Padres sign former C Rob Johnson to a Minor League deal as a RHP


Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

San Diego, CA- The San Diego Padres have signed former catcher Rob Johnson to a Minor League with the team as a right-handed pitcher according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America. 

Johnson previously played for the Padres in 2011 as the backup catcher to Nick Hundley , after being acquired off waivers from the Seattle Mariners.  That season Johnson played in 67 games for the Padres and batted .190 with 3 home-runs and 16 RBI’s in 179 at-bats. 

Johnson, 31, was originally drafted by the Seattle Mariners in 4th round (123rd overall) of the 2004 Major League Baseball Draft. He spent three seasons (2007-2010) in the majors with the Mariners as their backup catcher. After being released by the Padres in 2011, Johnson split time between the minors and majors in 2012 with the New York Mets and 2013 with the St.Louis Cardinals.

It was during his stops with the Mets and Cardinals that Johnson pitched for the first time ever in his career. Johnson pitched for the first time in his career as a reliever for the Mets and became the first position player to pitch for the Mets since July 26, 2004. Johnson pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the eighth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays, in a game where the Blue Jays beat the Mets 14-5. Johnson recorded his first Major-League strikeout to end the inning, as he struck-out Blue Jays Outfielder Eric Thames on a check-swing. 

Johnson pitched for the second time in his career last season with the Cardinals on August 7th, 2013 when he was called in to pitch to the final out in a 13-4 loss to the Dodgers. Johnson recorded his second Major-League strikeout that outing, as he struck out Dodger’s rookie pitcher Paco Rodriguez on 4 pitches.

This won’t be the first time the Padres see Johnson pitch, as according Corey Brock. Johnson threw a bullpen for the Padres Front-Office and coaching staff while still a catcher in 2011.