In Monday nights 20-6 rout of Minnesota, Twins outfielder Michael Cuddyer was sent to the bullpen to warm up ... from the field.
After blowing through five pitchers, Cuddyer was the only option left. The position player came in the eighth inning. His performance saved the Twins. He threw one of only two scoreless innings of the Rangers record-setting offensive night. Texas only got two of their 27 hits and no errors off Cuddyer’s outing (the Twins finished the game with 16 errors.)
So for the Twins, that didn’t turn out so bad. But we pose the question in the Rangers clubhouse, if the starter and bullpen options were exhausted, who’s going from the field to the mound?
Rangers catcher Mike Napoli said he could see first baseman Mitch Moreland taking a trip up the hill.
“I heard he could pitch back in the day, he has a good arm, I could see him on the mound,” Napoli said.
“I’m sure Josh (Hamilton) could throw, he could probably throw gas. (Adrian) Beltre, he could throw gas,” Derek Holland adds.
But Moreland seems to be the consensus. Game-winning pitcher Holland even talked with Moreland about it after the game.
“He actually threw in the minor leagues, I didn’t see it personally, but he can throw,” said Holland.
Holland, though, takes the question to the next level, and builds a lineup for us. “I don’t know if Michael Young’s got it,” he laughs. “Mitch and Hamilton for sure, I need a righty in there so lets get one more, Beltre.”
What about Nelson Cruz?
“I don’t know, his mechanics might be a little off, I’d give [Ian] Kinsler the benefit of the doubt, it’d at least be entertaining.”
As for all-star utility player Michael Young, “That’d be quite the thing, he does everything else, el captain, that’s what he does,” Holland said.
Young said he’ll leave the “what-if” pitching to Moreland.
“No I wouldn’t do it. I haven’t pitched in a long time, a long time. I do know if you wanted ball four, eight or 12, I’d be your man, I have no idea how hard I’d be throwing it though.”
Even though the players entertained the question and have different ideas of who could do it, they all agree, they never want to be in that situation.