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Switch pitcher?

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I don't remember the details of which players were involved, but the Cards, under Whitey Herzog, did use a pitcher/fielder swap strategy. It went something like this (I may be mixing up which was lefty and which was righty, but the idea is the same): Pitcher A is a lefty in the game and a righty batter comes up. Herzog moves the pitcher to right field for one at-bat, knowing other lefty batters are coming up next. He brings in a righty reliever just to face the one hitter w/o losing the lefty pitcher. He choose right field thinking the hitter would not be pulling the ball if he hit it to right and the pitcher (now fielder) would be better able to handle it. And the odds of a hit being made to right in a single at-bat are not very high.

Sorry my memory is too poor to have any details, I can't even remember if the strategy worked well or not. But I do remember thinking that Herzog was a crafty guy and he was always looking for ways to get some kind of advantage, even if it went against the conventions of traditional baseball. Maybe some else can recall the facts better.

Seems you could really abuse with the use of the DH.

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I don't remember the details of which players were involved, but the Cards, under Whitey Herzog, did use a pitcher/fielder swap strategy. It went something like this (I may be mixing up which was lefty and which was righty, but the idea is the same): Pitcher A is a lefty in the game and a righty batter comes up. Herzog moves the pitcher to right field for one at-bat, knowing other lefty batters are coming up next. He brings in a righty reliever just to face the one hitter w/o losing the lefty pitcher. He choose right field thinking the hitter would not be pulling the ball if he hit it to right and the pitcher (now fielder) would be better able to handle it. And the odds of a hit being made to right in a single at-bat are not very high.

Sorry my memory is too poor to have any details, I can't even remember if the strategy worked well or not. But I do remember thinking that Herzog was a crafty guy and he was always looking for ways to get some kind of advantage, even if it went against the conventions of traditional baseball. Maybe some else can recall the facts better.

Yup. When we had multi-inning 'firemen' instead of assigned 6/7/8/9 inning guys, it wasn't that uncommon to see a manager bring in a LOOGY while subbing out someone else so his good pitcher could stay in the game. The nature of the way relievers are used has changed so much that any advantage to this technique has probably gone away.

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Pitching and playing the outfield – in the same game! » Baseball-Reference Blog » Blog Archive

This has a list that includes cases of position players also pitching, because of the query written.

I remember when Zimmer did it but thought it was Assenmacher and not Lancaster.

I thought it would be more. Funny how memories work... I would have bet $100 it happened in the NLCS in 1988, or thereabouts, but I can't find it. I have this visual of a pitcher standing in RF.

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Seems you could really abuse with the use of the DH.

I think there's specific rules governing DH swapping. I believe it you're DH moves to a different position, you lose the DH and your pitcher has to bat.

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Here's the rules according to Wikipedia: Designated hitter - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The designated hitter may be replaced as DH only by a player who has not entered the game. If a pinch hitter bats for, or a pinch runner runs for, the DH, that pinch-hitter or pinch-runner becomes the DH.

So you can't move a player who's currently playing another position to DH. Also:

The designated hitter can be moved to a fielding position during the game. If the DH is moved to another position, his team forfeits the role of the designated hitter, and the pitcher or another player (the latter possible only in case of a multiple substitution) would bat in the spot of the position player replaced by the former DH. If the designated hitter is moved to pitcher, any subsequent pitcher (or pinch-hitter thereof) would bat should that spot in the batting order come up again (except for a further multiple substitution.) Likewise, if a pinch-hitter bats for a non-pitcher, and then remains in the game as the pitcher, the team would forfeit the use of the DH for the remainder of the game, and the player who was DH would become a position player.

So pretty much if you try to mess around with moving pitcher to DH you promptly lose the DH spot for the remainder of the game.

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Just an interesting story here and it has nothing to do with pitching. I coached Pony league baseball a few years ago. We had a game one night in which our regular catcher didn't show up. My centerfielder who was lefthanded volunteered to catch. I told him you can't do that, we don't have a lefthanded catcher's mitt. He said, no problem, I'll just use the one we have and toss the ball back to the pitcher with my right hand. I won't be very good, but I'm willing to try. Now into the second inning of the game and the other team gets a guy on first base and of course being a fast kid, he tries to steal. My centerfielder, throwing with his off hand, guns the runner down at second base. We just stood there with our jaws on the ground. The other team didn't attempt a steal the rest of the game.

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Just an interesting story here and it has nothing to do with pitching. I coached Pony league baseball a few years ago. We had a game one night in which our regular catcher didn't show up. My centerfielder who was lefthanded volunteered to catch. I told him you can't do that, we don't have a lefthanded catcher's mitt. He said, no problem, I'll just use the one we have and toss the ball back to the pitcher with my right hand. I won't be very good, but I'm willing to try. Now into the second inning of the game and the other team gets a guy on first base and of course being a fast kid, he tries to steal. My centerfielder, throwing with his off hand, guns the runner down at second base. We just stood there with our jaws on the ground. The other team didn't attempt a steal the rest of the game.

Catching with the off hand would probably be pretty easy, but to be able to put anything on a throw with the offhand is VERY impressive.

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I think there's specific rules governing DH swapping. I believe it you're DH moves to a different position, you lose the DH and your pitcher has to bat.

Yup. You can only DH for the pitcher, so if the pitcher goes into the game at any other position, the DH is out of the game for the rest of that game. So subbing in a LOOGY for a position player has been moot in the AL since the DH. Strictly an NL option now.

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I can't believe an umpire mistakenly claimed a pitcher could not return to the mound if he leaves the mound to play another position in the field some 5 posts up.

Also, I was always under the impression a switch hitter could switch sides in any at bat until he has a strike on him. Then he has stay in the box he's at.

Edit: I see there was a new rule made in 2008 just for this reason and pitcher....

Venditte's versatility prompts new rule | MLB.com

Edited by Sports_Freak

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Pitching and playing the outfield – in the same game! » Baseball-Reference Blog » Blog Archive

This has a list that includes cases of position players also pitching, because of the query written.

I remember when Zimmer did it but thought it was Assenmacher and not Lancaster.

I thought it would be more. Funny how memories work... I would have bet $100 it happened in the NLCS in 1988, or thereabouts, but I can't find it. I have this visual of a pitcher standing in RF.

Here is another article about it:

http://www.foxsports.com/mlb/story/bo-porter-managers-astros-tony-sipp-waxahachie-swap-paul-richards-061114

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Wow... Venditte is even more amazing than I thought. Not only can he throw with both arms, he can also throw under water!!

CHAdzhLUYAAc-AS.jpg

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On a side note... assuming that switch pitchers start to become more common, do we need to start having splits for them pitching rightie vs. pitching leftie?

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Wow... Venditte is even more amazing than I thought. Not only can he throw with both arms, he can also throw under water!!

CHAdzhLUYAAc-AS.jpg

He throws a wicked submarine pitch

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On a side note... assuming that switch pitchers start to become more common, do we need to start having splits for them pitching rightie vs. pitching leftie?

I cannot imagine it would ever be anything more than a rarity.

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I think I've soured on this guy purely out of jealousy. I might be able to break a plane of glass with my fastball (last recorded @ 65 MPH 20some years ago). This guy hits 90 with either hand. Heck, he can probably throw faster with both of his feet than I can with my dominant hand.

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