The 1998 Padres bullpen was anchored by Trevor Hoffman. He relied on his masterful change-up and fastball to baffle hitter all season long. Hoffman saves 53 games and was awarded the Rolaids relief man of the year award. He was the best closer in the National League at the time with a 4-2 record, 1.48 ERA and a 0.849 WHIP and Hoffman also struck out 86 in 73 innings. He was a sure thing for saves almost his whole career, but in particular that season, he was flat-out dominant.
The Padres bullpen was decent that season. Hoffman was untouchable, but the lack of a lefty and a quality setup man hurt the Padres in the long run. Dan Miceli was the chief set-up men for Hoffman that season. Miceli was a power pitcher, and a very nice complement to Hoffman. In 1998 Miceli had a 3.22 ERA and 70 strike outs in 72 innings pitched. He did win 10 games out of the bullpen for the Padres, but lost 5 as well.
Donne Wall and Brain Boehringer were key members of the Padres bullpen. Wall was in his first year in San Diego after coming from the Detroit Tigers with Dan Miceli for Tim Worrell and Trey Beamon in November 1997. He was ultimately dealt in 2000 for Bubba Trammell. Who had some surprisingly productive seasons in San Diego.
Brian Boehringer was also in his first season as a Padre after being acquired with Andy Sheets for John Flaherty in November of 1997. He was 3-2 out of the bullpen in 1998 with a 4.36 ERA and a horrible WHIP of 1.572. My lasting memory of Donne Wall is him getting taken deep by Chuck Knoblauch in the 7th inning of Game 1 of the World Series. Not a good memory to have of the man.
The left handers out of the bullpen were Mark Langston and Randy Myers. Langston was always coveted by the San Diego Padres. When he was a Seattle Mariner, there seemed to always be talk of Langston coming to the Padres. Unfortunately for the Padres they got him 10 years too late. Langston was quite simply a shell of his former self. He just didn’t have the velocity or stamina to be a starting pitcher. In 1998 Langston recorded a 4-6 record with a 5.86 ERA. He started in 16 games for the Padres that season, but as I mentioned he was just at the end of his career.
Myers was a horrible move by Kevin Towers. He was claimed in August of 1998 as an attempt to keep the Atlanta Braves from claiming him. His $14-million dollar salary would be assumed by the Padres. Myers in his second stint as a Padre would go 1-3 for the Padres with a 6.28 ERA and a 1.535 ERA. He was amazingly allowed on the playoff roster where he was smacked around in the 1998 playoffs. (Three hits and four earned runs in three innings pitched). Myers salary was paid by the Padres for the 1999 season and 2000
season even though he never pitched one inning for any team. That was $14-million dollars, for absolutely nothing! Caminiti signed for two-years and $9.5 million dollars and Finley signed for four-years $21.5 million, and the Padres paid Myers $14 million for nothing! Sigh, this topic really frustrated me in 1998 and it blows my mind now. The team eventually in 2003 received $8-million dollars towards an injury settlement reached with an insurance company regarding Myers inability to pitch.
The rest of the Padres bullpen that year consisted of Scott Sanders, Will Cunnane, Marc Kroon and Roberto Ramirez. Sanders was a useful pitcher in his Padres career, however this was his last year as a Padre. Also pitching for the Padres that season were Stan Spencer and Matt Clement. Clement was a rookie and got into four games for the Padres. Sanders was reacquired by the Padres from the Tigers in May to provide bullpen depth. He pitched in 23 games for the Padres in 1998.