Topic: Julian Tavarez

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Julián Tavárez Carmen (born May 22, 1973 in Santiago, Dominican Republic) is a Major League Baseball pitcher with the Washington Nationals.

Tavárez began his professional career on March 16, 1990, signing a minor league contract with the Cleveland Indians organization. For two years, he was a starter for the Dominican Summer League Indians. In 1991, he joined the Class A Burlington Indians where he led the league in shutouts and hit batsmen. Tavárez progressed rapidly the following year, playing in Kinston, Canton-Akron, and finally with the Cleveland Indians.

He made his major league debut on August 6, 1993, and received his first win on August 14 against the Texas Rangers. For his time in Canton-Akron, Tavárez won Carolina League Player of the Year honors and was named the league's top prospect by Baseball America. Tavárez was demoted to Triple-A Charlotte in 1994, where he led the International League in wins. He did make one spot start for Cleveland that year. Tavárez was sent to the bullpen in 1995, which was a breakout year for him. He was first in wins, third in innings pitched, and fifth in ERA among American League relief pitchers and threw 4.1 scoreless innings against the Atlanta Braves in the World Series. Tavárez was the Sporting News American League Rookie of the Year, but finished sixth in the ballot by the Baseball Writers Association of America. 1996 was Tavárez's final year with Cleveland. He was suspended for three days after a brawl in Milwaukee and spent two weeks in Triple-A Buffalo before appearing in the ALDS.

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