Sam Dyson

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Samuel Isaac Dyson

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Biographical Information[edit]

Pitcher Sam Dyson reached the majors with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2012, his first season in professional baseball.

Amateur Career[edit]

Originally selected by the Washington Nationals in the 19th round of the 2006 amateur draft after going 10-1 as a high school senior, Dyson opted to attend the University of South Carolina instead. He had a medical redshirt in 2007. As a redshirt freshman in 2008, he had a 8-0, 4.09 record despite 28 walks in 50 2/3 innings. Collegiate Baseball named him a Freshman All-American. He fell to 9-4, 5.21 in '09. He was then taken by the Oakland Athletics in the tenth round of the 2009 amateur draft but did not sign. He improved in 2010, going 6-5 with a 4.28 ERA, 101 strikeouts and 24 walks in 103 innings. He eliminated Arizona State University (4 R in 7 1/3 IP) in the 2010 College World Series then had a no-decision (2 R in 6 2/3 IP) in a win over Clemson to send South Carolina to the finals. South Carolina wound up with the title. Dyson was drafted for a third time, taken by the Blue Jays in the fourth round of the 2010 amateur draft. The scout was John Hendricks. He was the highest pick from the CWS champs that year.

Professional Career[edit]

Due to Tommy John surgery, Dyson did not make his pro debut until 2012, first appearing for the Dunedin Blue Jays. Playing for Dunedin, he was 2-0 with a 4.08 ERA in 6 starts. He was then promoted to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, for whom he was moved to the bullpen. In 15 games, he posted a 0.75 ERA (albeit with a 2.63 RA) and recorded 3 saves. He was called up by the Jays in July to replace Scott Richmond on the staff and made his big league debut on July 5th against the Kansas City Royals. He relieved Luis Pérez. He faced two batters, walking Billy Butler before striking out Yuniesky Betancourt to end the seventh inning before Francisco Cordero replaced him to open the 8th. he pitched only twice for the Blue Jays, with no record and a 40.50 ERA resulting from 3 runs in two-thirds of a inning.

On January 30, 2013, the Miami Marlins claimed Sam off waivers from the Jays. His being placed on waivers was a puzzling move, given how well ge had pitched in the minors the previous year, and while he did not do much for Miami in his first season with the team - 0-2, 9.00 in 5 games, he would soon prove to be a valuable addition to the team's bullpen. In 2014, he pitched 31 times with a 2.14 ERA and a 3-1 record in 42 innings, then in 2015, he pitched 44 times in relief over the first four months of the year, with a record of 3-3, 3.68.

Sam earned his first career save on August 2, 2015, pitching for the Texas Rangers against the San Francisco Giants. He relieved starter Martin Perez with one out in the 9th after Perez had allowed a one-out double to Angel Pagan, only the second hit against him in the game; Sam then got the last two outs to preserve a 2-1 win. He had just joined the Rangers on July 31st, after having been traded by the Marlins for Cody Ege and Tomas Telis. He went 2-1, 1.145 with 2 saves in 31 games for the Rangers, with 30 Ks and only 4 walks in 31 1/3 innings. However, his season ended on a sour note as he gave up the game-winning three-run homer to Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays in the 7th inning of Game 5 of the ALDS on October 14th.

In 2016, Sam took over for Shawn Tolleson as the Rangers' closer early in the season and went on to have an excellent season, saving 38 games with a record of 3-2, 2.43. In 73 games and 70 1/3 innings, he gave up 63 hits and 23 walks while striking out 55. He was also perfect in sole inning of work in the Division Series, again against the Blue Jays, although the Rangers were swept in three games.

Dyson was one of the best pitchers in the 2017 World Baseball Classic as he contributed to the United States' title by retiring all 18 batters he faced during tournament play. When the 2017 season started, however, he was unrecognizable, as in his first six outings he was charged with 3 blown saves and 3 losses, with an ERA of 27.00. On April 17th, he was placed on the disabled list with a bruise on his right hand, although that was not the cause of his struggles, given the injury had only been incurred on a fielding play in his last outing the day before. Matt Bush was given the closer's job in the interim. He was back on April 28th, but continued to struggle. On May 31st, he gave up three runs on a pair of homers in the 10th inning and was charged with Texas's 7-5 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. That turned out to be the last straw as he was designated for assignment on June 2nd. He was 1-6 with a 10.80 ERA in 17 games. On June 6th, he was traded to the San Francisco Giants for future considerations. He recorded his first save for the Giants on July 1st, in a 2-1, 11-inning win over the Pittsburgh Pirates, filling in for an injured Mark Melancon, then followed that with saves in his next two outings to give Giants fans some hope that the second half of the season would be better than the disastrous first half - something that would apply to him as well. He recorded saves in 11 of his first 12 save opportunities for San Francisco, returning to the status of elite reliever just as quickly as he fallen out of it. He went 3-4, 4.03 with 14 saves for the Giants, but given his awful start, his overall record was just 4-10, 6.09.

In 2018, Dyson spent the entire season with the Giants, going 4-3, 2.69 in 74 games with 3 saves. He pitched 70 1/3 innings and struck out 56 batters. Except for the fact that he wasn't used as a closer, his stat line was almost identical to the one he hap put up with the Rangers in 2016. In 2019, he started the season with San Francisco, going 4-1, 2.47 in 49 appearances. At the trading deadline on July 31st, he was sent to the Minnesota Twins in return for Jaylin Davis, Kai-Wei Teng and Prelander Berroa. However, his performance took a significant dip with the Twins, as his ERA shot up to 7.15 in 12 games and he was left off the postseason roster.

Dyson became a free agent after the 2019 season, but on November 25th information emerged that a former girlfriend had posted messages on social media accusing him of mental and physical abuse during their relationship. Major League Baseball immediately opened an investigation. He remained unsigned for all of 2020, then on March 5, 2021, Commissioner Rob Manfred announced that he had been handed an unprecedented punishment, suspension for the entire 2021 season, even though no criminal charges had been filed. MLB's investigation uncovered a pattern of abuse and violent incidents directed at his girlfriend, as well as controlling and threatening behavior to prevent her from seeking assistance, justifying the lengthy suspension. He was also mandated to participate in a "confidential and comprehensive evaluation and treatment program" overseen by the joint board comprising the Commissioner's office and the Players Association.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 30 Saves Seasons: 1 (2016)


Further Reading[edit]

  • Gabe Lacques: "MLB pitcher Sam Dyson suspended entire 2021 season for domestic violence", USA Today, March 5, 2021. [1]
  • Cassandra Negley: "MLB suspends free agent pitcher Sam Dyson entire 2021 season under domestic violence policy", Yahoo! Sports, March 5, 2021. [2]

Related Sites[edit]