A member of the 2002 World Champion Anaheim Angels, Scott Schoeneweis re-signed with the Chicago White Sox during the offseason. A reliever in 2003, Schoeneweis is Chicago's No. 4 starter in 2004. Through July 28, 2004 the Sox have a record of 52-46 and are in second place in the AL Central. Scott has started 17 games and is 6-7 with an ERA of 4.97 (58 earned runs in 105.0 innings).
Schoeneweis became one of the Anaheim Angels' top relief pitchers with good control and three solid pitches, fastball, slider, and changeup. He is an excellent ground-ball pitcher. The only southpaw in the Anaheim Angels' bullpen for the 2002 World Series, Scott helped his team win the first championship in franchise history. On October 27, the Angels defeated the Giants in the seventh game of the World Series, 4-1. In Game 3, Scott pitched the final two innings of a 10-4 Angel victory; he allowed no runs, struck out two, and gave up only one hit.
Schoenweis was an All-America baseball star as a freshman at Duke University in 1993 when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. His response was to take "six months of chemotherapy in three months," as he put it, adding of that experience that "it puts things in perspective." (New York Post, October 18, 2002) Schoeneweis overcame the cancer and returned to the team, but was unable to win a single game in his weakened condition. Then he blew out his pitching elbow, and required Tommy John surgery. Scott's response? He worked harder than ever to recover his health and skills. After enjoying a sensational senior season, he graduated, at the same time as the rest of his class, with a history degree, and was drafted by the Angels.
After playing at Duke, Schoenweis was drafted in the third round by the Anaheim Angels in 1996. He spent three seasons in the minors, then was called up to the Angels in 1999. That season, Schoeneweis appeared in 31 games (all in relief) and was 1-1. In 39.1 innings, he fanned 22, and had an ERA of 5.49. In the 2000 season, he pitched early and often for the Angels. He started all 27 games in which he appeared, and finished the season at 7-10, with a 5.45 ERA, which led Angel regulars. The southpaw also had 78 strikeouts in 170 innings, with one complete game, and one shutout.
Schoenweis was awarded the honor of being the Angels' opening day starter on April 2, 2001 (his first such assignment) and pitched effectively, yielding 3 runs and 8 hits in 7 innings; but Anaheim lost to Texas, 3-2. In 2001, Schoeneweis went 10-11 with a 5.08 ERA in 32 games. He was tied for first on the team for most starts, and whiffed 104 opponents in 205.1 innings (second most on the team). Scott registered career highs in wins, innings pitched, games, games started, and strikeouts for an Angels squad that finished 75-87.
During the 2002 season, Schoenweis went 9-8 with one save, and a 4.88 ERA. He started 15 games while appearing in a total of 54, and had 65 strikeouts against 49 walks in 119 innings. The Angels were one of the surprises of the season, finishing in second place place behind the Oakland A's in the AL West with a 99-63 record. The AL wildcard team in the playoffs, the Angels pulled off a stunning upset when they thoroughly thrashed the defending AL champion New York Yankees in the divisional series, 3 games to 1.
Anaheim then faced the Minnesota Twins for the 2002 American League pennant. Schoeneweis, considered Anaheim's top southpaw in the bullpen, pitched in Game One of the ALCS, faced two batters, and forced both to fly out. In addition to being one of the most valuable Angels hurlers, Schoeneweis is also Anaheim's player representative. One of Scott's teammates in Anaheim was reliever Al Levine, now with the Kansas City Royals.
The Angels' sole southpaw in the bullpen in 2002 and 2003, Scott was nevertheless traded to the Chicago White Sox midway through the 2003 season. Anaheim's manager Mike Scioscia said, "Schoney was a big part of our second-half surge. A lot was said about John Lackey coming up when we rearranged the staff, and John certainly did a terrific job. But what can't go unnoticed is the job Schoney did in the pen." White Sox general manager Ken Williams said of Scott's role with Chicago, "Right now, our primary need for him is in the bullpen. He's not stretched out enough to go into the rotation...He has three quality pitches. We can visualize him in our rotation next year."
The White Sox, anxious to bolster their bullpen in an attempt to compete for the division title, eagerly traded for the crafty veteran southpaw who could either start or relieve. Schoeneweis went 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 20 games after joining Chicago. He had a 1.17 ERA in his final nine appearances, as the White Sox finished in second place in the AL Central (four games behind the Minnesota Twins) with a record of 86-76. The former starter was used solely as a reliever last season, making a career-high 59 appearances out of the bullpen. He was 3-2 for the season, with a 4.18 ERA and 56 strikeouts.
Sources: Jews in Sports