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Rob Johnson (baseball)

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Subject: Rob Johnson, Adam Moore, Mike Nickeas, Whitehall, Montana, People from Butte, Montana
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Rob Johnson (baseball)

Rob Johnson
Johnson with the Seattle Mariners (2007-2010)
San Diego Padres
Born: (1982-07-22) July 22, 1982
Anaconda, Montana
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
September 4, 2007 for the Seattle Mariners
Career statistics
(through 2013 season)
Batting average .200
Home runs 8
Runs batted in 64

Robert James "Rob" Johnson (born July 22, 1982) is an American professional baseball catcher and pitcher who is currently in the San Diego Padres organization.


  • Amateur career 1
  • Professional career 2
    • Seattle Mariners 2.1
    • San Diego Padres 2.2
    • New York Mets 2.3
    • St. Louis Cardinals 2.4
    • Second stint with Padres 2.5
  • Personal life 3
  • Family 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Amateur career

Johnson attended Saddleback College, Mission Viejo, California, and was named MVP of the Orange Empire League in 2003. In 2003, he attended the University of Houston for one season,[1] before he was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in 4th round (123rd overall) of the 2004 Major League Baseball Draft.

Professional career

Seattle Mariners

Following a breakout 2007, he was named the Tacoma Rainiers team captain.[2]

Johnson made his Major League Debut on September 4, 2007, and played sparingly for the rest of the campaign with the Mariners. He had 1 hit (his first in MLB) in 3 at-bats for a batting average of .333, he also stole a base during his callup, during which he appeared in 6 games.[2]

Johnson was recalled to Seattle for the final month of the 2008 season when the rosters expanded from 25 to 40 for the month of September during which he hit his first major league home run, a two run blast off of Jerry Blevins of the Oakland Athletics in a game on September 27 at Safeco Field. He played in the Arizona Fall League after the season.[2]

Going into 2009 spring training it was thought that catcher Jeff Clement would be the back-up catcher and designated hitter on the opening day roster.[3] However, with the signing of the left-handed hitting Ken Griffey, Jr., Clement would be have little playing time at the designated hitter position.[3] This left the door open for Johnson on the opening day roster.[3]

In 2009, Johnson cracked the opening day roster with the Mariners for the first time in his career.[4] Primarily used as a back-up catcher in the beginning on the season, Johnson later became the a starter due to his good rapport with the Mariners' pitching staff and an early season injury to primary catcher Kenji Johjima.[5][6] When Johjima was activated from the disabled list Johnson again became the back-up catcher.[7] However, Johjima again went on the disabled list in late-May and Johnson became the primary catcher again.[8] Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu stated that Johnson handled the pitching staff better than Johjima.[9]

On June 13, Johnson was placed on the bereavement list to respond to a "family emergency". On June 19, he was activated from the bereavement list.[10]

In a 7-6 Mariners win over the Boston Red Sox, Johnson tied a club record with three doubles in one game on July 3.[11] His third double of the game became the decisive hit as it scored the winning run for the Mariners in the top of the 11th inning in Fenway Park.[11]

At seasons end it was reported that Johnson would undergo three surgeries, the first on his left hip, the second on his right hip and the third on his left wrist.[12] He is expected to make a recovery in time for spring training.[13] Johnson's hip ailments were detected during an MRI exam on October 5 in Seattle, Washington. It is a similar injury sustained by the New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.[14]

Johnson's 2010 season was a disappointment, hitting .191/.293/.281 in 61 games for the Mariners. He was demoted to the AAA Tacoma Rainiers on August 3,[15] where he hit .297/.403/.453 in 19 games. On December 13, he was designated for assignment by the Mariners.

San Diego Padres

Johnson was claimed by the San Diego Padres on December 21, 2010. In return, the Mariners received cash considerations or a player to be named later.[16]

New York Mets

On December 22, 2011, Johnson signed a minor league deal with the New York Mets with an invite to spring training.[17] On May 8, 2012, Johnson was called up after Josh Thole was sent to the 7-day disabled list. On May 18, 2012, Johnson pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the eighth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays, a game which the Blue Jays won 14-5.[18] Johnson became the first position player to pitch for the Mets since July 26, 2004, when infielder Todd Zeile took the mound for the Mets in Montreal.[19] After hitting .313/.371/.344 over 34 at-bats while sharing time behind the plate with Mike Nickeas, Johnson was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo upon Thole's return on June 1. On June 25, he was recalled after Nickeas was farmed out, only to get sent back down to Buffalo on August 15 after the Mets traded for Kelly Shoppach. The move was rescinded and Johnson was placed on the disabled list after it was discovered he had suffered a torn ligament in his left thumb. His season over, Johnson was outrighted off the Mets' 40-man roster October 17 and became a free agent.[20]

St. Louis Cardinals

On November 13, 2012, Johnson signed a minor league deal with the St. Louis Cardinals with an invitation to participate in spring training as a non-roster player.[20] His contract was purchased from AAA-Memphis and called up on July 9, 2013.[21] Johnson was called in to pitch to secure the final out in a 13-4 loss to the Dodgers on August 7th, 2013. He struck out Dodger's rookie pitcher Paco Rodriguez on 4 pitches.[22] Johnson was given his outright release by the Cardinals on November 5, 2013 and elected free agency. He had 35 total at-bats with St. Louis in the 2013 season.[23]

Second stint with Padres

Johson signed a minor league deal with the San Diego Padres in February 2014.

Personal life

Born in Anaconda, Montana, he played Little League in Whitehall.[1] When he was in the fifth grade his family moved to Butte, where he attended Butte Central Catholic High School (graduated 2001). He played for the local American Legion team (Montana and Wyoming are the only states to not include baseball on a High School level).[1] He worked on his family ranch through his junior year in high school.[3]


He currently resides in Austin, Texas with his wife (since 2006), Kristan. The couple has three children.[24]


  1. ^ a b c Foley, Bill (April 17, 2009). "Life in the Big Leagues: Butte's Robbie Johnson living the dream". - The Montana Standard.
  2. ^ a b c "Johnson knows hits are coming",; accessed November 9, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d Geoff Baker (March 22, 2009). "Mariners' Rob Johnson in the mix for backup catcher spot".  
  4. ^ Tim Booth (March 30, 2009). "Johjima has short span to get ready for M's opener".  
  5. ^ "Mariners C Johjima on DL with hamstring injury".  
  6. ^ Jim Street (April 17, 2009). "Mariners turn to Johnson at catcher".  
  7. ^ Tim Booth (May 1, 2009). "Johjima comes off DL and back into Mariners lineup".  
  8. ^ "Johjima put on DL with broken big toe".  
  9. ^ Larry Stone (July 20, 2009). "Wakamatsu likes the way Rob Johnson has been working with best pitchers".  
  10. ^ Geoff Baker (June 19, 2009). "Mariners designate Guillermo Quiroz, activate Rob Johnson, claim infielder Josh Wilson off waivers".  
  11. ^ a b Geoff Baker (July 4, 2009). "Rob Johnson's double in 11th powers Mariners past Red Sox, 7-6".  
  12. ^ "3 surgeries ahead for Mariners' Rob Johnson",; accessed November 9, 2014.
  13. ^ Mariners C Johnson to undergo hip and wrist surgery
  14. ^ Johnson prepares for multiple surgeries,, October 12, 2009; accessed November 9, 2014.
  15. ^ "Mariners demote former starting catcher Rob Johnson", Associated Press, August 3, 2010; accessed November 9, 2014.
  16. ^ Mariners trade Johnson to Padres,, December 21, 2010; accessed November 9, 2014.
  17. ^ Rubin, Adam (December 22, 2011). "Mets add Johnson to catching mix". ESPNNewYork. 
  18. ^ "MLB - New York Mets/Toronto Blue Jays Box Score Friday May 18, 2012". Yahoo! Sports. 18 May 2012. Retrieved 19 May 2012. 
  19. ^ Puma, Mike (19 May 2012). "Johnson bails out Mets in blowout". New York Post. Retrieved 19 May 2012. 
  20. ^ a b Langosch, Jenifer (13 November 2012). "Cardinals agree on Minors deal with catcher Johnson". via Cardinals team website. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  21. ^ "Cards release Wigginton, call up Triple-A catcher". July 9, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Dodgers plate six runs in second, blow out Cardinals". August 8, 2013. 
  23. ^ Langosch, Jenifer (5 November 2013). "Chambers among three outrighted off 40-man roster". via Cardinals official website. Retrieved November 5, 2013. 
  24. ^ Bill Foley (April 17, 2009). "Butte's Rob Johnson catching for Seattle Mariners".  

External links

  • Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
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