Robert John Rauch (born June 16, 1949 in Brookings, South Dakota) is a former right-handed Major League Baseball pitcher who played for the New York Mets in 1972.
Originally signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1967, he began his professional career with the Ogden Dodgers that very year. His performance was lackluster, as he went 1-1 with a 9.45 ERA in 20 innings, allowing 25 hits and 26 walks. On a positive note, he did strike out 24 batters.
The following year, again with the Ogden Dodgers, Rauch went 1-2 with a 4.66 ERA in 29 innings. In 1969, playing for the Rogue Valley Dodgers and Bakersfield Dodgers, Rauch went a combined 6-4 with a 4.55 ERA. With Rogue Valley, he struck out 72 batters in 62 innings, although with Bakersfield, he struck out only 19 batters in 31 innings.
Pitching for Bakersfield again in 1970, he went 4-4 with a 2.82 ERA and 91 strikeouts in 83 innings of work. On November 30, 1970, he was drafted by the Mets in the minor-league draft. In his first year in their minor league system - 1971 - he had perhaps the best season of his career when he went a combined 9-5 with a 2.10 ERA while splitting time between the Memphis Blues and Tidewater Tides. His numbers would have been better if he had not pitched for the Tides that year - while with the Blues, he went 9-4 with a 1.48 ERA. With the Tides, his record was 1-0 and his ERA was 4.76.
In 1972, Rauch had another impressive year, pitching for the Tides and earning a call up to the Mets. In 21 games with the Tides, he went 1-2 with a 2.72 ERA. He made his big league debut on June 29 of that year, at the age of 22. Facing the Philadelphia Phillies, he pitched one inning, allowing 2 hits, 2 walks and a run. The Mets overall did poorly that game, losing 9-4. The opposing pitcher - Steve Carlton - pitched a complete game, striking out 13 batters. In his one and only big league season, Rauch went 0-1 with a 5.00 ERA in 19 relief appearances. He played in his final big league game on October 2.