WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 09: Rick Ankiel #24 of the Washington Nationals reacts after getting doubled off of first base on a fly ball in the sixth inning against the Houston Astros at Nationals Park on September 9, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Earlier this week, we discussed how one of us (the rank amateurs off the street) might perform as a Major League hitter. I found that discussion interesting enough, though somewhat limited. Hitting has a pretty defined baseline: batting .000. Thus, as we talked about the scenario in which one of us was given 400 PAs as a Royal, there were essentially two camps: those that claimed they would hit some very low number (I said I'd have a batting average of .003) and those who, rather vehemently insisted that none of us would ever get on base in any fashion other than a HBP.
So let's think about pitching.
First off, I think we need to readjust our scenario. I don't think it is realistic to even talk about us being forced to be starters, because we'd all be so bad that the primary difference between starters and relievers (longer outings) is inapplicable. So, to make this workable, let's go with the following:
- You are on the roster for one month. (To get some of the benefits of full-time coaching, increased comfort level, etc.)
- For the sake of discussion, let's say you have to face 30 batters, minimum, over this month. Now, we need to divorce ourselves from reality, and assume that Yost is treating us like any other reliever: he wants us to pitch an inning, but if we're horrible (which we would be) we're getting pulled. Obviously Yost, in reality, if forced to pitch a terrible guy, would have us face one batter, then immediately pull us.
So... could any of you get one out? I think the big issue is whether or not I/you/we could even throw the ball near the plate. At issue is how slow can we throw and still get it to the plate? Many of us might just not have the arm strength or the technique to ever reach the plate. So they're going to be in the ERA Infinite crowd.
Some of us, however, might be occasionally capable of throwing the ball near the plate. Actually, an interesting part of the discussion is how large that group might be. Step one, is we've got to induce a swing. If we can get a swing, we can get an out, however unlikely.
So what do you think?