In an era of positional flexibility, teams opt for position players pitching

Last Wednesday, position players Daniel Descalso and Alex Avila combined for a 4.2 innings of relief work. Max Rieper, of Royals Review, just posted a piece entitled, This is the year of position players pitching. Hey, it’s got to be better than using Buddy Baumann (24.00 ERA) and Gerson Bautista (12.46 ERA)

From the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter

“A tactic that went all but dormant for two decades — no position player came into a game in regulation down fewer than seven runs for 19 seasons — has come back with a vengeance in this decade. Teams, perhaps more cognizant of the true chances of coming back from even a six-run deficit with one inning left, have been quicker to go to a position player in these spots.

“Maybe trying to get three outs with Jesus Sucre and a five-run lead was hubris, but in there is the kernel of a real idea: Trading the last spot in the bullpen for a more effective hitter, and using a position player, any position player, to soak up the low-leverage innings every team will have. We’ll call him the Descloser.”

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