Phillies: Best individual pitching seasons by age

CHICAGO - UNDATED 1981: Steve Carlton of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches during a MLB game at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. Carlton played for the Philadelphia Phillies from 1972-1986. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
CHICAGO - UNDATED 1981: Steve Carlton of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches during a MLB game at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. Carlton played for the Philadelphia Phillies from 1972-1986. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /
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PHILADELPHIA, PA – JUNE 1: Larry Anderson #47 of the Philadelphia Phillies before a baseball game on June 1, 1994 at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA – JUNE 1: Larry Anderson #47 of the Philadelphia Phillies before a baseball game on June 1, 1994 at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

Age 40: Larry Andersen (1993)

The third pitcher from the 1993 team to make this list, Andersen was in his second tour of duty with the Phillies as a 40-year old. Andersen began his career in 1975 as a 22-year old with the Indians, appearing in three games. He 19 appearances combined with  Cleveland in 1977 and 1979 before his first full season in the Major Leagues with Seattle in 1981.

Andersen was sold to Phillies on July 29, 1983, and pitched to a 2.39 ERA in 17 games the remainder of the season.  In his first tenure with the Phillies that lasted until May 1986, Andersen posted solid numbers of seven wins and ten losses with an ERA of 3.15 in 148 games.

Andersen’s time from 1986 until his return to Philadelphia saw him pitch for the Astros, Red Sox, and Padres, pitching to an ERA under two twice.  In his first season back with the Phillies, Andersen continued to dazzle, living by the slider. At age 40, he appeared in 64 games, won three, stuck out 67 in 61 2/3 with an ERA of 2.92 as the right-handed set-up man.

There was one more season left in Andersen’s arm, appearing in 29 games during the strike-shortened 1994 season. He retired with 40 wins, 49 saves, and an ERA of 3.15 ERA in 699 games.

Age 41: Dan Plesac (2003)

Over his four Major League season, the left-handed Plesac was among the best closer in all of baseball while with the Brewers. He made three-consecutive All-Star games, posted ERAs in the two’s each season and saved 100 games.

No longer a closer after the 1990 season, Plesac pitched one more year with the Brewers before signing with the Cubs as a free agent at the end of 1992.  After two seasons with the Cubs, three back in Toronto, two in Arizona, and another brief stay in Toronto, the Phillies acquired Plesac via a trade.

Although at the end of a successful journey through the Major Leagues, Plesac was still a solid situational pitcher, mostly to get out lefties. He struck out 27 in 23 innings in 41 appearances with the Phillies in 2002. It was his 2003 season that makes this list at the age of 41.  Plesac rarely saw more than a couple batters an outing, but in 58 games struck out 37 with only three home runs allowed in 33 1/3 innings. His 2.70 ERA was his best since he was an All-Star in 1989.

Plesac retired with 65 wins, 158 saves, and an ERA of 3.64 in 1064 games.

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