Mitch Moreland was a college pitcher during his time at Mississippi State but was apparently too good of a hitter to keep on the mound, hence his move to becoming a first baseman and outfielder for the Texas Rangers.
Still, the 26-year-old lefty has always made a case that he would be up for pitching in a game that was out of hand to help save the bullpen, but his manager isn't too big on that idea. Ron Washington has said on a few occasions this year that if the Rangers were in enough of a bind to need to pitch a position player, he probably wouldn't go with Moreland. The reason? He didn't want Moreland trying to hard and thinking he's a pitcher again, potentially hurting his arm throwing a curveball.
Unfortunately for the Rangers, that time came on Monday night when the Rangers trailed 8-0 in the second inning to the Oakland A's thanks to a terrible start from Scott Feldman. Monday was the first of a seven games in seven days stretch so the poor start could potentially destroy the bullpen. That's the time to call on a position player, and Washington did just that when he put fourth outfielder Craig Gentry on the hill to pitch the eighth inning as the Rangers trailed 12-0.
Gentry got two outs before giving up a two-run double, leaving after one inning, giving up the run and hitting 88 mph on the radar gun at one point.
“I was a little nervous at first,” said Gentry, who was the first Rangers position player to pitch since Scott Sheldon in 2000. “I didn’t want to hit anybody. But it was fun. I had no idea where the ball was going.”
Neither did Scott Feldman.