In the Padres' blowout loss to the Mariners yesterday, catcher Christian Bethancourt became the tenth position player to pitch for the Padres, and was then relieved by the ninth, Alexi Amarista, who made his second appearance on the mound in less than a year. Interestingly, those two make up only half of the position players on the current roster who have major league pitching experience; shortstop Alexei Ramirez and infielder Adam Rosales both took the hill with their previous clubs.
Amarista was the first of the four to be pressed into service, on June 17, last year. His initial trip to the mound was much like his most recent: He came in with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning on the road against an American League West team who had scored 16 runs. In that case the opponent was the A's. With Mark Canha on third base, Amarista took over for Cory Mazzoni, then got Billy Burns to loft a harmless fly ball to Matt Kemp on the second pitch.
Nine days later, Adam Rosales joined the club. With the Rangers down 11-2 in Toronto, he was summoned to pitch the eighth inning. After that year's AL MVP, Josh Donaldson grounded out to shortstop on a 2-0 count, Danny Valencia jumped on the first pitch and took it deep to make the score 12-2. Edwin Encarnacion nearly duplicated the feat, but his long drive stayed in the park, settling in left fielder Ryan Rua's glove for the second out. Rosales then got an 0-2 count on shortstop Ryan Goins, who grounded out to third on the eighth pitch of the frame.
Only two days passed before Texas manager Jeff Banister called on Rosales once more. This time the Rangers were at home and getting beat 19-5 by the Yankees in a game they once led 5-0, so Rosales was brought on for the top of the ninth inning. Jacoby Ellsbury reached base on catcher's interference before Brett Gardner launched a full-count pitch into the night to make the score 21-5. Alex Rodriguez drew a walk on six pitches, then Garrett Jones flew out to centerfield, bringing up Chris Young, who struck out looking on the fourth pitch. Stephen Drew then worked a 1-2 count before also flying out to center.
Alexei Ramirez also made his pitching debut against Oakland. Ramirez, who earlier in the game hit what would prove to be his final home run as a member of the White Sox, came in to pitch the top of the ninth inning with Chicago trailing 17-6. He got third baseman Max Muncy to ground out to first on a 1-1 count, then induced a full-count flyout to center from Josh Phegley. Eric Sogard then hit a double on the first pitch he saw, and remained on second when Ramirez hit Jake Smolinski on a 1-2 count. Both runners were stranded when Sam Fuld hit a 2-2 pitch on the ground to Ramirez's replacement at shortstop, Avisail Garcia.
That brings us to yesterday. Bethancourt's career ERA currently sits at 0.00, thanks to a little help from Amarista, who also has a 0.00 ERA, as does Ramirez. Rosales sports a Perdomo-like 9.00 mark, thanks to allowing an earned run in each of his inning-long appearances.