J.P. Arencibia: Catcher-turned 1st baseman-turned pitcher?
Former Toronto backstop throws scoreless inning for Rangers
Imagine the Toronto Blue Jays with a knuckleball pitcher at the front and back of the starting rotation.
We all know about R.A. Dickey, but former Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia?
Yes, the same Arencibia who caught Dickey’s knuckleball in last year’s home opener and wasn’t offered a contract last December after posting a career-low .194 batting average.
There he was on Wednesday, taking the mound for Texas for the first time in his major league career in the top of the ninth inning with the Rangers trailing the visiting Tampa Bay Rays 10-1.
Arencibia, it’s being reported, even threw a knuckleball, apparently six in a row to Rays designated hitter Matt Joyce, who eventually popped out to second baseman Rougned Odor in foul territory.
Logan Forsythe singled before Arencibia induced James Loney and Sean Rodriguez to fly out to end his 10-pitch, six-strike outing. He was the third Rangers position player to pitch this season, following first baseman Mitch Moreland and catcher Chris Gimenez.
According to Brooksbaseball.net, Arencibia’s 10 pitches ranged from 70 to 74 miles per hour.
He smiled as he walked off the mound, and why not? He didn’t embarrass himself, and it might be the only game action he sees for the foreseeable future.
Hitless in his past 15 at-bats, Arencibia sat out Wednesday’s game in favour of Mike Carp, whom Texas claimed off waivers from Boston on Aug. 3 and could take away playing time from the former Blue Jays backstop who had settled in at first base since being recalled from triple-A on July 17.
While Arencibia has seven home runs and 22 runs batted in over a 23-game stretch since being summoned from Round Rock, his average has dipped to .205.