About ten years ago, there were a series of experiments (since gone nowhere), of allowing position players to pitch, say, one inning as a "reliever," particularly if the team were losing badly (the New York Yankees' Nick Swisher, the Pittsburgh Pirates' Josh Harrison).

"Normal" relievers loosen up in the bullpen before actually pitching. I can't see position players doing this.

My understanding is that once on the mound, a reliever gets eight pitches with which to warm up.* Is this all that the position player/reliever gets?

*An exception would be made if the previous pitcher was injured. Then the reliever would get all the time reasonably necessary.


1 Answer 1


I don't know where you get the idea of an experiment; this has been possible for as long as I remember. Mark Grace pitched an inning in 2002, for example, and definitely continuing to 2021...

Position players do, with some regularity, pitch in major league games in blowouts. They don't, however, usually come in during an inning - they come in at the start of an inning, and warm up during the break.

Even then, assuming they were in the game, they're already somewhat warm - they warmed up at the start of the game, and stayed warm during the game. They also aren't pitching at the edge of their ability, like other relievers, so they don't need quite the same warmup as a reliever would who's hitting 95-100.

There was a change in the rules in 2020 that changed how they're allowed to be used - the team must be up or down by 6 runs, or in extra innings, or be a designated 'two way player'.

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