Julian Tavarez pitched in the Major Leagues for 17 seasons. Over that span he started over 100 games, appeared in over 800 games total, had a winning percentage of .518 and an ERA+ of 101. Nearly perfectly mediocre. When you consider the fact that the guy pitched for 11 teams that just makes him a legend.
Tavarez was signed by the Cleveland Indians as a free agent way back in 1990 at the age of only 17. He played in the minors for a few years before debuting in 1993. He was primarily a starter in the minors but quickly moved to the bullpen for the Indians. 1995 was his first full season and he was a valuable bullpen arm for the Indians team that lost to the Braves in the World Series. He went 10-2 that season with a sub-3.00 ERA. For his efforts he picked up a few ROY votes.
Tavarez had the good fortune of playing for some very good teams in his career. He pitched in the postseason in five seasons, logging some serious innings for the Indians and the Cardinals.
Tavarez was not afraid to the throw the ball inside. He OWNED the inside of that dish. He had a penchant for hitting batters and then talking trash. Tavarez was tossed from multiple games and served a few suspensions in his day. Over the course of his career he hit 96 batters with pitches, good enough for 90th all-time. While 90th all-time does not sound too nuts, keep in mind that he spent most of his career as a reliever. Yikes.
Prior to the 1997 season he was traded to the San Francisco Giants where he appeared in a league-leading 89 games. In fact, only one pitcher since then appeared in more games than Tavarez did in 1997 (Salomon Torres in 2006. Julian put together two more decent seasons in Giants before heading to Colorado. It was in Colorado that he began starting games again. He was a spot starter for the Rockies in 2000, starting 12 games.
He spent 2001 and 2002 with the Marlins and the Cubs, starting the majority of his games and finding some modest success. In those two seasons he had a record of 20-21 (HA!) and an ERA+ of 83 (HA! HA!).
From 2003-2006, Tavaraz was back in the pen, pitching in Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Boston. The highlights there were his two years in St Louis where he posted above-league-average ERA numbers and logged some serious innings. In 2007 he was back in the starting rotation with the World Champion Boston Red Sox. At the age of 34 he started 23 games and had an ERA+ of 92.
2008 was a busy year for the wily veteran, Tavarez. He pitched for Boston, Atlanta, and Milwaukee. 2009 is looking like his final season. He pitched in 42 games last season with the Washington Nationals, all in relief with an ERA+ of 87. Even last season he was still a decent strike out pitcher, whiffing 32 guys in 35 innings.