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Position players pitching? Twins have rich history


Bert Blyleven, Johan Santana, Brad Radke.

Who needs them when you have guys in the field who can shut the door when they cannot?

Behold, a complete list of the Twins position players called upon to pitch when the chips were down:

Jamey Carroll, 2013: Last night, nine pitches in a perfect eighth, slightly better than alleged pitcher Ryan Pressly, who went 1 1/3 giving up seven runs.

Drew Butera, 2012: In a disastrous 16-4 loss to Milwaukee on May 20 of last year, Butera threw 17 pitches in a scoreless eighth, while walking one, and striking out what very well could be the best player in baseball this year, former Twin Carlos Gomez.

Michael Cuddyer, 2011: Another scoreless eighth, throwing 16 pitches in a July 25, 20-6 loss to Texas. He loaded the bases, but came out unscathed, preserving a 14-run loss.

John Moses, 1989, twice in 1990: The Twins lost these three games by a combined score of 37-5, and Moses gave up three combined runs over the outings. Moses pitching career started out so promising, hurling a shutout inning of ball against Boston in '89, but the Red Sox got their revenge in '90, putting up a run on two hits. In Moses' last outing the Angels plated two runs, to bring his career ERA to nine, just barely north of Vance Worley's mark with the Twins this year.

Dan Gladden, 1988, 1989: The Dazzle Man threw an inning in each of his appearances, matching Carroll in '88 with a perfect nine-pitch inning to blank the Angels, and giving up a run in his final chance on the mound to Cleveland in a 12-1 loss in '89.

Cesar Tovar, 1968: We love what Jamey did last night, but this dwarfs all the others. In undoubtedly one of the most impressive accomplishments in Twins history, Tovar started Minnesota's 2-1 win against Oakland on the mound, and played every position on the field that day, going 1-3 at the plate while pitching a scoreless first before moving to catcher. The Twins were firmly out of the pennant race, so why not right?

Julio Becquer, 1961: The very first position player to take the mound in Twins history in the club's inaugural year, Becquer found trouble in the Twins 13-1 loss to Oakland, pitching 1 1/3 and giving up three runs for a season ERA of 20.25. It's OK Julio, not everyone can be Jamey Carroll.

Let's round things out this way:

In games Twins position players have appeared on the mound, Minnesota has been outscored 129-25.

Twins position players have appeared in a game in eight separate years, only one of those was a winning season.

Position players combined ERA: 6.10.

But hey, how about that three-inning shutout streak non-pitchers are on?

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