Blackley pitches in Game 1 of the ABLCS vs. Perth (SMP Images/ Scott Powick)
SYDNEY, 14 February - The Australian Baseball League and Jet Couriers Melbourne Aces are pleased to announce that left-handed pitcher Travis Blackley has signed a contract with the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball. This will be the Melbourne native's second term with the Giants organisation, as he spent the 2007 season with the club, making 28 starts at Triple-A Fresno and two at the MLB level.
Speaking with ABC Grandstand following Game Two of the Championship Series, he said, "The Giants came along and gave me what I was looking for. It's great to have another opportunity."
Blackley had an outstanding impact on the Melbourne pitching staff after joining the roster in early January. He made eight relief appearances during the regular season, striking out 18 in 12.2 innings with a 1-0 record and 3.55 ERA, playing an important role in the second-seeded Aces' Postseason qualification.
Once the Postseason began, he joined the rotation as the number one starter in each series, showing his continued ability to dominate by striking out 31 batters in 24.2 innings. He engaged in a heated duel with another former MLB pitcher, Virgil Vasquez of Perth, in Game One of the ConocoPhillips Championship Series, turning in a good performance despite coming out on the losing end.
In addition to his previous stint with the Giants, Blackley has also spent time with the Seattle Mariners, Philadelphia Phillies, Arizona Diamondbacks, Oakland Athletics, and New York Mets organisations. He was originally signed by the Mariners in 2000 and made his Major League debut for the team on 1 July, 2004, earning the win over the Texas Rangers. He spent the 2011 season pitching for the Kia Tigers of the Korean Baseball Organisation, where he won 14 games.
Blackley is expected to begin the season with the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies, putting him just one level away from returning to the Major Leagues. He won 10 games in Fresno during the 2007 season, with a 4.66 ERA and 121 strikeouts in 162.1 innings.
"I played with Fresno in 2007 and I had a good time with the Giants organisation," he remarked to Grandstand.