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Former Twins left-hander David West dies of cancer aged 57


Former Twins left-hander David West, a member of the 1991 World Series champion squad, has died aged 57.

The Phillies, for whom West pitched from 1993-96, confirmed West’s death Saturday to the Philadelphia Inquirer. West was battling brain cancer.

West was one of five pitchers the Twins acquired on July 31, 1989 from the Mets for Frank Viola, the 1987 World Series MVP and 1988 AL Cy Young Award winner, along with Rick Aguilera, Tim Drummond, Jack Savage and Kevin Tapani. The 6-foot-6 West was perhaps the most touted of the five, as the Memphis native had been considered the best pitching prospect in the Mets farm system.

He didn’t become a star for the Twins, going 7-9 with a 5.10 ERA in 1990 before suffering a hamstring injury. He then injured his elbow during spring training in 1991, then strained his abdominal muscles just as he was about to return from that injury. He made his debut for the Twins in 1991 on July 4 as a starter, but after making 11 starts, the Twins mostly chased him out of the bullpen in September and October.

He was the winning pitcher in the deciding Game 5 of the American League Championship Series in Toronto, tossing three hitless innings in relief of Tapani as the Twins came back with three runs in the sixth inning and three in the eighth to beat the Blue Jays 8. -5.

That appearance came two days after West pitched 2⅔ innings scoreless after relieving Scott Erickson in Game 3, a game the Twins won 3-2 in 10 innings.

Traded to the Phillies in December 1992 for Mike Hartley, West was part of Philadelphia’s 1993 World Series team that lost to the Blue Jays. After spending 1997 pitching in Japan, his final season in MLB was in 1998, when he pitched six games for Boston.

West went 31-38 with a 4.66 ERA in 204 major league games, including 78 starts. He was 15-18 with a 5.33 ERA in 63 regular season games with the Twins, including 47 starts.

Last May, the Darren Daulton Foundation extended best wishes to West as he battled brain cancer. Daulton, West’s former catcher with Philadelphia, died of brain cancer in 2017. West’s death comes less than four months after his former Mets teammate Jeff Innis also died of cancer.

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