Lane with the Las Vegas 51s
|Milwaukee Brewers - No. 40|
|Outfielder / Pitcher / Coach|
|Born: December 22, 1976|
Santa Rosa, California
|May 10, 2002, for the Houston Astros|
|Last MLB appearance|
|July 28, 2014, for the San Diego Padres|
|Runs batted in||189|
|Earned run average||0.87|
Jason Dean Lane (born December 22, 1976) is an American professional baseball former player and current coach. He is the first base coach for the Milwaukee Brewers of Major League Baseball (MLB). He played in the MLB for the Houston Astros and San Diego Padres. Originally starting his career as an outfielder, Lane switched positions and became a pitcher.
Lane graduated from El Molino High School in Forestville, California in 1995. He attended Santa Rosa Junior College, where he was selected as the 1997 California Junior College Northern California Player of the Year and Bay Valley Conference MVP before transferring to University of Southern California. In 1998, he played collegiate summer baseball with the Hyannis Mets of the Cape Cod Baseball League.
At Southern California, Lane earned All-America honors during his senior season (1999), including pitching 2.2 innings in the 1998 College World Series championship game to pick up the win and help USC to its 12th NCAA baseball championship, topping Arizona State University 21-14. Lane served as the DH in the game, going 3-6 with a ninth inning grand slam setting a CWS record with 11 hits overall, and led the tournament with a .417 batting average. Morgan Ensberg was also his college teammate on the USC national championship squad.
The Houston Astros selected Lane in the sixth round of the 1999 Major League Baseball draft. The Astros believed Lane's future was at the plate rather than on the mound, so he began his professional career as a first baseman. He was later moved to the outfield because of Jeff Bagwell, who played first base. He made his major league debut in 2002.
In 2005, while hitting 26 home runs, he led the major leagues in fly ball percentage (51.3%). When asked after Game 4 of the 2005 National League Division Series (an 18-inning game) who would pitch if Roger Clemens had begun to tire, Astros manager Phil Garner stated that he would have had Lane pitch for the victory with Clemens taking his place in the outfield. Lane hit the last home run and made the last out at Busch Memorial Stadium on October 19, 2005.
On July 12, 2006, Lane was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock after Houston acquired utility slugger Aubrey Huff. In August, Lane was called back to the majors, and on August 29, 2006, he hit a pinch hit grand slam off Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Dan Kolb in the 8th inning.
Lane finished the 2006 season with 15 home runs, although he hit just .201 over 112 games.
Lane began the 2007 season with the Astros, but carried an abysmal .165 batting average into June. With Rookie of the Year candidate Hunter Pence's spectacular play earning him the starting job in center field, Lane became expendable and was demoted to Round Rock. On July 23, with Pence out with a fractured wrist and Lance Berkman struggling with a hand injury, Lane was called back up to the big league club. Lane had hit well at Round Rock (.308 with 8 HR and 35 RBI in just 42 games), but then again, he has always hit well at the minor league level where he has a lifetime batting average just under .300 and has hit over 100 HR. The Astros hoped that he could repeat his 2005 success and become the outfield mainstay that they had long expected him to be, but it would not happen despite Lane being given every opportunity to succeed. While Pence was on the DL, Lane received the bulk of the playing time at center field despite an abysmal .172 average as of August 12, 2007.
On August 22, 2007 Lane was demoted once more to Triple-A. The Astros recalled relief pitcher Travis Driskill to the majors to help their bullpen. Lane was recalled when rosters expanded in September.
On September 24, 2007, he was traded to the San Diego Padres for cash consideration. Lane was not offered a new contract by the Padres and became a free agent on December 12, 2007.
On January 10, 2008, Lane agreed to a minor league contract with the New York Yankees and was invited to spring training. However, he did not make the team, and was assigned to the Yankees Triple-A affiliate in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
On August 19, 2008, after opting out of his contract with the Yankees, Lane signed a minor league contract with the Boston Red Sox. He became a free agent at the end of the season.
Lane signed a minor league contract with the Toronto Blue Jays in December and was invited to spring training. Lane had a chance to take the DH role, but instead it went to Adam Lind. He was then sent to triple-A Las Vegas.
Lane signed a minor league deal with the Florida Marlins in 2010. He played in 47 games and hit .229 with 3 home runs.
Lane signed a contract with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs of the independent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. His first appearance for the Blue Crabs was pinch hitting on June 28, 2010. At his first and only at bat of the game he was walked.
On December 9, 2011, Lane signed a minor league contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks, now playing as a pitcher. He was invited to spring training, and in his first professional outing, allowed 3 hits and an unearned run in an inning.
In June 2012, Lane signed a contract with the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League. In July 2012, Lane was awarded "July Pitcher of The Month" of the Atlantic League. This coming as Lane's first year as a full-time pitcher since his college days at University of Southern California. At the end of the Sugar Land Skeeters 2012 season, Jason has been named as the Skeeters first ever MVP. He was the ace of the pitching staff and an anchor in the middle of the batting order. Lane returned to the Skeeters for the 2013 season.
Lane signed a minor league contract with the San Diego Padres on July 23, 2013. He was called up to the major leagues on June 3, 2014, entering the game (against the Pittsburgh Pirates) in the 4th inning. Lane retired all 10 hitters he faced. He was designated for assignment on June 7. He was called back up to start on July 28, 2014 against the Atlanta Braves. Lane became the oldest starting pitcher to make his debut for the Padres, breaking the mark set by Walter Silva, who was 32 in his first start for San Diego. Lane pitched well, allowing just one earned run in six innings in a losing effort. He was designated for assignment for the second time the next day. Lane started the 2015 baseball season with the El Paso Chihuahuas on April 9, 2015.