Saturday, August 20, 2011


Jorge Julio was traded to the New York Mets from the Baltimore Orioles along with John Maine in exchange for Kris Benson on January 21, 2006. "We were able to get a power arm on the back end of the bullpen and we were able to get a young player, Maine, who had pretty good numbers in the minor leagues," commented Mets general manager, Omar Minaya. "It gives us some depth. Now Aaron Heilman can get an opportunity to start."

Julio arrived in spring training camp, and declared himself ready to go. "I think for me last year was a lot of frustration," Jorge said. "Before I was closing. I didn't know what my job was. Sometimes I threw three innings, two innings." His job with the Mets would be to assist Duaner Sanchez in setting up for All-Star closer, Billy Wagner.

The hard-throwing Venezuelan made his Mets debut on April 5, 2006. He was brought in to face the Washington Nationals at Shea Stadium during the second game of the season. Julio surrendered four hits and five runs in just two-thirds of an inning of work to lose 9-5. "I wanted to be better," said the righthander. "My first time here, pitching in this stadium, I don't know the mound, I don't know nothing here. It's my first time and that's what happened in the game." The poor first impression continued in New York, and found Jorge a target of the angry hometown fans as his ERA stood at 19.64 after four appearances. "I don't know what happens when I'm on the mound. I want to throw my best stuff, and I don't have good luck.....nothing's working right now," said Julio. "I don't listen to nothing from the fans. I don't care. They don't pay me."

Jorge saw his fortunes change for the better in the second month of the season. He even recorded his first save in a New York uniform on May 6th. "Every once in awhile he gets out of his rhythm." observed manager, Willie Randolph. "He buckled down and made some nice pitches at the right time." However, a need for starting pitching forced the Mets to trade Julio to the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for Orlando Hernandez on May 24th. "Julio's statistics were pretty impressive," Minaya said. "He's throwing 97-98 mph in a tough environment. He had the most strikeouts of any reliever in baseball last week." In total he made 18 appearances with a 1-2 record, one save, and a 5.06 ERA. "I'm happy. I think it's more of an opportunity for me to go over there and help over there," offered Jorge. "It's baseball. Baseball is crazy."

Jorge Julio signed his card in the set for my friend, Katie following the Toledo Mud Hens and Indianapolis Indians game at Victory Field on September 2, 2009.

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