I’ll admit, I’m not much on reading magazines anymore. I let all of my mags just pile up. So I only just today read what was reported in Sports Illustrated last week, that a minor league player played all nine positions in a single game. He’s not the first to do this–it’s happened in the major leagues before–but it brings up this nagging question I’ve always had.
We all know what happens if you move your DH into the field. For the rest of the game, your pitchers have to bat. It makes it very risky to use a catcher as a DH unless you’ve got three on the roster due to the specialized nature of the position. But what about the converse? What if, with your DH still not in the field, you were to move a player already on the field to the pitcher’s mound? In this particular game, the super-utility player pitched the top of the ninth inning and recorded a save, so his team never came up to bat again after this defensive shift was made, but if the original “pitcher’s spot” came up, who would bat there, the DH or the backup catcher (since that was the position he was playing immediately before pitching)? What if they moved him back into the field; would the DH be able to just go on DHing? If an AL team had a kid in the minors who could field like crazy–I mean like Brooks Robinson/Ozzie Smith caliber fielding–but couldn’t get a call-up because of his abysmal hitting, and also had some ex-NL pitchers who were known to be proficient enough with the bat, like a Carlos Zambrano-type, in their rotation, would they be able to bring the kid up and make him the “starting pitcher” on days when the hitting pitchers’ turns came up, have him throw an intentional ball one (because you need to throw at least one pitch), and then just switch him with the actual starting pitcher, who would’ve “started” in the kid’s position? These are important things to consider.
I have to assume such a maneuver isn’t legal. If it was, Joe Maddon probably would’ve tried it by now.