Franklin with the St.Louis Cardinals
|Born: March 5, 1973|
Fort Smith, Arkansas
|May 15, 1999, for the Seattle Mariners|
|Last MLB appearance|
|June 28, 2011, for the St. Louis Cardinals|
|Earned run average||4.14|
|Career highlights and awards|
Ryan Ray Franklin (born March 5, 1973), is an American former professional baseball pitcher, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Seattle Mariners, Philadelphia Phillies, Cincinnati Reds, and St. Louis Cardinals. Franklin currently works in the Cardinals' front office.
He was born in Fort Smith, Arkansas and grew up in Spiro, Oklahoma. He graduated from high school in Spiro in 1991 and was named to the All-State baseball team. He went to Seminole Junior College, in Oklahoma, where he had a 20-0 win-loss record over two years.
Franklin was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 23rd round of the 1992 amateur draft but chose to return to school. He signed his first major league contract with the team on May 21, 1993. He made his major league debut in 1999, appearing in 6 games. In 2000, he began the season in Triple-A, and then decided (with club permission) to not play at the big league level in September in order to participate in the Olympics. During those Olympics in Sydney, he and his teammates won a gold medal, defeating Cuba 4-0 in the title game. After missing the 2000 season in the big leagues, Franklin posted a strong spring training and won a job in the Mariners bullpen, appearing in 38 games. The next season, Franklin began the season in the bullpen but after the first half of the season, was moved to the rotation. He finished with a record of 7-5 in 41 appearances, 12 starts. In 2003, Franklin began in the rotation and was one of the Mariners most consistent starters, posting an ERA of 3.57 in 212 innings. He tied for the Major League lead in home runs allowed in 2003, with 34.
In 2004, Franklin and the whole Seattle team struggled, losing 99 games. Franklin for his part went 4-16 with a 4.90 ERA in 200 innings. He struck out a career high 104. In 2005, he went 8-15 with a career high 5.10 in 190 innings. He struck out 93. After the 2005 season, Franklin filed for free agency.
On August 7, 2006, Franklin was traded to the Cincinnati Reds for a player to be named later, who turned out to be minor league pitcher Zac Stott. Franklin pitched the rest of the season out of the bullpen, appearing in 20 games.
On January 22, 2007, Franklin signed with the St. Louis Cardinals on a one-year, $1 million contract. He signed a two-year, $5 million contract extension with a $2.75 million club option for 2010 on July 5, 2007. He was promoted to closer on May 17, 2008. Franklin was named to the 2009 All-Star Game roster. On September 1, 2009, Franklin signed a two-year, $6.5 million contract extension with the Cardinals. In 2009, he finished the regular season with a 1.92 ERA, and 38 saves.
On April 19, 2011, Franklin (who blew 2 saves in 29 chances in the 2010 season) was removed from his closer role after (among other struggles on the mound) blowing four saves in five chances to start the 2011 season. Despite the poor season he is still considered a World Series Champion in 2011 with the St. Louis Cardinals.
He was released on June 29, after recording an 8.46 ERA, giving up 44 hits (.367 batting average against), nine home runs, walking seven and striking out 17 in 27 2/3 innings for a 1.84 WHIP in 21 games with the Cardinals in 2011. He retired on December 9, 2011.
Franklin was a member of the gold medal winning US baseball team at the 2000 Olympics, where he had a 3-0 pitching record in 4 appearances.
On August 2, 2005, Franklin became the eighth Major League player, and second Mariner, to test positive for steroid use, receiving a ten-day suspension. On December 13, 2007, he was named in the Mitchell Report to the Commissioner of Baseball of an Independent Investigation Into the Illegal Use of Steroids and Other Performance Enhancing Substances by Players in Major League Baseball.