This ‘Phillies 50‘ series on the most random player from each team in Philadelphia Phillies history between 1971-2019 comes to the pitcher who had the least impact on the 2012 ball club combined with a minimal big-league career.
It doesn’t get much more minimal in either impact or length than right-hander Tyson Brummett had on those 2012 Phillies and on Major League Baseball as a whole.
Brummett was actually drafted three different times. First, by the San Francisco Giants in the 35th round of the 2003 MLB Draft. He didn’t sign that time, instead choosing to attend Central Arizona College. So, the persistent Giants tried again the following year, taking him this time in the 38th round. Once again he passed on them for an opportunity to move up to playing big-time college ball at the University of California, Los Angeles.
“I was getting good advice from my parents and from the scouts,” Brummett told Jim Rayburn at the Desert News in June 2007. “The track record was right before me, that almost every player who reaches the majors has played college ball of some type somewhere. And I was determined from the very beginning to get my education paid for.”
In the 2007 MLB Draft, the Phillies made Brummett their seventh round selection out of UCLA. This time he signed, and did so early enough to make 15 appearances including a dozen starts in his first professional summer at short-season Williamsport.
The following year, Brummett rocketed through three levels of the Phillies minor league system to reach Double-A Reading at age 23. Then in 2009, Brummett again pitched at three levels, this time reaching Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Returning again to the minors in 2010, Brummett was given a shot to pitch in the Arizona Fall League following that season. Then in 2011 he split the year between Reading and Lehigh Valley, after which he went to pitch in the Venezuelan Winter League.
By the time the 2012 season opened, Brummett was a 27-year-old right-hander with five mostly mediocre minor league seasons on his record. There was nothing by that stage that pointed towards his ever getting a shot at Major League Baseball.
That year he went 5-6 with a 3.20 ERA in a season again split between the Double-A and Triple-A levels. He allowed just 74 hits over 90 innings with an 83/29 K:BB ratio. It was by far his best season yet, and it appeared to come to an end with his final appearance on August 31.
Brummett’s best was still was not deemed good enough to get a big-league promotion. Not even when rosters expanded in what was proving to be a lost September for a Phillies team that would finish without a winning record for the first time in a decade.
He went home to Utah and continued to throw on the side in preparation for another off-season in Venezuela when, out of nowhere, the Phillies called on the final weekend of their regular season.
The Phillies were headed to Washington for a three-game set with the host Nationals, who were battling for the National League East Division title, and due to injuries they were short on arms. Brummett was called to join the team, just in case.
By a 2-0 score behind a nice outing from Kyle Kendrick, the Phillies took the opener. But the Nats clinched the division on that Monday night anyway when the second place Atlanta Braves also lost.
On Wednesday, October 3, 2012 the MLB regular season would come to an end. The Phillies and Nationals would face off in a meaningless ball game, which the hosts would eventually win 5-1 by beating up on both Cliff Lee and Jonathan Papelbon.
A two-run homer by Mike Morse off Papelbon in the top of the 8th inning had put it out of reach. After the regular closer faced one more batter, Manuel decided to give Brummett the gift of a first-ever shot in the big-leagues.
Brummett took the mound at Nationals Park with one out in the top of the 8th inning that night. When he turned to face the Phillies infield playing behind him he saw Darin Ruf at first, Pete Orr at second, Michael Martinez at shortstop, and Kevin Frandsen at third base. Across the outfield were Juan Pierre in left, Nate Schierholtz in center, and Domonic Brown in right. Only his catcher, Carlos Ruiz, hinted that just a year earlier the Phillies were finishing up a 102-win season.
He allowed singles to the first two batters he faced, Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa. But then Brummett settled down to close out the frame in impressive fashion, striking out both Jesus Flores and Chad Tracy swinging.
The Phillies disappointing 81-81 season and his own career in Major League Baseball came to an end in the bottom of the frame. Brummett was released by the Phillies and signed in mid-October with the Toronto Blue Jays.
After a year in the Jays system he signed as a free agent in February 2014 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Despite making the Southern League All-Star team, the Dodgers never gave him a shot to return to the majors. He was released on August 11, bringing Brummett’s career to an end just days before his 30th birthday.