Ben Rivera

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Bienvenido Santana Rivera
(Big Ben)

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Biographical Information[edit]

In 1988, a clerical error by the Atlanta Braves exposed Ben Rivera to the 1988 Rule V Draft. As a result, the Braves had to pay $50,000 and use the first pick in the draft to keep one of their own prospects. He made his debut with the Braves at the start of the 1992 season, then was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies later that year, where he became a member of the starting rotation. He had his best major league season with the Phillies in 1993, when he was 13-9, 5.02 in 30 games. He was on the team's postseason roster, but only made two appearances, pitching 3 1/3 innings in relief and giving up 5 runs as the Phils eventually lost to the Toronto Blue Jays in six games in the 1993 World Series.

Never a star in the majors, Rivera went to Taiwan in 1997, signing with the China Trust Whales where he went 5-5 with 24 saves. In 1998, he signed with the Hanshin Tigers of the Japanese Central League. That year, he was 2-3 with 27 saves and a 2.38 ERA for the Tigers; he was third in the Central League in saves. In 1999, Rivera was 1-1 with 12 saves and a 0.71 ERA (1.42 RA) in 25 1/3 innings. He allowed just 12 hits and 6 walks, while striking out 29. An elbow injury that season cut short his year and needed surgery. The Tigers released Rivera. He later returned to Asia for a second go-around in Taiwan's top league.

The tall righty went to a fourth country in 2002, signing with the Mexico City Red Devils. He went 1-1, 1.53 with 30 saves in 44 games. His final year in Mexico was in 2005, which he split between Vaqueros Laguna and Rieleros de Aguascalientes. He then finished his pro carreer with the Algodoneros de Guasave in the Mexican Pacific League in the winter of 2005-06.

In 2011, he was appointed by Major League Baseball as one of two pitching instructors in El Torneo Supremo.

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