Daniel Joseph Runzler (born March 30, 1985) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Sultanes de Monterrey of the Mexican League. He previously played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the San Francisco Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates.
Runzler grew up in Simi Valley, California and graduated from Chaminade College Prep before attending the University of California, Riverside, and was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the 17th round (501st overall) of the 2006 amateur entry draft but did not sign. In 2006, he played collegiate summer baseball with the Cotuit Kettleers of the Cape Cod Baseball League.
San Francisco Giants
In the 2007 amateur entry draft, he was selected by the San Francisco Giants in the 9th round (284th overall).
In 2009, Runzler played for four different teams within the Giants farm system. He began the season with the Augusta Greenjackets, where he earned a spot on the South Atlantic League mid-season all star team. He was unable to attend the game because he was promoted to Class A San Jose in the California League. Runzler spent two months before moving on to AA and pitching for the Connecticut Defenders in the Eastern League. After two weeks, he was promoted to AAA Fresno in the Pacific Coast League before being called up to the Giants in September 2009. It is believed that Runzler is the only player in Giants' history to play minor league ball at all four full season levels and make the major leagues in the same season.
On September 4, 2009, Runzler made his Major League debut against the Milwaukee Brewers, striking out center fielder Jody Gerut on three pitches. Runzler appeared in 11 games with San Francisco in 2009, striking out 11 batters in eight innings with an ERA of 1.04. During the Giants' 2010 World Series season, he pitched in 41 games, going 3–0 with an ERA of 3.03.
On May 28, 2011, Runzler was optioned to Triple-A Fresno to make room for Santiago Casilla, who was activated from the disabled list. On August 16, 2011 Runzler was recalled when Sergio Romo was placed on the 15-day disabled list.
He was optioned to Triple-A Fresno on March 24, 2013. He was designated for assignment on September 3, 2013 and outrighted on September 6. He received an invite to the 2014 Spring Training but could not crack the major league roster. He was released on July 30, 2014.
On December 16, 2014, Runzler signed a minor league contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was released on July 30, 2015.
Runzler signed a minor league contract with the Minnesota Twins in November 2015 with an invite to major league spring training. He became a free agent after the 2014 season.
Sugar Land Skeeters
On July 5, 2016, Runzler signed with the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.
He signed a minor league deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates on December 1, 2016. He elected free agency on November 6, 2017.
Tampa Bay Rays
On February 5, 2018, Runzler signed a minor league deal with the Tampa Bay Rays and then he was released on March 11.
Sugar Land Skeeters (second stint)
On March 29, 2018, Runzler signed with the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. He became a free agent following the 2018 season.
Boston Red Sox
On February 1, 2019, Runzler signed a minor league deal with the Boston Red Sox; he was assigned to the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox. He was released on July 15, 2019.
Sugar Land Skeeters (third stint)
On July 22, 2019, Runzler signed with the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. He became a free agent following the season.
Sultanes de Monterrey
On February 18, 2020, Runzler signed with the Sultanes de Monterrey of the Mexican League.
- Selected to South Atlantic League All-Star team representing Augusta Greenjackets in July 2009.
- Named the 2009 This Year in Minor League Baseball Awards "Overall Reliever of the Year".
On November 19, 2011, Runzler married Michelle Phalen, a sports reporter for KSBW TV in Salinas. Originally from Scotts Valley, Michelle played tennis at Occidental College.