, 2012 against the Oakland Athletics.

On September 25, 2012, Frieri was one of five pitchers (Zack Greinke, Garrett Richards, Scott Downs, Kevin Jepsen) to combine for 20 strikeouts in a nine-inning game, tying a major league record. For the season, Frieri notched 23 saves while striking out 80 batters in 54.1 innings for the Angels.

Frieri became the full time closer for the Angels in 2013. Frieri had his up and downs as closer but still notched 37 saves despite giving up 11 home runs.

On April 25, 2014, Frieri was pulled from the closer role in favor of Joe Smith after multiple bad outings. After a few questionable outings from Smith, Frieri and Smith began splitting the role. Frieri's 2014 season for the Angels was ugly, as he sported an ERA of 6.39 and allowed 8 home runs in 31 innings.

Pittsburgh Pirates

On June 27, 2014, Frieri was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for relief pitcher Jason Grilli.[5]

Frieri did not recover his control, as he surrendered 12 runs in 10.2 innings for the Pirates. He was designated for assignment on August 8, 2014, and outrighted to Triple-A Indianapolis Indians on August 13. On September 8, Frieri was released.[6]

Tampa Bay Rays

Frieri signed a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Rays on November 26, 2014.[7] On June 2nd, Frieri was designated for assignment by the Rays after once again suffering through bouts of inconsistency. In 23 and a third innings, Frieri struck out 19 while permitting 11 walks and 20 hits.[8]

Philadelphia Phillies

On December 14, 2015, Frieri signed a minor league deal with the Philadelphia Phillies.[9] He was released on April 5, 2016.[10]


  1. Padres call up a pair from San Antonio
  2. Padres recall Frieri, Durango from San Antonio
  3. "PITCHf/x Player Card: Ernesto Frieri". Retrieved 7 May 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Ernesto Frieri". FanGraphs. Retrieved 7 May 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Todd, Jeff (June 27, 2014). "Angels, Pirates Swap Ernesto Frieri and Jason Grilli". Retrieved June 27, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Pirates release Ernesto Frieri". September 8, 2014. Retrieved September 8, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Gleeman, Aaron (November 26, 2014). "Rays sign Ernesto Frieri to incentive-laden contract". Retrieved March 1, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Zolecki, Todd (December 14, 2015). "Phils sign Frieri, 4 others to Minor League deals". Retrieved December 17, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Phillies release veteran reliever Ernesto Frieri". Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia. Retrieved 2016-04-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links