|Houston Astros – No. 54|
4 November 1982 |
|Bats: Left||Throws: Left|
|1 July, 2004 for the Seattle Mariners|
(through 16 May 2013)
|Earned run average||5.23|
Travis Jarrod Blackley (born 4 November 1982) is an Australian professional baseball pitcher for the Houston Astros of Major League Baseball. Previously, he has pitched for the Kia Tigers of the Korean Baseball Organization. He bats and throws left-handed.
Blackley was signed by the Seattle Mariners as an undrafted free agent on 29 October 2000. He began his professional career with the Single-A Everett AquaSox in 2001. He had a 6–1 record with a 3.32 ERA in 14 starts. He also had 90 strikeouts in 78⅔ innings and held opponents to a .211 batting average.
He was promoted to the Double-A San Antonio Missions in 2003, the most impressive of his minor league career. He led the Texas League with 17 wins; was second in ERA (2.61), fourth in strikeouts (144) and fourth in innings pitched (162.1). His 17 wins were the most by a Texas League pitcher since Jeff Reardon of the Jackson Mets in 1978.
He pitched in the Texas League postseason All-Star game and was named to the World squad in the 2003 All-Star Futures Game at U.S. Cellular Field on 15 July. The Mariners also named him their minor league pitcher of the year.
In 2004, Baseball America designated him as #63 out of the top 100 minor league prospects, the third best prospect in the Mariners' system behind pitchers "King" Félix Hernández and Clint Nageotte and their top left-handed prospect. He began the season with the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers. The Mariners, after trading Freddy Garcia to the Chicago White Sox, needed another starter and purchased Blackley's contract on 1 July 2004. He made his major league debut on that same day against the Texas Rangers and beat them, allowing 4 runs on 6 hits in 5⅔ innings. He became just the sixth Mariner pitcher in the team's history to start and win his major league debut.
After spending a month with the major league club going only 1–3 with a 10.04 ERA in 6 starts, Blackley was optioned back to Triple-A Tacoma on 1 August 2004. He had an 8–6 record with a 3.83 ERA in 19 games (18 starts) with Tacoma in 2004 before ending the season on the disabled list with left shoulder tendinitis. He missed the entire 2005 season recovering from left shoulder surgery.
He spent most of 2006 with Double-A San Antonio. After going 8–11 and 4.06 in 25 starts in Double-A, he was promoted back to Triple-A Tacoma at the end of August where he made 2 starts going 1–1 and 4.09.
On 1 April 2007, after spring training, he was traded to the San Francisco Giants for outfielder Jason Ellison and was immediately optioned to Triple-A Fresno, pitching the entire season in the minor leagues with the Grizzlies. He went 10–8 with a 4.66 ERA in 28 starts. He was recalled on 21 September, and on 23 September made his first major league start since 31 July 2004 against the Cincinnati Reds. He won his Giant debut, giving up two runs in the first inning and three hits in five innings, walking four and striking out five.
Philadelphia put him on waivers towards the end of 2008 spring training. The Giants did not reclaim him, and the Phillies outrighted him to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He became a free agent at the end of the season.
Blackley began the 2010 season with the New York Mets' AAA affiliate Buffalo Bisons, but the Mets released him on 2 May.
Travis then made the 35-man roster of the Melbourne Aces for the inaugural Australian Baseball League season. On 2 December 2010, he was activated onto the 22-man roster and made his debut for the Aces on 5 December starting against the Sydney Blue Sox and pitching a rain-shortened one-hit shutout. He had previously played for the Victoria Aces in the Australian semiprofessional Claxton Shield.
He ended up with the KIA Tigers in the Korean Baseball Organization in 2011. In 25 appearances, he had a record of 7 wins and 5 losses with an ERA of 3.48.
On 16 February 2012, he signed a minor-league contract with the San Francisco Giants with an invitation to spring training. On 1 May, the Giants purchased his contract and called him up from Triple-A Fresno. He pitched 4 games in relief for the Giants before being designated for assignment on 13 May.
Two days later, on 15 May 2012, the Oakland Athletics claimed him off waivers and signed him. He made his first appearance for the A's on 18 May in relief against the Giants. On 28 May, he started his first game for the team, against the Twins, and was added to the starting rotation. He finished with a 6-4 record and a 3.86 ERA for the season with the A's.
Blackley was first selected for Australia in the 2006 World Baseball Classic, but did not play due to an ongoing shoulder injury (as cited above). He debuted for Australia in the 2007 Baseball World Cup and went 0–1 and 1.64 ERA for the tournament, his only loss coming against the Japan national baseball team when Tadashi Settsu threw a shutout against Australia in the quarter-final, with Australia finishing 5th. He again pitched for Australia in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, earning a no-decision against Cuba and a 1.59 ERA for the tournament.
Blackley is divorced from model Arynne Tiller of Wichita, Kansas. They have a son, Tristan (born 6 January 2005).
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