Experts claim that getting out of your comfort zone is a good thing. I really wouldn’t know, I don’t take many chances. I mean there’s a girl on Twitter and I could just say ‘Hey, you’re cute.’, but do I? No, of course not. It’s out of my comfort zone. So I keep sitting at home every night without anyone to cuddle.
Twins resident old man, utility infielder Jamey Carroll proved on Monday night that he is comfortable outside of his comfort zone. The 39-year-old came into the blowout loss and was the best pitcher the Twins sent out to the mound all night, throwing a perfect nine pitch inning.
Carroll is not the first Twins position to take the hill and probably won’t be the last. In fact the Twins have had seven position players total pitch for the squad, including once each of the last three seasons.
2012 marked the pitching debut of Drew Butera who pitched a 17 pitch inning against the Milwaukee Brewers in a 16-4 loss on May 20. Butera notched a strikeout in the appearance while giving up no hits and one walk.
The ultimate utility man, Michael Cuddyer, pitched an inning for the Twins on July 25, 2011 in a 20-6 loss against the Texas Rangers. Cuddyer threw 16 pitches while giving up two hits in a walk, but nobody touched the plate.
The last position player to take the mound for the Twins before Cuddyer was outfielder John Moses in 1990. Moses actually had three pitching appearances for the Twins between 1989. In Moses’ only appearance in 1989 he allowed no runs in a 11-2 loss against the Boston Red Sox. 1990 was not so kind, Moses’ first appearance was again against the Red Sox and this time he let a run score in a 13-1 loss. Later that summer, Moses gave up two runs to the Angels in a 13-2 loss. Moses finished his career with a 9.00 ERA.
1989 was the year of the position player pitching, being the only year the Twins had two position players take the mound. Danny Gladden also took the mound that year in the second game of a doubleheader at Cleveland, the Dan Man gave up a run in the 12-1 loss. Gladden also pitched the year before in a 16-7 loss against the Angels, Gladden threw a perfect nine pitch inning in his major league pitching debut.
Back to 1968 for the Twins before Danny Gladden and that honor goes to César Tovar. This was a game that César Tovar started at pitcher and proceeded to play every position on the field. Tovar walked one and struck out one. His strikeout victim? Reggie Jackson.
The first ever Twins position player to take the mound was in the franchise’s first year of existence as the Minnesota Twins. On September 10, 1961, Julio Becquer took the mound and gave up four hits and three runs in one and a third innings. Those runs really didn’t matter at the Twins had already given up 10 runs en route to a 13-1 loss to the Kansas City Athletics.
It’s really been a mixed bag of position players getting out of their comfort zones and onto the mounds. In the 10 occurrences, the Twins only managed to win once, but if you are having your <insert the other eight positions here> pitching you are probably not in a good spot to win any way.
I commend these men for stepping out of their comfort zone and opening themselves up to failure. Maybe one of them can talk to that cute girl on Twitter for me.