As we prepare for our 20th Season Celebration in 2018, we are turning to the fans to decide the Fans’ Choice All-Time Altoona Curve Team. Fans will vote for one manager and a player at each position to pick the 11 representatives on the Fans’ Choice All-Time Altoona Curve Team. The voting will also go toward a yet-to-be-announced promotion for the upcoming season.
Fans can cast their votes by clicking here.
We broke down the candidates for the All-Time Team Manager, Catcher, First Baseman, Second Baseman, Third Baseman, Shortstop, Outfielders and Staring Pitcher already. Those posts can be found here. Now we will take a look at the finalists for the Fans’ Choice All-Time Team Relief Pitcher.
Stats: 2-2, 1.62 ERA, 21 saves (51 games in one season)
Todd Ozias played with the Curve for the 2003 season after spending time with four other Double-A clubs prior to that year. He put together what would be the best season of his career, helping the Curve to their first-ever playoff appearance. He recorded 21 saves that year, more than any Curve pitcher at that point in team history, and led the team with 51 appearances. Ozias also recorded a save in the Curve’s first-ever playoff game win on September 4, 2003 against Akron in Game 2 of the Southern Division Series.
Ozias signed with the Blue Jays for the 2004 season and was part of the starting rotation for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats as they went on to win the Eastern League championship. The Pirates signed him again for the 2005 season and he played with A-Adv. Lynchburg in his last affiliated year. Ozias closed out his professional playing career with independent Joliet in 2006.
Stats: 6-2, 2.12 ERA, seven saves (46 games in one season)
Mike Johnston helped the Curve reach the postseason for the first time in team history in 2003, posting a 2.12 ERA over his 46 games and ranked second on the team with seven saves. He represented the Curve at the Eastern League All-Star Game in New Britain. Johnston was the winning pitcher in Game 2 of the Southern Division Series against Akron, the Curve’s first-ever playoff game victory.
Johnston reached the big leagues with the Pirates in 2004 and pitched in 25 games over two seasons. He continued his professional career through 2012, when he pitched with independent Lancaster of the Atlantic League.
Stats: 24-19, 3.66 ERA (116 games, 50 starts in four seasons)
Matt Peterson joined the Curve as a starting pitcher late in 2004 as they won their first division title in team history after spending most of that season with the Mets’ Double-A club in Binghamton. He returned to the starting rotation for a full season in 2005 and led the Curve with 11 wins despite a 5.51 ERA, and he split time between the bullpen and rotation in 2006. Peterson came back to Altoona for a fourth season in 2007, this time as a reliever, and posted an improved 1.98 ERA while setting the team single-season record with 29 saves. He was picked as an Eastern League Mid-Season and Post-Season All-Star. Peterson recorded nine saves in June 2007, tied for the most in a single month by a Curve pitcher. For his career, Peterson is ranked second in career saves with 29, third with 255 strikeouts, tied for third with 24 wins and tied for fourth with 116 pitching appearances.
2007 was Peterson’s final season with the Pirates’ organization. He went on to play three more professional seasons with the Royals and Marlins organizations, climbing as high as Triple-A during the 2010 season.
Stats: 15-8, 2.75 ERA, three saves (67 games, 16 starts in two seasons)
Left-hander Shane Youman came to the Curve for the 2005 season and worked in 44 games, including five starts, going 8-6 with a 3.92 ERA. He had a historic run with the Curve the following year, posting a 1.51 ERA over 23 appearances (11 starts), which is the lowest ERA in Curve history for a pitcher throwing at least 75 innings. He also set the record for the fewest earned runs allowed at 16. Youman was selected as an Eastern League Mid-Season and Post-Season All-Star in 2006.
Youman spent two seasons with the Pirates in the big leagues, working 21 outings (11 starts) and combining to go 3-7 with a 5.13 ERA. After pitching four seasons in independent baseball, he worked in the Korean Baseball Organization from 2012-2015 and closed out his career in the Mexican League in 2016.
Stats: 2-7, 2.25 ERA, 27 saves (51 games in one season)
Brandon Knight was the Curve’s closer in 2006 and recorded the second-most saves in a single season in team history with 27, which also ranks third on the Curve’s all-time career list. Knight led the team with 51 appearances and was selected as an Eastern League Mid-Season and Post-Season All-Star.
Knight had MLB experience prior to joining the Curve, having thrown in 11 games with the Yankees in 2001 and 2002. He returned to the big leagues in 2008 with the Mets, where he made two starts and two relief appearances. He closed out his professional career in the Korean Baseball Organization from 2009-2014.
Stats: 14-11, 3.26 ERA, 21 saves (64 games, 25 starts in two seasons)
The fourth-overall selection in the 2007 draft, Daniel Moskos joined the Curve in 2009 as the No. 19 prospect in the Pittsburgh organization according to Baseball America. Moskos was primarily a starting pitcher in 2009, going 11-10 with a 3.74 ERA over 27 total outings and tied for the team lead in wins and in innings pitched with 149.0. He returned to Altoona for the 2010 season and moved to the bullpen, working as the team’s closer. In 37 outings, Moskos posted a 1.52 ERA and closed out 21 saves while spending parts of the season with Triple-A Indianapolis. Moskos was nearly perfect in the 2010 postseason, working 6.1 innings over six outings without allowing a run and collecting eight strikeouts. He closed out all five save chances in the playoffs, including all three Curve wins in the Eastern League Championship Series. He closed out the Curve’s first league championship with a strikeout of Matthew Cusick in Game 4 of the ELCS in Trenton.
Moskos climbed to the big leagues with the Pirates in 2011, posting a 2.96 ERA in 31 outings in his only MLB season to date. After bouncing between the White Sox, Dodgers and Padres organizations, Moskos spent 2017 with the Lancaster Barnstormers of the independent Atlantic League.
Stats: 6-7, 3.34 ERA, two saves (39 games, 14 starts in two seasons)
Tony Watson joined the Curve as their Opening Day starter in the 2009 season and made five starts, going 0-3 with an 8.22 ERA before missing most of the season. He found much more success when he returned in 2010. In nine starts, he went 3-4 with a 3.78 ERA, but went 3-0 with a 1.84 ERA in his 25 relief appearances. The left-hander was used as a starting pitcher in the postseason in 2010, combining to go 2-0 with a 2.84 ERA in his two starts. He picked up a win in Game 4 of the Division Series against Harrisburg to send the Curve to the ELCS. Watson returned to the mound for Game 4 of the Eastern League Championship Series in Trenton and was the winning pitcher as the Curve picked up their first league championship in team history.
Watson worked as a relief pitcher in the big leagues for seven seasons with the Pirates, combing to go 31-16 with a 2.68 ERA in 450 games with 30 saves. He was selected as a National League All-Star in 2014, leading the National League with 78 appearances while going 10-2 with a 1.63 ERA. Watson was traded to the Dodgers this year and pitched 24 games with Los Angeles during the regular season.
Stats: 5-5, 2.69 ERA, 36 saves (79 games in three seasons)
Montana DuRapau climbed to Double-A late in the 2015 season, working two scoreless appearances to close out the regular season. He spent all of 2016 with the Curve, serving as the team’s primary closer. DuRapau picked up 22 saves in 2016, tied for fourth-most in a single season in team history. He came back to the Curve to start the 2017 season and picked up 14 more saves, moving him into first place on the Curve’s all-time career saves list with 36. DuRapau posted a 1.49 ERA in 27 appearances in 2017, earning Eastern League Mid-Season All-Star honors before being promoted to Triple-A Indianapolis after the All-Star Break.
DuRapau closed out his 2017 campaign with Indianapolis, going 1-0 with a 3.24 ERA over 15 games.
There is your look at the finalists for the Fans’ Choice All-Time Altoona Curve Team Reief Pitcher. Be sure to cast your votes here.
Season tickets for the Curve’s 20th season are currently on sale as the team looks to defend its Eastern League championship.