The Eight Position Players Who Have Pitched in 2009
In Thursday night's loss to the Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona—down by seven runs with two innings to go and wishing to preserve his 'pen for the next series—summoned backup shortstop Nick Green to take the mound.
Green threw two scoreless innings without giving up a hit. Here are seven other non-pitchers who have taken one for the team this season.
With the Dodgers being blown out of Busch Stadium in a July 27 game against the St. Louis Cardinals, seasoned utility man Mark Loretta offered to coach Larry Bowa to get the last out of the eighth inning.
Manager Joe Torre agreed, and the 38-year-old Loretta made the second pitching appearance of his career.
After immediately hitting Matt Holliday on the foot, he retired Ryan Ludwick in two pitches.
Out of relievers in a marathon, San Diego Padres manager Bud Black called for backup shortstop Josh Wilson to pitch the 18th inning in a June 7 game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Wilson would not be as lucky as his counterpart Green, however, as he served up a game-winning three-run bomb to Mark Reynolds and took the loss. Later in the season, Wilson was traded to Seattle.
The Florida Marlins were losing 15-1 at home to the American League champion Tampa Bay Rays on May 27, so first baseman/outfielder Ross Gload took the rubber.
Despite walking two, he pitched a scoreless ninth inning and saved the Marlins' pen from further exhaustion.
The Reds' bullpen was taxed on May 6, so with his team down 10-3 to the Milwaukee Brewers and not wanting to exhaust his relievers further, manager Dusty Baker switched shortstop Paul Janish from his regular position to the pitcher's mound.
While the move saved the 'pen, the Reds' first position player to pitch in 11 years did not exactly have a stellar outing. He gave up five runs in the ninth inning.
Jonathan Van Every
Before facing Gload, the Rays were up 14-0 on the Red Sox on Apr. 30, when Matt Garza nearly threw a no-hitter.
Rather than go to his bullpen, Terry Francona put reliever Javier Lopez in right field and had the man who previously had that position, Jonathan Van Every, pitch out of the inning.
Van Every let an inherited runner score, but didn't allow a run to touch his ERA.
Gload was actually the second Ross to pitch for the Marlins this season. On Apr. 26, the Fish trailed 13-1 and were one inning away from being swept at home by the world champion Phillies, so manager Fredi Gonzalez called in an outfielder with the last name Ross, first name Cody.
His ERA remains untouched as he did not give up a run in the final inning of the series.
Prior to facing both Gload and Van Every, the Rays faced the first and most notable example of a position player throwing to hitters this season. As they led the Yankees 15-5 in their Apr. 13 home opener that honored the pennant-winning team of 2008, Bombers' manager Joe Girardi moved Nick Swisher from first base to the rubber.
Despite early trouble, Swisher pitched out of a jam to throw a scoreless eighth inning. White Sox fans joked that they got schooled on a trade that sent Swisher to the Bronx in the offseason, in that he could have been converted into a pitcher.