Have you ever witnessed a year where so many position players have taken the mound to finish out games? The Washington Nationals have deployed utility infielder Hernan Perez for mop up duty twice this year already. The Chicago Cubs inserted three position players in a blowout loss recently, and they pitched two innings without giving up a run.
Well, you can add former Nationals World Champion Asdrubal Cabrera to the list of players who now have pitcher to their resume. And he doesn’t have an ERA yet, to boot.
Former Nationals infielder Asdrubal Cabrera takes the mound in mop up duty for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
If you like pitching changes, you were enthralled with the San Diego Padres/Arizona Diamondbacks tilt on April 28th. In what began as a “bullpen game” for the Padres, the revolving door on the bullpen kept spinning, with 15 total pitchers being used by both teams. Among those, Asdrubal Cabrera.
Cabrera, has had his name penciled on the lineup card over 1700 times in his career. He has seen action at all four infield positions, nary a time has he toed the rubber.
Well, he has now, and his experience lasted all of eight pitches (five strikes). Cabrera induced two fly-outs to put an end to a disastrous evening for Diamondback pitchers, as the Padres went on to win 12-3.
Seeing position players take the hill in games which are lost causes has become some what of a refreshing sight. These players may have been pitchers in their younger days, even as recent as the early minor leagues. Allowing them to relive those moments has to be an adrenaline rush.
For Cabrera, who turns 36 at the end of the season, his days on playing Major League Baseball are numbered. He now has an additional story to tell friends and family members.
While he has just two-thirds of an inning to his name, Hernan Perez has pitched nine innings, or the equivalent of a complete game. Having a position player pitch remains somewhat of a joke in the league, though with how Perez is dealing this year, he may have found another reason to be kept on the roster.
As for Cabrera, the Diamondbacks surely want him to keep the ball down and work on a “put away pitch”. Or, they may hope he doesn’t have to pitch again.