In 2011, it was Michael Cuddyer. Last season, the honors went to Drew Butera. This year's position player was veteran infielder Jamey Carroll.
Had Aaron Hicks remained on the roster, he might have been the obvious position player to be called in for mop-up duty considering he was a talented high school pitcher throwing in the mid-90s and multiple teams viewed him as a pitcher at the time of the draft. Nevertheless, Carroll retired his opponents with guile and not heat.
Carroll's nine-pitch eighth inning was not a thing of beauty, but it worked. He retired three consecutive Royals hitters and did not use anything resembling a fastball. MLB.com's PitchF/X system charted all his offerings as either a changeup or a knuckleball -- both reasonable assumptions for pitches thrown under 80 miles an hour. The St Paul Pioneer Press’s Mike Berardino tweeted after the game that Carroll had not pitched at any level since his Babe Ruth League days as a fifteen-year-old. I’m guessing the velocity has not changed much since then.
How does Carroll's outing compare to Cuddyer and Butera's?
You have to wonder if Carroll’s grotesque fingers gave him an unfair advantage to be able toput additional movement on each pitch that a normal, healthy-handed pitcher would not. Sort of like Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown.