The Washington Post

Minnesota Twins OF Michael Cuddyer pitches scoreless inning in 20-6 loss to Texas Rangers

After Monday’s emergency relief appearance, Michael Cuddyer’s fantasty eligibility could soon look like this: 1B/2B/3B/RF/CF/LF/RP. (Tony Gutierrez/AP)

It’s an entirely different thing to leave an ineffective hurler on the mound in the midst of a 20-6 rout. The humanitarian inside Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was on display Monday during his team’s embarrassing loss to the Texas Rangers — or maybe he just wanted to give someone else a shot at getting an out after watching four pitchers surrender 20 runs on 25 hits through seven innings.

Rather than dig deeper into a bullpen that had clearly decided not to show up, Gardenhire sent All-Star utility man Michael Cuddyer to the bump. Making the first pitching appearance of his 11-year major league career, the Norfolk, Va., native gave up two hits and a walk but did not surrender a run in a full inning of work.

It may be time to add “RP” to the growing list of positions Cuddyer can play.

If nothing else, the team owes Cuddyer a beer for finally ending their miserable evening.

Said Gardenhire in his post-game presser:

“The first five innings looked like a ZIP code, that will tell you how it went...33354. I think that’s Florida...Fort Lauderdale.”

So just how rare — and how effective — was Cuddyer’s debut in the annals of emergency relief appearance history?

Consider only 17 active major league field position players have pitched in the big leagues — 18 if you count former starting pitcher Rick Ankiel. Among them, only three have made multiple appearances — Cardinals infielder Aaron Miles (5), Brewers infielder Josh Wilson (3) and Reds infielder Paul Janish (2), who owns a pristine 49.50 ERA. (Source:

Cuddyer — who has now played every position on the field aside from catcher and shortstop — is now one of nine active major leaguers to pitch a full inning without giving up a run.

Even better, Cuddyer’s display of spontaneous versatility may have been just enough to keep him in the Twin Cities past this weekend’s trade deadline.

Rival evaluator who recently tracked #Twins convinced they will keep Cuddyer even if they sell. Want to re-sign him. #tradedeadline #MLBless than a minute ago via Twitter for Mac Favorite Retweet ReplyKen Rosenthal

Matt Brooks is the high school sports editor for The Washington Post. He's an Arlington native and longtime District resident and was previously a high school sports reporter, editor for several blogs and Early Lead contributor with The Post.

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