Prior to this season, I remember seeing Wade Boggs and Josh Wilson pitch an inning of relief each. That’s it. Never before had I discovered the pleasure(?) of seeing a positional player pitch in a game. Earlier this year Nick Swisher did the feat (and turned himself into a cult icon in New York) and last night, Jonathan Van Every gave it a go. Bonus points go to Van Every, since Red Sox manager Terry Francona decided to flip Van Every and the current pitcher, Javier Lopez, meaning Lopez had to go to the field after getting touched up a bit.
I must say, there was something poetic about Lopez having to chase down a double in the gap.
The plan was to look at Van Every through PItchFx, but naturally GameDay encountered a few glitches during his appearance, all but wiping that idea out. Only five pitches were recorded, each registering as a fastball. It seems 81 miles per hour is where Every topped out, while sitting around 78. His “change-up” actually got nice break towards lefties, but as you would expect the command isn’t there.
Ignoring big-named players (for health reasons) and Rick Ankiel (for mental health) which positional players do you think would make the best relievers? Who would throw the hardest? Who would make Daniel Cabrera look like Johan Santana?