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Shawn Tolleson

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Shawn Mark Tolleson

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[edit] Biographical Information

Pitcher Shawn Tolleson reached the majors with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012.

Attending Baylor University, Tolleson sat out his freshman season in 2007 after Tommy John surgery, then redshirted in 2008.

Tolleson was selected by the Dodgers in the 30th round of the 2010 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Fred Costello and made his pro debut that summer with the Ogden Raptors, going 1-1 with an 0.63 ERA and 17 saves. After saving 25 games between three different clubs in 2011, he began the 2012 season with the AA Chattanooga Lookouts, posting a 1.38 ERA and 5 saves in 11 outings. Following a stint with the Albuquerque Isotopes, he was called up by the Dodgers in early June when Javy Guerra was placed on the disabled list.

He made his big league on June 7, 2012, walking the only two batters he faced in a game against the Philadelphia Phillies. He didn't fare much better in his next outing, giving up an earned run in one inning of work against the Seattle Mariners while striking out two. He went 3-1, 4.30 ion 40 games as a reliever for the Dodgers that season, although he pitched only 37 1/3 innings. In 2013, however, he hardly pitched because of arm problems, making a total of 5 minor league appearances and walking the only two batters he faced in his only major league game, on April 12th against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Dodgers placed him on waivers after the season, but he was claimed by the Texas Rangers.

Tolleson was one of the few bright spots on a Rangers pitching staff that set a major league record for most pitchers used during a season in 2014. He was the major league team the entire year, making 64 appearances out of the bullpen with a record of 3-1, 2.76. he was used for longer stints than in his rookie year, as he logged 71 2/3 innings, during which he gave up only 56 hits, walked 28 and struck out 69. On May 20, 2015, he picked up his first career save, pitching the 9th inning in a 2-1 win over the Boston Red Sox. The day before, manager Jeff Banister had announced that he would forgo pre-assigned role for his relievers for the time being, after the struggles of closer Neftali Feliz, which explains why Tolleson got a chance to pitch as a closer after being a middle reliever for his first 123 career appearances. He did not wait long to record save #2, however, as it came on the very next day. He settled down into the closer job, successfully converting his first 13 opportunities before allowing a game-winning two-run homer to Yangervis Solarte of the San Diego Padres on July 11th for his first blown save.

After his initial season, Tolleson went on nine-day humanitarian mission to the African country of Zambia along with his wife and teammate Clayton Kershaw and his wife. He and Kershaw are childhood friends from their days playing baseball while growing up in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Kershaw wanted to build an orphanage near the capital city of Lusaka, and the Tollesons volunteered to help him out.

[edit] Further Reading

  • T.R. Sullivan: "Zambia relief mission gave Tolleson perspective: Rangers righty spent nine days helping build an orphanage in Lusaka in 2012", mlb.com, January 10, 2014. [1]

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