Joe Thatcher
Joe Thatcher
37-Year-Old PitcherRP
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2018 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Joe Thatcher in 2018. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Signed a minor league deal with the Cubs in August of 2016.
Announces retirement
PFree Agent  
November 14, 2016
Thatcher announced his retirement Monday, Pedro Velazco of the Kokomo Tribune reports.
ANALYSIS
Thatcher played professionally from 2006 to 2016, making major league appearances with the Padres, Diamondbacks, Angels and Astros. The lifetime reliever posted a 3.38 ERA over 260.2 career innings.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
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Signed to a minor league deal in February 2015, Thatcher made Houston's Opening Day roster as the Astros' second left-hander out of the bullpen, beating out Kevin Chapman and Darin Downs for the role during spring training. His performance left a lot to be desired, as he was designated for assignment in late-July, only to re-sign with the Astros a week later. Thatcher finished with 43 appearances overall, compiling a 3.18 ERA and 1.54 WHIP with a 26:12 K:BB over 22.2 innings. If he doesn't return to Houston, his should easily find work elsewhere based off his career 9.3 K/9.
The Angels made a number of moves to attempt to strengthen their bullpen in 2014, but the acquisition of Thatcher from the Diamondbacks in July didn't work out the way they had hoped. After beginning the season by notching a 2.63 ERA in 24 innings with Arizona, Thatcher threw just 2.2 innings with the Angels before spraining an ankle in early August, which kept him sidelined until mid-September. Thatcher did not fare well in his return, allowing four runs in 3.1 frames down the stretch, which shot his season ERA up to 3.86. Considering how good he was with the Diamondbacks in 2014, it is tempting to look at his implosion with the Halos as a fluke, as he tallied a 9.4 K/9 rate in his time with the Snakes before logging just two strikeouts in in 6.1 innings with his new squad. Thatcher elected for free agency in October, and should be able to find a market as a left-hander who can get punchouts.
After spending six and a half years in San Diego, Thatcher was sent to Arizona in the trade that sent Ian Kennedy to the Padres. The lefty specialist struggled early in the desert, giving up six earned runs over 14 appearances in his first month as a Diamondback, but he fared much better in September, giving up just one earned run over his eight outings. He will likely handle the primary LOOGY duties in the Arizona bullpen in 2014.
As a lefty specialist out of the Padres' bullpen, Thatcher held opposing left-handed batters to just a .167 batting average in 2012. This was undoubtedly helpful to the Padres, but did little for fantasy owners as 69 percent of his appearances ended with him pitching less than an inning. This sort of usage does not lend itself to helping a relief pitcher vulture wins, much less accrue saves. Don't expect much to change for Thatcher in 2013 as left-handed batters have never had much success against him (.200 batting average against) and his command drops significantly, when facing right-handed batters (1.63 K/BB).
After posting career-best numbers across the board in 2010, Thatcher missed most of the 2011 season due to shoulder issues that required surgery back in May. He came back to pitch again in late August, but was obviously not the same pitcher posting a 6.30 BB/9IP and a 1.29 K/BB. He'll have the whole offseason to work himself back and should remain a solid lefty specialist in the Padres' bullpen in 2012.
A shoulder injury delayed Thatcher's season, but once healthy he went back to being an effective lefty out of the Padres' bullpen. He showed fantastic control, walking only seven of the 137 batters he faced in 2010. With only two pitches (fastball/slider) he was able to generate a career high 11.6 K/9IP strikeout rate. It's doubtful he'll find himself in a late-inning role any time soon, thus limiting his value, but owners could do much worse when looking for someone to help their ratios.
Thatcher is an excellent lefty specialist, striking out nearly one of every three lefties he's faced in his career. There's not a ton of room for him to grow out of this role, but the Padres' bullpen has been known to produce freakshow stat lines, making Thatcher a potential ERA and WHIP play in deeper leagues.
After showing much promise working out of the San Diego bullpen in 2007, Thatcher took a step back last season as he bounced between Triple-A Portland and the majors. He excelled in the minors, but was never able to carry that over to the big club, though many of his struggles can be chalked up to an unfortunate hit rate as he allowed 42 hits in 25.2 innings. It was not all bad luck though, as his K:BB of 17:13 was disappointing as well. However, San Diego usually gets the most from their bullpen so the sidewinder will be given another chance to right the ship.
Thatcher is a hard-throwing sidearmer who appears poised to stick in San Diego's bullpen. He excelled in Double-A, Triple-A and the majors last season. Thatcher struck out 77 batters in 52 Triple-A innings. He should see action in the sixth and seventh innings for the Padres.
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Signed by Cubs
PChicago Cubs  
August 15, 2016
Thatcher agreed to a minor league contract with the Cubs on Monday, Chris Cotillo of SB Nation reports.
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Released by Indians
PFree Agent  
August 13, 2016
Thatcher was released by the Indians on Saturday.
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Agrees to minor league deal with Indians
PCleveland Indians  
July 22, 2016
Free-agent pitcher Joe Thatcher signed a minor league deal with the Indians, Chris Cotillo of SB Nation reports.
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PFree Agent  
March 27, 2016
Thatcher was granted his release from the Indians on Sunday, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian reports.
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PCleveland Indians  
March 25, 2016
Thatcher was informed by the Indians that he will not make the Opening Day roster, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.
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