Daniel Wayne Ardoin (born July 8, 1974 in Mamou, Louisiana) is a catcher in Major League Baseball for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He bats and throws right-handed.
High school years
Ardoin attended Sacred Heart High School
in Ville Platte, Louisiana, and was a letterman in football, baseball, golf, and track. In baseball, he was named the Class AA Most Valuable Player as a senior. Ardoin was heavily recruited as a senior by the Seattle Mariners
and the Cincinnati Reds
, but chose to play JUCO ball at Texarkana Junior College
, and then attended McNeese State University
Until the season, Ardoin was primarily a "career minor leaguer". Always possessing excellent defensive skills, Ardoin's weakness was his offense. He made his Major League debut in with the Minnesota Twins
, appearing in 15 games. He would not see Major League action again until the campaign, playing in only six games with the Texas Rangers
Ardoin received his chance in mid-2005, when the starting catcher for the Colorado Rockies
, J.D. Closser
proved to be inept, and his backup Todd Greene
was put out of action with a strained hamstring
. Ardoin set career highs in every offensive category, despite playing regularly in only the second half of the season. He compiled a .229 batting average
with 6 home runs and 22 runs batted in
The season began with Ardoin slated in a platoon catching role with free agent
acquisition Yorvit Torrealba
. However, with Torrealba injuring his shoulder during spring training, Ardoin assumed the starting role.
Although Ardoin was one of the top defensive catchers in baseball, his offense struggled during the first two months of the 2006 season. In his first 94 at-bats
, Ardoin managed only a .191 batting average
with no home runs and only 2 runs batted in
Ardoin's tough-luck season continued when he strained his left knee while tagging out Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Jose Cruz, Jr.
on a play at home plate. Ardoin was placed on the disabled list
on May 27
. J.D. Closser
, who had his role taken by Ardoin the season prior, was recalled from the Rockies ' Triple-A affiliate to fill in during Ardoin's absence.
When Ardoin returned from his injury, the Rockies optioned J.D. Closser back to Triple-A. However, after being back with the Rockies for only five games, Ardoin was designated for assignment on August 25, 2006, clearing a roster spot for rookie prospect Chris Iannetta.
On August 30, Ardoin was claimed by the Baltimore Orioles. He was immediately thrust into action with injuries to Orioles starting catcher Ramon Hernandez and backup catcher Chris Widger. Ardoin was designated for assignment September 8, 2006, and then signed by the Washington Nationals on November 7, 2006. On March 26, he was traded to the Houston Astros for Wade Robinson.
Ardoin spent the 2007 season in the minor league organizations of the Astros and the St. Louis Cardinals
. On December 12
, Ardoin signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training
with the Dodgers and was assigned to the AAA Las Vegas 51s
for the 2008 season.
Ardoin began the 2008 season with the Triple-A affiliate of the Dodgers. On May 20
his contract was purchased by the Dodgers and he was recalled to the Major League club after backup catcher Gary Bennett
was placed on the diabled list. Ardoin made his Dodgers debut on May 27, 2008
, in the starting lineup against the Chicago Cubs
. Ardoin would remain at the Major League level as starting Dodger catcher Russell Martin
's lone backup. Ardoin would also be named to the Dodgers postseason playoff roster after the Dodgers clinched the National League West
division title on September 25, 2008.
In the offseason Ardoin lives with his wife Hope and four children in his hometown Ville Platte, Louisiana
- Ardoin sees no barrier in debut