Wolf with the Milwaukee Brewers
|Born: August 22, 1976|
West Hills, California
|June 11, 1999, for the Philadelphia Phillies|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 4, 2015, for the Detroit Tigers|
|Earned run average||4.24|
|Career highlights and awards|
Randall Christopher Wolf (born August 22, 1976) is an American former professional baseball pitcher. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, Miami Marlins, and Detroit Tigers.
Wolf graduated from El Camino Real in Woodland Hills, California. He was drafted by the Dodgers in 1994, but he did not sign. He played college baseball for Pepperdine University and then was drafted by the Phillies in 1997. He made his MLB debut in 1999. In 2003, Wolf was selected to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.
Wolf was born on August 22, 1976 in Canoga Park, California. He played PONY League Baseball in West Hills, California. He played high school baseball at El Camino Real in Woodland Hills, California, where he was named High School "Pitcher of the Year" by the Los Angeles Times in 1993, and "Player of the Year" in 1994. Wolf continued his amateur career at Pepperdine University where he was a freshman first-team All-America, West Coast Conference Pitcher of the Year, second-team college All-American, and a West Coast Conference All-Star.
Wolf was originally drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 25th round of the 1994 Major League Baseball Draft, but did not sign. He was then drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the second round of the 1997 Major League Baseball Draft. He rose through the minor leagues quickly, including stops with Single-A Batavia (1997, 4-0, 1.58, 7 starts), Double-A Reading (1998, 2-0, 1.44, 4 starts), and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (1998, 9-7, 4.62, 23 starts & 1999, 4-5, 3.61, 12 starts).
Wolf made his major-league debut on June 11, 1999, against the Toronto Blue Jays, pitching 5 innings, giving up one run, and recording his first career victory in the Phillies 8-4 win over Toronto. He finished his first season with a 6-9 record and a 5.55 ERA.
In his second season, Wolf was embedded in the rotation and was a mainstay the entire season, going 11-9 in 32 starts. He followed the next couple of seasons winning 10 and 11 games respectively in the years 2001 and 2002.
In 2003, Wolf was selected to the National League All-Star team and finished the year with a career-high 16 wins. On August 11, 2004, Wolf hit two home runs while pitching the Phillies to a 15-4 win against the Colorado Rockies. On July 1, 2005, Wolf underwent Tommy John surgery, missing the remainder of the season and the first half of the 2006 season. He made his return to the Phillies' rotation on July 30, 2006. He finished the 2006 season with a 4-0 record, pitching only 55 innings. During his time with the Phillies, Wolf was supported at every home start by a fan group, "The Wolf Pack," founded by eight brothers and their four cousins. The group, sporting wolf masks, assembled in the typically empty upper deck of Veterans Stadium and celebrated Wolf strikeouts by howling and dancing. Wolf befriended members of the group and kept in contact even after leaving the Phillies in 2006. The Wolf Pack returned to Citizens Bank Park in 2016 for Wolf's retirement ceremony and performed a dance on top of the Phillies dugout with the Phillie Phanatic. After the 2006 season Wolf's contract with the Phillies expired and he became a free agent.
Wolf signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Wolf started 18 games, going 9-6. On July 4, 2007, Wolf went on the 15-day disabled list due to left shoulder soreness. He underwent shoulder surgery and missed the rest of the season. On November 1, the Dodgers bought out his 2008 option and allowed Wolf to become a free agent.
On December 1, 2007, Wolf signed a one-year contract with the San Diego Padres. On April 15, 2008, Wolf had a no-hitter through 6 innings against the Colorado Rockies at Petco Park before Brad Hawpe hit a single.
On February 6, 2009, Wolf signed a one-year, $5 million contract to return to the Dodgers. He turned in one of his best seasons, finishing 11-7 with a 3.23 ERA in 34 starts for the team.
On December 14, 2009, Wolf agreed to a three-year, $29.75 million contract with the Milwaukee Brewers.
In 2010, Wolf finished 13-12 in 34 starts. In 2011, he started 33 games (4th in the National League) and was 13-10, with a 3.69 ERA. Through 2011, his 9 career shutouts were 6th-most of all active pitchers. On October 13 in the 2011 NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals, Randy Wolf won his first career postseason start. With this victory, Wolf is no longer the active leader in career games started without a postseason win. The Brewers lost the NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals in 6 games. On August 22, 2012, Wolf was given his release by the Brewers organization after going 3-10 with a 5.69 ERA. Jeff Bianchi was brought up from Triple A to fill his spot on the roster. A few weeks before being released, Wolf threw a 49 mph curveball, the slowest in MLB history.
The Baltimore Orioles and Wolf reached an agreement on August 31, 2012, and was subsequently added to the team's 25-man roster as a member of the bullpen. Wolf was also included on the Orioles postseason roster until losing the 2012 ALDS against the Yankees. Wolf went 2-0 in 5 games for the O's. Wolf was released after the season ended.
Wolf agreed to a one-year contract with the Miami Marlins on May 14, 2014. Wolf pitched in 6 games for the Marlins, posting a 1-3 record with a 5.26 ERA. On June 16, the Marlins designated Wolf for assignment after a couple of poor starts. Two days later on June 18, Wolf cleared outright waviers and elected free agency.
On March 16, 2015, Wolf signed a minor-league contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. The Blue Jays announced the signing officially on March 18, and assigned him to the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons. Wolf made 23 starts for the Bisons in 2015, and posted a 9-2 record, with a 2.58 ERA, 106 strikeouts and 40 walks in 139 innings.
On August 20, 2015, Wolf was traded to the Detroit Tigers for cash considerations. He made his debut for the Tigers on August 22 in a game against the Texas Rangers. In his debut, he pitched seven innings, allowing four runs, three earned, on nine hits, with five strikeouts and no walks. Eight of Texas' first 14 batters singled against him, before retiring 14 of the final 15 batters he faced. Wolf appeared in a total of 8 games with the Tigers, pitching to an 0-5 record with a 6.23 ERA. Wolf retired during the offseason, following a 16-year career.
Wolf threw a four-seam fastball and a two-seam fastball clocked at 87-90 mph. He also threw a cut fastball in the mid-80s, a late breaking slider in the upper 70s, a sweeping curveball in the upper 60s to lower 70s, and occasionally mixed in a changeup in the upper 70s. Wolf primarily pitched to contact for fly balls, though he was capable of racking up strikeouts in his starts.
Wolf's older brother, Jim, is a Major League umpire. To avoid potential conflicts of interest, Jim did not work behind the plate during his brother's starts. Eventually Jim would not officiate in any capacity in games Randy's team were playing. If his crew was involved in games that included Randy's team, he was removed from those games and switched with another umpire. Wolf's cousin, Sid Akins, is a retired professional baseball player who appeared in the 1984 Summer Olympics.