Jason Johnson (baseball)
Johnson with the Las Vegas 51s
October 27, 1973 |
Santa Barbara, California
|August 27, 1997, for the Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 26, 2008, for the Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Earned run average||4.99|
Johnson graduated from Conner High School in Hebron, Kentucky. He did not enter college, but was signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as an undrafted free agent in 1992. After debuting with the Pirates in 1997, he has gone on to play for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers, Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Seibu Lions, and Los Angeles Dodgers. In 2001, he received the Tony Conigliaro Award. On June 8, 2005, Johnson became the first Tigers pitcher to hit a home run in a regular season game since Les Cain in 1971. The homer came against Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Jeff Weaver, at Dodger Stadium.
Johnson's five-year tenure in Baltimore was moderately successful and he became known as an inning-eating starting pitcher as he matured. After enduring two losing seasons with Detroit, Johnson signed with Cleveland prior to the 2006 season. He fared no better there, going 3-8 with a 5.96 ERA. He was designated for assignment on June 22, 2006. Before he decided whether or not to accept the assignment, he was traded to the Boston Red Sox for cash. In Boston, his time as a member of the Red Sox was disastrous, going 0-4 with a 7.36 ERA. On August 18, 2006, Johnson was designated for assignment by the Red Sox and quickly signed to a minor league contract by the Cincinnati Reds.
He signed an incentive-laden, one-year, $3 million contract with the Seibu Lions for the 2007 season. He pitched one season in Japan, then on February 7, 2008, signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He failed to make the Dodgers opening day roster and was assigned to the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s. On July 18 the Dodgers added him to the 25-man roster, and he finished the season with them, going 1-2 with an ERA of 5.22. On January 6, 2009, he signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training with the New York Yankees, where he was expected to compete for the final spot in the starting rotation. Johnson's return was thrown into doubt when he was diagnosed with choroidal melanoma in his right retina. On August 10, 2009 he was released by the Yankees.
He last played for the Amarillo Sox in the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball.
Johnson is diabetic and was the first Major League Baseball player to get permission to wear an insulin pump on the field. He wears the pump on his belt on the left side of his lower back, in order to minimize the chance of it being hit by a bat or thrown ball.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)