Jake Elmore became the 14th player to both pitch and catch in the same game, during Monday night’s Rangers/Astros game won by Texas 16-5. Elmore started the game on the bench, but came in to catch in the fourth inning. Houston manager Bo Porter then tapped him to pitch the eighth and Elmore retired the side in order.
Elmore is the first player to pitch and catch in the same game since Jeff Mathis did it for the Blue Jays in July, 2012.
It feels like we’ve seen a lot more position players called on to pitch in recent weeks. It’s happening so often dare we call it an actual trend? These non=pitchers do seem to be fairing relatively well in mop-up work, too. Is it because when the opposing batter steps into the box with a position player on the mound, he’s trying to swing for the fences with every swing? Is it too hard to adjust to guys throwing who top out in the mid-80s?