Presenting the 2017 All Out-of-Position Team
Baseball had its share of surprises in 2017, but few were as strange as the sight of well-known players out of place. Just like no one expected to see
Together, this group makes up the 2017 All Out-of-Position Team, and we would love to see them get together to play in these spots on a 162-game basis. What's life without a little adventure, anyway? These guys have just about seen it all.
Become just the 17th player in MLB history to hit four home runs in one game? Check.
Help your team out by throwing an inning in a blowout? Also check.
The Reds found a man to do both in 2017, and his name was Scooter Gennett, the first player to ever pull off this combo in one season when he pitched on Aug. 14. He even added in a funky sidearm angle, too!
Speaking of history, Tigers utilityman Andrew Romine pulled off a rare feat of his own in 2017 when he played all nine positions on Sep. 30. Only four other players in MLB history had done that, and none since 2000.
Yes, this was a planned experience out of position, but give Romine credit for doing it. When a
"It speeds up, man," Romine said to MLB.com's Jason Beck. "When runners get on and things start happening, you don't want to put the wrong finger down. I had nightmares of putting down something and then they hit a home run."
Thankfully for Romine, that didn't happen. He moved to second base to finish the inning with only one run scoring, and the Tigers won, 3-2.
Pulling off the ol' "Waxahachie Swap" is almost an instantaneous inclusion on the All Out-of-Position Team, and that's exactly what Yankees manager Joe Girardi did for pitcher Bryan Mitchell on April 30.
See, the Yankees were short on bullpen arms by the time Mitchell took the mound against the Orioles for the top of the ninth. He retired the side, but when the Yankees tied the game at 4 to force extra innings, Girardi chose to use closer
"I wasn't expecting that at the time, for sure," Mitchell said. "[Larry Rothschild] basically came up and asked if I'd ever done it. I was like, 'Yeah, a while ago, but I'm capable.' That was pretty much it. He said, 'All right, get a glove.'"
The results were mixed. Mitchell had a popup glance off his glove, though he did successfully snare another opportunity two batters later. When he came back to pitch in the 11th, however, the Orioles scored on him en route to a 7-4 victory. Nice try anyway, Joe!
Girardi went for another odd move on July 22 against the Mariners. The Yankees had acquired third baseman
On this day,
Oh, and for the first time in 1,350 MLB games, Headley played second base. This wasn't an infield shift-adjusted second base, either -- Headley was actually at the keystone. Unfortunately, he never got a chance to make a play, and the Mariners walked it off in 10 innings.
The Mets were in a bind on Aug. 16.
No, d'Arnaud had never played anywhere aside from catcher in his 11-year professional career, save for two games at first base with Triple-A Las Vegas in 2012. No, he didn't even own his own glove, as he borrowed one from
Although d'Arnaud looked ready to handle some chances while taking grounders in pregame, Collins used a smart strategy to keep the infield action focused on the more experienced Cabrera, switching them back and forth between second and third, depending on who was at bat. d'Arnaud's only exposure came on a popup to second base, but at least the box score was one to remember:
Asdrubal Cabrera 2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B
Travis d'Arnaud 3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B
Josh Donaldson has been a constant presence at third base for the Blue Jays since coming over from the A's in 2015, but fans were treated to a different angle of Donaldson for a little while in 2017. With shortstop
It wasn't the craziest idea. After all, Donaldson has often ended up covering the shortstop position in various infield shifts. Nonetheless, it was a change, as Donaldson had just three professional innings at shortstop under his belt since being drafted as a catcher in 2007, and he had never appeared in the field anywhere for the Blue Jays except third base.
It was smooth sailing for the former MVP. He made two starts and four appearances between Aug. 18-22 without making an error before returning to the hot corner for the remainder of the season. No sweat, right?
Left field: Jose Reyes
Most of the All Out-of-Position Team's cameo appearances went off without a hitch, but the odds were that someone would have a tougher time. That burden fell on Jose Reyes, who, like d'Arnaud, tried to help his manager maneuver through injuries by playing elsewhere on the field.
Buoyed by the thought, the Mets started Reyes in left field on Aug. 29 against the Reds. It was his first start in left since he was a 17-year-old Minor Leaguer in 2000. As evidenced by the video above where Reyes misplayed a
In late August, the Phillies made a decision to open some opportunities in the field for up-and-coming prospects like shortstop
"I think September is a time where they see a lot of new players, a lot of young players," he said to MLB.com's Todd Zolecki. "That was the conversation. I'm good, man. I just want to win. I just want to have the best team here in Philadelphia."
The Phillies started Galvis in center during the second game of a doubleheader against the Braves on Aug. 30, and it went pretty well. He made some running catches, did a nice slide to cut off a double and even had some fun with it, too, swapping out gloves between innings.
Galvis ended up playing shortstop for most of September, anyway, and didn't return to center, but he gets some enthusiastic claps from us anyway.
On the one hand, it's hardly a surprise to see a Cub on this team. Joe Maddon has played
After some moves on May 14 against the Cardinals, however, Maddon needed a right fielder, so he asked Baez to play there for the first time in his career. Nothing happened aside from him capably playing a drive off the wall for a double, so count that as a W for Baez!