Cubs catcher Miguel Montero is the latest position player to pitch
It’s been a weird week for MLB pitching staffs.
Several times in the last several days, position players have been called to the mound because they were either the next option to follow an exhausted bullpen or because they were asked to close out a game lost many runs ago.
5 teams have scored at least 17 runs in a game this season
3 have done so in the last 24 hours
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 3, 2016
Because of the latter, Chicago Cubs catcher and former Arizona Diamondback Miguel Montero was the latest position player used as an emergency pitcher, and he didn’t perform all that poorly despite his pitch mix consisting solely of 80-mph changeups.
The former Diamondback on Sunday against the Mets went 1.1 innings, allowing four hits and one run as the Mets piled on the Cubs to win 14-3.
Montero was quite aware of his inabilities as a pitcher but took a glass half-full approach to his performance.
A few more innings and might have a chance at the CY Young #Cubs
— Miguel Montero (@miggymont26) July 3, 2016
Miggy on the bump!!! @miggymont26 ice that arm tonight bro!
— Daniel Hudson (@DHuddy41) July 3, 2016
To put Montero’s performance in an odd sort of perspective, Cubs All-Star starter Jon Lester put his team in the dilemma by lasting just 1.1 innings while giving up eight earned runs and nine hits.
Two days prior, Toronto Blue Jays infielder Ryan Goins displayed a 90-mph fastball and diversity in his pitches to get three outs in the 18th inning of a 3-2 loss to the Indians.
Fellow position player Darwin Barney, unfortunately for Toronto, allowed a game-losing home run in the 19th frame, and the luck of Toronto’s position players on the bump took another disappointing turn when Goins was placed on the disabled list with forearm tightness on Saturday.
But here’s why we love when position players get their shot to pitch.
On Saturday with his Rangers trailing 17-5 in the eighth inning, catcher Bryan Holaday threw as dirty a 60-mph changeup as can be, forcing the Twins’ Eduardo Nunez to swing himself into the dirt after taking a big cut on the pitch.
— Cut4 (@Cut4) July 3, 2016