ARLINGTON, Texas – The Texas Rangers have used eight positon players to pitch since they started playing in 1972.
Two of those have come during the trying 2014 season.
And just like Mitch Moreland did earlier this season, catcher Chris Gimenez shined in his time on the mound. Gimenez pitched the top of the ninth in a 15-6 loss to the Los Angeles Angels, retiring all three batters he faced including one on a strikeout.
"It’s not something you ever really want to do slash you kind of do one of those things," Gimenez said. "You never really want to have to go pitch. I figured since I was going to have to do it might as well have fun with it. I’m not trying to throw the ball 95. I’m just trying to throw it and let them get themselves out."
Gimenez did just that.
With a fastball that topped out at 86 mph, he got David Freese to ground out to open the ninth. He then struck out C.J. Cron on a changeup and got Hank Conger to fly out to center to complete his 12-pitch ninth, with nine of his pitches strikes.
He did so despite being heckled by Los Angeles pitcher Jered Weaver. He pitched in a game in the Alaskan Summer League with Weaver as a teammate and didn’t fare so well. Weaver reminded him of that Thursday.
"He was telling me my ERA, what it was," Gimenez said. "It was like a 36 in the Alaska League. I was just hoping to not have a 36 here."