Jun 28, 2016

2006 NL Eastern Champion Mets Utility Player & Current Dodgers Coach: Chris Woodward (2005-2006)

Christopher Michael Woodward was born on June 27, 1976 in Covina, California. The scrappy player was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in 1994 way down in the 54th round. He was primarily a short stop in the minor leagues, after five seasons there he batted .292 at AAA Syracuse in 1999.

The six foot right handed hitting Woodward, got a call up in 1999 making his MLB debut against the New York Mets in June 7th in an inter league game. He had a base hit & a sacrifice fly, driving in both Blue Jays runs in an 8-2 Mets win.

He would spend six years in Toronto as a utility infielder & designated hitter. He got into 90 games in 2002 batting .276 with career highs in HRs (13) triples (4) & RBIs (45). The next year he got into 104 games enjoying career bests in hits (91) doubles (22) & walks (28) while batting .261. In 2004, Woodward made it to television, appearing in a TV episode of Degrassi: The Next Generation.

In 2005 he signed a two year contact as a free agent with the New York Mets. He would become manager Willie Randolph’s all around guy, playing every infield & out field position in 81 games with the 2005 Mets. 

Woodward debuted in the second game of the season as a defensive replacement for Doug Mientkiewicz. On April 23rd he started the game at short stop at Shea Stadium. He got two hits & his first two Mets RBIs in a game against the Washington Nationals.

In May he played in just nine games & the light hitting Woodward hit two HRs in those games. On July 19th he came up as a pinch hitter, in the bottom of the 11th inning in a 1-1 tie against the San Diego Padres. He had one of his fines Mets moments, hitting a walk off game winning HR, off pitcher Chris Hammond.

in August he had a three hit day on August 4th & in the middle of the month had a five game hit streak. On August 20th he once again came off the bench, for a game winning pinch hit single against the Washington Nationals.

Overall Woodward hit a career high .283 (going 49-173) with three HRs, 10 doubles 16 runs scored a .337 on base % & 18 RBIs, having a fine season.

He returned in 2006 and drove in three runs, in his first start which was at Washington on April 13th. He homered the next week in a game against the Atlanta Braves, and drove in six runs in eight games played that month. He went 2-6 as a pinch hitter then saw some more steady playing time in June. He was batting .300 on June 11th after having three straight multiple hit games from June 6th- June 11th.

That July hit two HRs in a one week span in games at Shea Stadium & then Wrigley field in Chicago. He then suffered through some injuries & struggled both as a pinch hitter as well as in a starting role. The good natured positive Woodward kept his sense of humor throughout the slump.

He would finish up the 2006 season hitting just .216, but did contribute to the NL Eastern champion Mets. He matched his previous year's totals with three HRs & 10 doubles. He scored 25 runs & drove in 25 runs as well. In the post season he got a pinch hit base hit & scored a run in Los Angeles against the Dodgers in the final game of the NLDS. The Mets did not resign him in 2007 & he went to the rival Atlanta Braves.

There he played in over 90 games but hit just .199, the worst in the major leagues for any regular starting player. In 2008 he played in the Phillies & Brewers minor league organizations, signing with the Seatle Mariners at the end of the season.

He was placed on waivers & then got selected by the Boston Red Sox in August 2009. That season he played just 13 games with the Boston Red Sox batting .083.

In 2010 he was back in Seattle playing the majority of the season at AAA Tacoma batting .232 getting a call up for eight games with the Mariners batting .158.

In 2011 he signed with the Toronto Blue Jays playing in just 11 games. In his career Woodward batted .239 with 408 hits 87 doubles 14 triples 33 HRs 191 RBIs a .296 on base % & 209 runs scored. 

Retirement: In 2012 he officially retired, the next day he got a job as a coach in the Seattle Mariners organization. In just two years he got to the big league level as the Mariners infield coach in 2015 but opted not to return in 2016.

When Dave Roberts was named Manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers he named Woodward the Dodgers third base coach for 2016.

Earlier in 2016 he coach New Zealand for the qualification tournament of the upcoming 2017 World Baseball Classic.

Woodward lives in Palm Harbor, Florida with his wife, two sons & thier daughter.

No comments: