Jason Phillips (catcher)
Phillips with the Toronto Blue Jays
|Toronto Blue Jays – No. 63|
|Catcher / First baseman / Bullpen catcher|
September 27, 1976 |
La Mesa, California
|September 19, 2001, for the New York Mets|
|Last MLB appearance|
|July 18, 2007, for the Toronto Blue Jays|
|Runs batted in||168|
Jason Lloyd Phillips (born September 27, 1976) is an American former professional baseball catcher and first baseman, who now serves as bullpen catcher for the Toronto Blue Jays. During his playing career, Phillips was also a member of the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers, and has worked as the bullpen catcher for the Seattle Mariners
Jason made his major league debut with the New York Mets on September 19, 2001. In 2003, Phillips was tried out at first base and was also a backup catcher to Mike Piazza. That season he broke out, batting .298 with 11 home runs and 58 RBI. In 2004, his offensive numbers dropped sharply, but through the entire season he only made one error. On March 20, 2005, he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for pitcher Kazuhisa Ishii. His offensive production improved slightly, and he recorded a career high in starts and games as a backstop.
On January 3, 2006, Phillips signed a minor league contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. He also received an invitation to spring training where he and Guillermo Quiróz were slated to compete for the backup catching job behind incumbent starter Gregg Zaun. However, with the signing of Bengie Molina, it seemed unlikely that either of them would get the backup spot. Quiroz was later claimed off waivers by the Seattle Mariners, and Phillips started the season with the team after Zaun was put on the disabled list. A few days into the regular season, Phillips was designated for assignment on April 7, a day before Zaun came off the disabled list. On April 12, Phillips was outrighted to Triple-A Syracuse. After Shea Hillenbrand was traded in July 2006 to the San Francisco Giants, Phillips was recalled to fill the void in the roster. He was soon outrighted again to Syracuse for Francisco Rosario.
Never known for his speed on the basepaths, Phillips was picked as the slowest active ballplayer by using a formula based on Bill James' speed scores by the Hardball Times in April 2006.
Upon Bengie Molina's departure through free agency to the San Francisco Giants in the winter of 2007, Phillips once again became the Jays' backup catcher and occasional reserve infielder. He was released on July 20, 2007. He was only batting .208 with a home run and 12 RBI.
Phillips signed with the Florida Marlins and assigned to the Albuquerque Isotopes, their Triple-A Pacific Coast League affiliate on July 29, 2007. Phillips was given the number 23, a number he had not worn since his departure from New York. He was released on August 13, 2007, after playing in only eight games with a .185 batting average.
On April 4, 2008, it was announced that Phillips had signed a contract to be the starting first baseman of the Camden Riversharks of the Atlantic League. David Keller, the Riversharks director of baseball operations, had stated, "Jason's age, versatility and experience are all elements that will help him achieve his goal of getting back to Major League Baseball."
Phillips signed a minor league contract on June 26, 2008, with the Atlanta Braves. He was assigned to the Braves' Triple-A club in Richmond where he spent the rest of the season.
Phillips signed another minor league contract with the Seattle Mariners on February 16, 2009, and was invited to spring training. On April 1, 2009, Phillips accepted the Mariners' bullpen catcher position, after his services as a player were no longer required.
Before the start of the 2016 season, Phillips joined the Toronto Blue Jays as one of their bullpen catchers.
- Bastian, Jordan (January 3, 2006). "Phillips inks deal with Blue Jays". MLB.com. Retrieved June 10, 2015.
- "Run Slowly And Carry A Big Bat". hardballtimes.com. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
- Mariners invite Catcher Jason Phillips to Major League Camp
- "Blue Jays Managers & Coaches". MLB.com. Retrieved January 12, 2016.