Last week, Dodgers utility man Kiké Hernandez became the 42nd position player to pitch this season. The Chicago Cubs alone this year have used a position player in six different instances – the most in baseball. There have been 46 pitching outings by position players this year and that, our friends, marks a new record for the most in a single season – breaking the previous record of 31 set last year. The increase in these appearances is a result of a growing trend that sees MLB teams choosing to use their bullpens more often and earlier in games than the past.
But just like any time there is change in baseball – there are people who are unhappy. Some have voiced concerns about the increase in position players pitching. They claim that by these pitching changes becoming more frequent, these moments are gradually losing the uniqueness that once made them so compelling.
Personally, if you are on the baseball field and in the lineup, you should be allowed to play any position. If pitchers who look like a toddler swinging a bat for the first time can hit (in the NL at least, for now) then why can’t the first basemen who only gets to throw the ball back to the pitcher most times be able to pitch? It’s a team game – let’s treat it as such! On with position players pitching!