Scott Downs

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Scott Downs
IMG 1666a Scott Downs.jpg
Downs with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2006
Free agent
Relief pitcher
Born: (1976-03-17) March 17, 1976 (age 43)
Louisville, Kentucky
Bats: Left Throws: Left
MLB debut
April 9, 2000, for the Chicago Cubs
MLB statistics
(through 2014 season)
Win–loss record 38–40
Earned run average 3.56
Strikeouts 575
Saves 27

Scott Jeremy Downs (born March 17, 1976) is an American professional baseball relief pitcher who is a free agent. He has played in Major League Baseball for the Chicago Cubs, Montreal Expos, Toronto Blue Jays, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Atlanta Braves, and Chicago White Sox. He has been a starter, reliever and closer during his baseball career.

Early life

Downs was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. He attended Pleasure Ridge Park High School, where he was selected as Kentucky's Mr. Baseball. He was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 12th round of the 1994 Major League Baseball draft, but he opted to attend the University of Kentucky instead of signing a professional contract. At the end of his junior season at Kentucky, he was selected by the Chicago Cubs in 3rd round (94th overall) of the 1997 Major League Baseball draft. In 2000, Downs married his college sweetheart Katie Sisler, and lives with her and their children in Lexington, Kentucky.

Professional career

Chicago Cubs

Downs made his debut for the Williamsport Cubs, of the New York–Penn League a Low-A affiliate of the Cubs. He made his way through the minor leagues and eventually made the Cubs roster for opening day 2000. Between the time Downs started in the Cubs' system and when he made the major leagues, he was briefly in the Minnesota Twins system as he was sent by the Cubs to the Twins in November 1998 as a player to be named later from an earlier trade that had brought Mike Morgan back to the Cubs for a second stint. Downs was traded back to the Cubs by the Twins in May 1999 as part of a trade that also saw Rick Aguilera go to Chicago.[1]

Downs made his major league debut for the Chicago Cubs on April 9, 2000. he finished with a 4–3 record with an ERA of 5.17.

Montreal Expos

At the MLB trading deadline for the 2000 season, July 31, 2000, Downs was traded by the Cubs to the Expos for Rondell White.[2]

On June 11, 2004, while playing for the Edmonton Trappers, the Triple-A affiliate of the Expos, Downs threw a no-hitter against the Las Vegas 51s. It was the first no-hitter by a Trapper since August 8, 1996, when Aaron Small threw one against the Vancouver Canadians.[3]

After struggling in 2004 for the Expos, he was released on November 29.

Toronto Blue Jays

Downs was signed by the Toronto Blue Jays on December 16, 2004.[4]

On February 2, 2007 the Blue Jays and Downs agreed to a one-year, $1.025 million contract, avoiding the arbitration process.[5] Downs proceeded to appear in 81 games for Toronto in the 2007 season, tying Baltimore's Jamie Walker for the American League lead in that category. Downs went 4–2 with a 2.17 earned run average as a situational reliever, allowing 47 hits in 58 innings.

On January 18, 2008, the Blue Jays signed Downs to a three-year contract worth $10 million.[6]

Contrary to popular belief, Downs does not write J.M.J. (Jesus Mary Joseph) in the dirt behind the mound before he pitches. As confirmed on the FAN 590 morning show during the week of May 19, 2008, Downs writes the initials of his two children: daughter Katherine Grayson and son Harrison.[7]

Downs was scheduled to be the Toronto Blue Jays primary set up man for the 2009 season. However, when closer B. J. Ryan was sent to the disabled list on April 23, Downs was announced as having taken his place.[8]

On July 8, former closer B. J. Ryan was released and Downs was activated from the disabled list. Manager Cito Gaston named Downs the Blue Jay's permanent closer.[9]

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

On December 10, 2010 he signed a 3-year, $15 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.[10][11][12] He took over the role of closer from struggling reliever Jordan Walden on April 27, 2012.[13]

Atlanta Braves

On July 29, 2013, Downs was traded to the Atlanta Braves for Cory Rasmus.[14] He made his debut with the team the same day, pitching 1 1/3 scoreless innings and earning a win versus the Colorado Rockies.[15] However, Downs did not make the Braves' NLDS roster.

Chicago White Sox

On January 2, 2014, the Chicago White Sox announced that they had signed Downs to a 1-year, $4 million contract with a club option for 2015.[16] On June 26, the White Sox designated Downs for assignment.[17] The left hander had struggled over 23 2/3 innings pitched, posting a 6.08 ERA.[18] He was released on July 3.

Kansas City Royals

On July 6, 2014, the Kansas City Royals signed Downs to a one-year contract.[19]

Cleveland Indians

On December 20, 2014, the Cleveland Indians announced that Downs had been signed to a minor-league contract, and that he had received an invitation to their spring training camp.[20] He was released on March 30.[21]

Pitching style

Downs is a two-pitch pitcher. He mainly uses a heavy sinker at about 88–90 mph, and he complements it with a mid-70s curveball, mostly used against left-handed hitters. Prior to 2011, he also threw a slider.[22]


  2. "Cubs Get White, Trade Rodriguez". Chicago Tribune. July 31, 2000. Retrieved June 27, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Downs tosses second no-hitter in Trapper history". OurSports Central. June 12, 2004. Retrieved June 27, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Blue Jays sign LHP Downs to minor league deal". December 16, 2004. Retrieved June 27, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Blue Jays settle with Johnson, Rios and Downs". Associated Press. February 2, 2007. Retrieved June 27, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Bastian, Jordan (2008-01-18). "Blue Jays sign five of six players". Retrieved 2008-03-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Bastian, Jordan (2006-05-02). "Notes: Downs' return boosts bullpen". Retrieved 2008-07-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Ryan, Romero land on disabled list, Toronto Blue Jays. Published April 23, 2009. Retrieved April 25, 2009.
  9. "Ryan released; Downs back from DL". Associated Press. July 8, 2009. Retrieved June 27, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. DiGiovanna, Mike (December 11, 2010). "Angels agree to terms with left-handed reliever Scott Downs". Los Angeles Times.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. DiGiovanna, Mike (2012-04-27). "Angels' Jordan Walden loses closing job". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-05-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Collen, Kane (January 7, 2014). "Scott Downs happy to return to Chicago". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved June 27, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "White Sox designate Downs for assignment". Associated Press. June 26, 2014. Retrieved June 27, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. "White Sox drop reliever Downs". Chicago Tribune. June 26, 2014. Retrieved June 26, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. Kaegel, Dick (July 6, 2014). "Royals sign Downs to bolster bullpen". Retrieved July 6, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. Short, D.J. (December 20, 2014). "Indians sign Scott Downs". Hardball Talk. Retrieved December 20, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. Gleeman, Aaron (March 30, 2015). "Indians release left-hander Scott Downs". Retrieved March 30, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. "Brooks Baseball · Home of the PitchFX Tool – Player Card: Scott Downs". Brooks Baseball. Retrieved 30 May 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links