There was a time in baseball history where throwing in the towel and using a position player to pitch was a rare sight to see. Heck, I’m sure people tuned in to witness the comedy and see a position player actually try on the mound.
For example, Jeff Francour pitching 2 innings in 2015, topping out at 88 MPH and mixing in 4 different pitches to boot.
Or Ichiro Suzuki taking the craft seriously, throwing 87 MPH and mixing in 3 different pitches during his outing in 2015.
And of course, Willians Astudillo who threw mid 70s and the infamous 40 something MPH eephus.
Back in 2011, we only saw 8 appearances by position players on the mound. The number has exploded in recent years.
2022: 23 as of June 1. Can’t find exact number up to June 23
It’s also not just the sheer number of position players pitching that’s making this once novelty incredibly boring. The way they’re now pitching is 10 year old little league status.
If position players are now being informed not to try at all on the mound and throw 40 MPH floaters, what are we doing here? It’s no longer entertainment.
The problem is only going to continue getting worse with the rule in place to have a max of 13 pitchers on staff. Teams will continue to throw the white flag down or up by 6 runs to save their bullpen arms for another game. Paying fans will watch professional baseball players lob pitches 40 MPH for an inning or 3. And the product will suffer.