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Javier Carlos Vázquez (born July 25, 1976 in Ponce, Puerto Ricomarker) is a right-handed starting pitcher for the Atlanta Braves. Previously, he pitched for the Chicago White Sox ( - ), Arizona Diamondbacks ( ), New York Yankees ( ) and Montreal Expos ( - ).

Personal life

Javier is married to Kamille Vázquez, and the couple have two children, Kamilla and Javier Josué. Javier claims that he dislikes being the center of attention outside of the playing field and describes himself as a 'house man' spending his free time with his children. Vázquez is also interested in art pieces especially the ones that are produced by Puerto Rican artists and he possesses pictures painted by Wichie Torres and Iván Rosario. He is a wine aficionado and is educating himself about the different classes of wine in order to begin a private collection. Javier has also expressed that he has always been interested in charity work, this interest was fueled by his parents as he states that a Christian upbringing and their support when he began practicing sports were part of this influence.

Professional career

Montreal Expos

Vázquez was a 5th round draft pick of the Montreal Expos in the amateur draft. He made his Major League debut for the Expos in April 3, 1998. He started 32 games as a rookie and pitched 172 innings. By , Vázquez had become the ace of the Expos pitching staff and pitched 200 innings or more for four consecutive seasons.

New York Yankees

On December 16, 2003, the New York Yankees acquired Vázquez from the Expos in exchange for Nick Johnson, Juan Rivera and Randy Choate. He agreed to a four-year deal through the season.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Following a disappointing performance and loss to the Boston Red Sox in the 2004 American League Championship Series (whereupon entering the game in the second inning, gave up a grand slam to Johnny Damon on his first pitch), the Yankees sent Vazquez, Brad Halsey, and Dioner Navarro, to the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for Randy Johnson on January 11, 2005.

In 33 starts overall, he went 11-15 with a 4.42 ERA.

After pitching the 2005 season with Arizona, Vázquez formally requested a trade from the team, citing a desire to be closer to his family in Puerto Rico.

Chicago White Sox

Vázquez with the White Sox in 2008.
December 20, 2005, Vazquez was traded to the Chicago White Sox for Orlando Hernández, Luis Vizcaino, and highly regarded prospect Chris Young. During the 2007 season, he compiled a 15-8 record with a 3.74 ERA (second lowest of his career).

From 1998 to the present, Vázquez has compiled a career 114-113 record with 1806 strikeouts and a 4.29 ERA in 321 games. He has struck out more batters than any other Puerto Rican pitcher in history. He was selected as an All-Star in 2004.

Vázquez agreed to play for the Puerto Rico Team in the 2006 World Baseball Classic, joining fellow Puerto Rican contemporaries Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran, Bernie Williams, amongst others representing the island in a team managed by St. Louis Cardinals third base coach Jose Oquendo.

In the 2007 season, Vázquez exceeded the two hundred strikeouts mark. This marked the third time he had done this in his career with the other two occasions being in and 2003. This season was the seventh season in his career where he had thrown at least two hundred innings. The only season that he was not able to work this quantity of innings was in 2004 when Joe Torre, then manager of the New York Yankees decided to jump some turns in the team's rotation. Vazquez culminated that year with 198 thrown innings. When asked about Javier's performance during the season in an interview, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillén noted that Vazquez had been throwing well for some time but the team had not been able to capitalize on this until it was too late in the season, specifically referring to the team's performance during the summer.

Atlanta Braves 2009-present

On December 4, 2008, Vázquez was traded, along with Boone Logan, to the Atlanta Braves for minor league catcher Tyler Flowers, shortstop Brent Lillibridge, third baseman Jon Gilmore and pitcher Santos Rodriguez. With the Braves in 2009, Vázquez had the most successful season of his career, going 15-10, with a 2.87 ERA and 238 strikeouts in 32 starts.He also led the majors in sacrifice hits, with 20.

Javier came in 4th place in the voting for the 2009 NL Cy Young Award.

See also



References

  1. Player Batting Stats - 2009," ESPN, accessed October 9, 2009


External links


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