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(Yahoo)   Texas Rangers' DH Mitch Moreland pitches in blowout loss, is the Rangers' only "pitcher" in game to throw a 1-2-3 inning, and throws 94 mph lefty fastballs. Some think he should pitch again, begging the question: Would he DH for himself?   (sports.yahoo.com ) divider line
    More: Cool, Mitch Moreland, Rangers, blow open the game, designated hitter, pitchers, begs the question, radar gun, MLB teams  
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1155 clicks; posted to Sports » on 08 May 2014 at 4:18 AM (1 year ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-05-07 08:25:28 PM  
I hate the DH rule, but I've always thought that, as long as they're going to have it, a team should be able to designate  anyplayer in the lineup at the start of the game, not just the pitcher, to have the DH hit for him.  Some pitchers can actually hit, so why not let them bat and use the DH for the second baseman who's good defensively but is currently batting .136--nobody really wants to see him get up there and ground into another double play. (Yes, I know that teams don't have to designate a DH and can decide to let the pitcher hit for himself, but if they fail to designate a DH for the starting pitcher, they can't use one to hit in place of any relief pitcher either.)

And I don't know if Moreland was acting as the DH in this game before they brought him in to pitch, but it he was, then apparently under the rules he would've essentially been his own DH for as long as he was in the game, and then any subsequent pitcher would've had to hit for himself.  The MLB website says this in describing the DH rule:  "Once a Designated Hitter assumes a defensive position this move shall terminate the Designated Hitter role for the remainder of the game."  Also, I found these other oddities, which I didn't know (I'm not a fan of AL baseball, so I don't know the nuances of the DH rule: "Once the game pitcher is switched from the mound to a defensive position this move shall terminate the DH role for the remainder of the game. Once a pinch-hitter bats for any player in the batting order and then enters the game to pitch, this move shall terminate the Designated Hitter role for the remainder of the game. "  I can't imagine any of this has come into play much, if at all, in any MLB game.
 
2014-05-07 11:54:20 PM  
"begging the question..."

*facepalm*
 
2014-05-08 04:43:29 AM  

Cyberluddite: I hate the DH rule, but I've always thought that, as long as they're going to have it, a team should be able to designate  anyplayer in the lineup at the start of the game, not just the pitcher, to have the DH hit for him.  Some pitchers can actually hit, so why not let them bat and use the DH for the second baseman who's good defensively but is currently batting .136--nobody really wants to see him get up there and ground into another double play.


The Darwin Barney Rule?
 
2014-05-08 04:43:48 AM  

calbert: "begging the question..."

*facepalm*


arrrrggggh.
 
2014-05-08 05:43:59 AM  
The important thing to note is that the Rockies are playing some serious baseball right now. TULO is batting over .400 and Arenado has a 27 game hit streak. Also the DH is weaksauce.
 
2014-05-08 06:12:15 AM  
My favorite DH-pitcher moment is when Chris Davis struck out Adrian Gonzalez
Image is too large but here's a gif of it  http://baltimoresportsreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Davis-Gon z alez-Change.gif
 
2014-05-08 06:21:43 AM  

Cyberluddite: I hate the DH rule, but I've always thought that, as long as they're going to have it, a team should be able to designate  anyplayer in the lineup at the start of the game, not just the pitcher, to have the DH hit for him.  Some pitchers can actually hit, so why not let them bat and use the DH for the second baseman who's good defensively but is currently batting .136--nobody really wants to see him get up there and ground into another double play. (Yes, I know that teams don't have to designate a DH and can decide to let the pitcher hit for himself, but if they fail to designate a DH for the starting pitcher, they can't use one to hit in place of any relief pitcher either.)

And I don't know if Moreland was acting as the DH in this game before they brought him in to pitch, but it he was, then apparently under the rules he would've essentially been his own DH for as long as he was in the game, and then any subsequent pitcher would've had to hit for himself.  The MLB website says this in describing the DH rule:  "Once a Designated Hitter assumes a defensive position this move shall terminate the Designated Hitter role for the remainder of the game."  Also, I found these other oddities, which I didn't know (I'm not a fan of AL baseball, so I don't know the nuances of the DH rule: "Once the game pitcher is switched from the mound to a defensive position this move shall terminate the DH role for the remainder of the game. Once a pinch-hitter bats for any player in the batting order and then enters the game to pitch, this move shall terminate the Designated Hitter role for the remainder of the game. "  I can't imagine any of this has come into play much, if at all, in any MLB game.


I've always wondered, since they have so much down time between starts, why not train starting pitchers with the hitting coach a little and have them bunt a lot more when they're at bat.
 
2014-05-08 06:25:27 AM  

UNC_Samurai: I've always wondered, since they have so much down time between starts, why not train starting pitchers with the hitting coach a little and have them bunt a lot more when they're at bat.


Because of the risk of injury. I know you think it's minimal but the risk::reward is not great.
 
2014-05-08 06:53:48 AM  
Maybe this should become a trend. I'd like to see a lot of hitters pitching.

Just think- if you had a team like that, the manager would actually have to manage- weighing decisions like "when to pinch hit" vs. "how effective is the hitter pitching?"

Eh, who am I kidding? It would never catch on.
 
2014-05-08 06:55:12 AM  
http://www.baseball-reference.com/friv/fieldPitch.shtml

/It might help to sort by year as position players pitching was not uncommon at all through the dead ball era.
 
2014-05-08 07:29:38 AM  
*thinks*

So, if the pitcher bats in the DH position, the team loses the DH, but if the DH is the pitcher, then no big deal.

Like in the NL.
 
2014-05-08 07:35:03 AM  
Designated Pitcher.
 
2014-05-08 07:37:03 AM  
I don't know what I love watching more, a position player strike out a batter, or a lineman returning an interception or kickoff for a TD.
 
2014-05-08 09:01:33 AM  

Cyberluddite: "Once a Designated Hitter assumes a defensive position this move shall terminate the Designated Hitter role for the remainder of the game. I can't imagine any of this has come into play much, if at all, in any MLB game."


I've seen this happen exactly twice with the Twins though baseball-reference suggests it's more common (I'm not a subscriber but the play index lists three instances of Twins pitchers hitting against an AL opponent since 2005).  The first I remember was July 6, 2007.  Joe Mauer was DH'ing in the second game of a double-header when the starting catcher, Mike Redmond, got hurt.  Since Mauer was the only other catcher he had to move to the field and they lost the DH.  The game was a blowout, thought, so no pitcher actually had to hit.

The second instance was May 19, 2008.  In that game, they pinch-hit for the second baseman in the 9th inning but the only middle-infielder left was the DH, who they moved to shortstop.  In that case, pitcher Bobby Korecky did hit (he singled in the 11th) and Livan Hernandez was on deck to pinch-hit when the winning run was scored.
 
2014-05-08 09:09:24 AM  

Cyberluddite: I hate the DH rule, but I've always thought that, as long as they're going to have it, a team should be able to designate  anyplayer in the lineup at the start of the game, not just the pitcher, to have the DH hit for him.  Some pitchers can actually hit, so why not let them bat and use the DH for the second baseman who's good defensively but is currently batting .136--nobody really wants to see him get up there and ground into another double play. (Yes, I know that teams don't have to designate a DH and can decide to let the pitcher hit for himself, but if they fail to designate a DH for the starting pitcher, they can't use one to hit in place of any relief pitcher either.)


As someone who played 2nd base in high school and never bat, I approve of this.
 
2014-05-08 09:18:18 AM  

rugman11: Cyberluddite: "Once a Designated Hitter assumes a defensive position this move shall terminate the Designated Hitter role for the remainder of the game. I can't imagine any of this has come into play much, if at all, in any MLB game."

I've seen this happen exactly twice with the Twins though baseball-reference suggests it's more common (I'm not a subscriber but the play index lists three instances of Twins pitchers hitting against an AL opponent since 2005).  The first I remember was July 6, 2007.  Joe Mauer was DH'ing in the second game of a double-header when the starting catcher, Mike Redmond, got hurt.  Since Mauer was the only other catcher he had to move to the field and they lost the DH.  The game was a blowout, thought, so no pitcher actually had to hit.

The second instance was May 19, 2008.  In that game, they pinch-hit for the second baseman in the 9th inning but the only middle-infielder left was the DH, who they moved to shortstop.  In that case, pitcher Bobby Korecky did hit (he singled in the 11th) and Livan Hernandez was on deck to pinch-hit when the winning run was scored.


And I was wrong about that first game. Redmond was injured in the first and Garza went 0-2 in the game.
 
2014-05-08 09:42:43 AM  
"I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter."

www.esquire.com
 
2014-05-08 10:10:19 AM  

Gonz: Maybe this should become a trend. I'd like to see a lot of hitters pitching.

Just think- if you had a team like that, the manager would actually have to manage- weighing decisions like "when to pinch hit" vs. "how effective is the hitter pitching?"

Eh, who am I kidding? It would never catch on.


Already exists, it's call high school baseball.
 
2014-05-08 10:23:21 AM  
feels like the grip on the season is already slipping.
 
2014-05-08 10:49:19 AM  

GoldSpider: I don't know what I love watching more, a position player strike out a batter, or a lineman returning an interception or kickoff for a TD.

During the 2012 Sugar Bowl, Michigan's long snapper caught a pass off a deflection on a fake field goal attempt.  That is nuts.  Makes me wonder if VT's secondary ever lived it down.

Gonz: I'd like to see a lot of hitters pitching.

It's not that uncommon.  Many outfielders earn their keep on account of having strong, accurate throwing arms.  The kind of arm it takes to throw out a runner going from 2nd to 3rd from outfield can put the ball in the catcher's mitt to the tune of 90+ mph.  When a regular season game goes deep into extra innings it becomes more likely, as a fresh arm without a breaking ball is preferable to overusing relievers when there are 161 other games to win.  It can also happen when a team literally runs out of available relievers (a serious concern in doubleheaders).
I don't expect to see it more than a couple times a season, league-wide, because it's usually a desperate measure.  If you move your outfielder, who plays his outfield position?  And a manager that routinely overworks his bullpen is. . . well, actually quite common, but the point is that this resort exposes a lack of depth teams try very hard to avoid.
 
2014-05-08 11:26:06 AM  

TrainingWheelsNeeded: feels like the grip on the season is already slipping.


Time to acquire Michael Pineda. I hear he has some good gripping techniques.
 
2014-05-08 11:46:19 AM  

dragonchild: GoldSpider: I don't know what I love watching more, a position player strike out a batter, or a lineman returning an interception or kickoff for a TD.
During the 2012 Sugar Bowl, Michigan's long snapper caught a pass off a deflection on a fake field goal attempt.  That is nuts.  Makes me wonder if VT's secondary ever lived it down.
Gonz: I'd like to see a lot of hitters pitching.
It's not that uncommon.  Many outfielders earn their keep on account of having strong, accurate throwing arms.  The kind of arm it takes to throw out a runner going from 2nd to 3rd from outfield can put the ball in the catcher's mitt to the tune of 90+ mph.  When a regular season game goes deep into extra innings it becomes more likely, as a fresh arm without a breaking ball is preferable to overusing relievers when there are 161 other games to win.  It can also happen when a team literally runs out of available relievers (a serious concern in doubleheaders).
I don't expect to see it more than a couple times a season, league-wide, because it's usually a desperate measure.  If you move your outfielder, who plays his outfield position?  And a manager that routinely overworks his bullpen is. . . well, actually quite common, but the point is that this resort exposes a lack of depth teams try very hard to avoid.


The mechanics are extremely different.  OFers tend to throw with a little crow hop that would be a balk on the mound.

Most MLB players are extremely good athletes who likely played SS, batted clean up, and was the ace pitcher back in HS just because they were better than everyone else.  So vast majority have spent some time on the mound when they were younger.  Some still remember how to throw off the mound, some don't.

The managers know who can step on the mound in extreme situations, and those players probably spend about 15 minutes in spring training with the pitching coach.

Similarly, every team has a position player that is designated "emergency catcher" who is at least comfortable wearing the gear and catching a MLB fastball.
 
2014-05-08 12:01:32 PM  

Cyberluddite: Some pitchers can actually hit


I went through this more in depth in one of the other 800 DH threads fark has had, but honestly: they really can't. The best pitchers are roughly on par with the worst backup catchers, and that's it. So, for instance, maybe the Dodgers would like a DH for Butera instead of Greinke in an interleague game, but that's just about the only time I could see it happening.

The major problem for both pitchers and backup catchers is that they play so infrequently. If you only see 3 or 4 actual, live plate appearances a week, you're simply not going to hit well, no matter who you are.

Cyberluddite: Once the game pitcher is switched from the mound to a defensive position this move shall terminate the DH role for the remainder of the game.


I've seen it at least once:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/TBA/TBA200904300.shtml

Lopez was absolutely terrible and Francona didn't want to waste any other pitchers to relieve him. So he decided to let Jon Van Every, who already came off the bench to play right, pitch. So Lopez moved to RF and the DH went away.

rugman11: I've seen this happen exactly twice with the Twins though baseball-reference suggests it's more common


Since I am a PI subscriber, here's a list of 175 times a pitcher has appeared in the lineup in an AL/AL game, just since 2010. Note that this isn't 175 games; there are a lot of duplicates.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/play-index/share.cgi?id=WZC6O

I should note that Joe Torre was infamous for doing this back in the late 90s/early 2000s. Guess he really missed the NL.
 
2014-05-08 12:07:13 PM  

dragonchild: Many outfielders earn their keep on account of having strong, accurate throwing arms.


I just had a mental image of Ben Revere trying to pitch, and it was both one of the most amusing and simultaneously one of the most depressing things ever.
 
2014-05-08 12:10:23 PM  

Cyberluddite: Once a pinch-hitter bats for any player in the batting order and then enters the game to pitch, this move shall terminate the Designated Hitter role for the remainder of the game.


Ok, I sort of found this one, but it's really weird:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BAL/BAL197609050.shtml

Catfish Hunter was the only pitcher used. But in the top of the 6th, despite him already being a pitcher in the game, he pinch hit for Sandy Alomar Sr, the second baseman. The DH, Cesar Tovar, then moved to 2B (and was later removed). Catfish kept pitching, though, leading to the bizarre P-PH-P position listing.

That was in the early days of the DH so I suspect there was a rule change after that.
 
2014-05-08 12:15:08 PM  

DeWayne Mann: That was in the early days of the DH so I suspect there was a rule change after that.


To clarify, the current rules state:

6.10(b)(10):The game pitcher may pinch-hit or pinch-run only for the Designated Hitter.

I suspect this rule was added after that game.
 
2014-05-08 12:38:10 PM  

jaylectricity: UNC_Samurai: I've always wondered, since they have so much down time between starts, why not train starting pitchers with the hitting coach a little and have them bunt a lot more when they're at bat.

Because of the risk of injury. I know you think it's minimal but the risk::reward is not great.


Ayup. Anyone remember Chien-Ming Wang? He pitched two 19-win seasons with the Yankees, and won both the Cy Young and MVP in 2006. During an interleague game in a NL park in 2008, where he had to bat and run the bases, he injured his foot rounding third base. He was out for the season and hasn't been the same since.

Could this happen to a position player? Sure, but it's much less likely, precisely because they have far more experience in batting and running the bases than a pitcher does, especially an American League pitcher who will get maybe five or six opportunities to bat in an entire season and even fewer opportunities to run the bases.
 
2014-05-08 12:46:06 PM  

bacongood: Most MLB players are extremely good athletes who likely played SS, batted clean up, and was the ace pitcher back in HS just because they were better than everyone else. So vast majority have spent some time on the mound when they were younger. Some still remember how to throw off the mound, some don't. The managers know who can step on the mound in extreme situations, and those players probably spend about 15 minutes in spring training with the pitching coach.

Sounds reasonable, just not noteworthy.  You can teach any fielder the throw-off-the-mound part with minimal maintenance practice, but my point is the ones that tend to get selected are those with strong, accurate arms -- 3B and outfield.  The first baseman rarely throws, and if you're putting an emergency pitcher on the mound you probably don't want to mess with your middle infielders anyway.

bacongood: every team has a position player that is designated "emergency catcher" who is at least comfortable wearing the gear and catching a MLB fastball.

If true, and while I don't know either way, I've never seen it in practice.  I'm a bit leery as it's not the fastballs that are the problem, but whatever.
Emergency pitchers happen though, because in some games the manager can burn through the bullpen very quickly.
 
2014-05-08 01:12:36 PM  
Nick Swisher posted a 1-2-3 inning for the Yankees a few years ago. Against the Rays, I think. Only Yankee pitcher that managed that that night.
 
2014-05-08 01:13:40 PM  

DeWayne Mann: Cyberluddite: Once a pinch-hitter bats for any player in the batting order and then enters the game to pitch, this move shall terminate the Designated Hitter role for the remainder of the game.

Ok, I sort of found this one, but it's really weird:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BAL/BAL197609050.shtml

Catfish Hunter was the only pitcher used. But in the top of the 6th, despite him already being a pitcher in the game, he pinch hit for Sandy Alomar Sr, the second baseman. The DH, Cesar Tovar, then moved to 2B (and was later removed). Catfish kept pitching, though, leading to the bizarre P-PH-P position listing.

That was in the early days of the DH so I suspect there was a rule change after that.


In 1971, the first of his 5 consecutive 20+ win seasons and the second-to-last year when pitchers still batted in the AL before the adoption of the DH rule in 1973, Catfish Hunter batted .350 for the season (in 100+ ABs).  So yeah, if that was going to happen with any pitcher, I'm not surprised that he would be the guy.
 
2014-05-08 01:22:24 PM  

GoldSpider: I don't know what I love watching more, a position player strike out a batter, or a lineman returning an interception or kickoff for a TD.


The latter.  Fat Guy Touchdowns (followed closely by Fat Guy End Zone Celebrations) rule the world.

/Fat Guy
//Getting a kick out of my own reply
 
2014-05-08 01:23:32 PM  
I remember in one of Billy Martin's last managerial stints with the Yankees, he put Rick Rhoden in as a DH.

/Billy was probably drunk
 
2014-05-08 01:41:58 PM  
Just like football, EVERY SINGLE POSITION should allow for a DH.

I want to see the best possible hitters vs the best possible fielders in every game. Maybe every out.

If some people can play both ways, all the power to them. If they can't, screw it, give me the best.
 
2014-05-08 02:10:09 PM  

DeWayne Mann: DeWayne Mann: That was in the early days of the DH so I suspect there was a rule change after that.

To clarify, the current rules state:

6.10(b)(10):The game pitcher may pinch-hit or pinch-run only for the Designated Hitter.

I suspect this rule was added after that game.


That's what the Wikipedia entry on the DH says about that game. It was allowable at the time, but the rules were amended to prevent that now.
 
2014-05-08 02:17:43 PM  

homarjr: Just like football, EVERY SINGLE POSITION should allow for a DH.

I want to see the best possible hitters vs the best possible fielders in every game. Maybe every out.

If some people can play both ways, all the power to them. If they can't, screw it, give me the best.


And if you don't want to do that, then go full "everyone has to do everything" - you only get 9 players and everyone has to pitch a full inning and field at each position every inning, as well as hit their position. None of these pussies who aren't able to pitch should be in the league.
 
2014-05-08 02:54:51 PM  

IAmRight: homarjr: Just like football, EVERY SINGLE POSITION should allow for a DH.

I want to see the best possible hitters vs the best possible fielders in every game. Maybe every out.

If some people can play both ways, all the power to them. If they can't, screw it, give me the best.

And if you don't want to do that, then go full "everyone has to do everything" - you only get 9 players and everyone has to pitch a full inning and field at each position every inning, as well as hit their position. None of these pussies who aren't able to pitch should be in the league.


Heh.

It's a stop-and-go sport. Basketball and hockey, for example, can't have players specialized in offense or defense. Football is very specialized - no one would ever expect a QB to play defense. Baseball has that same setup, but doesn't let you switch in and out.

It's just "traditional" not to have a DH, and I hate that attitude. I also want cameras to replace the home plate umpire for balls and strikes, but one step at a time!
 
2014-05-08 03:42:20 PM  

qorkfiend: Ayup. Anyone remember Chien-Ming Wang? He pitched two 19-win seasons with the Yankees, and won both the Cy Young and MVP in 2006.


I briefly wondered why I didn't remember that, but he didn't win either award.  He was good, but not great in both seasons, and "won" a bunch of games by pitching in front of a historically good offense that scored 930 runs (in 2006).

2006 AL Cy Young went to the far superior Johan Santana.  Wang got one 9th-place vote for AL MVP, which they gave to Justin Morneau despite him being the third-best player on his own team.

His decline after 2008 might have had to do with the baserunning injury, but his overall profile didn't look good for long-term success anyway.  You can get a couple of good seasons with junkballing, but pitchers who don't strike batters out tend not to be able to maintain top-level performance for long.
 
2014-05-08 05:34:21 PM  
dragonchild: bacongood: Most MLB players are extremely good athletes who likely played SS, batted clean up, and was the ace pitcher back in HS just because they were better than everyone else. So vast majority have spent some time on the mound when they were younger. Some still remember how to throw off the mound, some don't. The managers know who can step on the mound in extreme situations, and those players probably spend about 15 minutes in spring training with the pitching coach.
Sounds reasonable, just not noteworthy.  You can teach any fielder the throw-off-the-mound part with minimal maintenance practice, but my point is the ones that tend to get selected are those with strong, accurate arms -- 3B and outfield.  The first baseman rarely throws, and if you're putting an emergency pitcher on the mound you probably don't want to mess with your middle infielders anyway.


You could teach anyone, sure.  But why?  Just take the guys that already know.  Any MLB position player has the arm; Mark Grace used to emergency pitch.  Currently Butera does it as a catcher, Carp is primarily a 1B, same with Davis.  Dean Anna pitched for the Yankees last month and he's a SS/2B.

bacongood: every team has a position player that is designated "emergency catcher" who is at least comfortable wearing the gear and catching a MLB fastball.
If true, and while I don't know either way, I've never seen it in practice.  I'm a bit leery as it's not the fastballs that are the problem, but whatever.
Emergency pitchers happen though, because in some games the manager can burn through the bullpen very quickly.


Emergency catchers rarely catch; generally an injury is involved.  The fastballs are the problems as they don't bother throwing much else besides fastball/change up when the emergency catcher is in.  People I know to be identified as emergency catchers include Matt Murton and Jonny Gomes.  If nobody has volunteered, it would probably be whoever pissed the manager off last.
 
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