ARLINGTON, Texas -- Mitch Moreland knows the likelihood that he'll ever get to pitch again in the big leagues is slim, so he made sure he savored the opportunity he was given in a blowout loss to Colorado on Tuesday.
Manager Ron Washington, desperate to save some of his bullpen pieces, asked Moreland to toe the rubber and give him three outs in the eighth. Moreland, a former closer in college, had begged for the chance repeatedly over the past few years, only to be denied. He was given permission to pitch with one caveat.
"Skip wouldn't let me throw a breaking ball," Moreland said. "I threw fastballs, some two-seamers and cutters and a changeup."
Moreland admitted that it was bittersweet in that he got the chance to pitch because his team was on the wrong end of a 12-1 loss to the Rockies. Moreland last pitched in 2008 in the instructional league. He went out to Arizona as a pitcher and then after instructs were over, he was given the choice of going the pitching route or returning as a hitter.
"I figured I was drafted as a hitter, so that's what I did," Moreland said.
That choice eventually got him to the big leagues. But the first baseman and designated hitter still enjoys throwing the ball. And his arm clearly knew what it was doing. He had a clean inning and even touched 93 mph on the radar gun.
"It was a blast," Moreland said. "Getting that opportunity was a dream of mine, so I tried to make the most of it. I was a little surprised, but when he asked me, I was like, 'Absolutely.'"
Moreland wasn't in the starting lineup without the DH in Colorado and he isn't in the lineup tonight against left-handed pitcher Jorge De La Rosa.