Pitching Maier not Yost's preference

Pitching Maier not Yost's preference

Pitching Maier not Yost's preference
KANSAS CITY -- Ned Yost has done it twice now, using a position player to pitch while losing a blowout, but the Royals' manager hates to do it.

"It's the last thing you want to do," Yost said. "I think I'd rather go get all my teeth pulled than do something like that."

Outfielder Mitch Maier did the task on Sunday, pitching a scoreless ninth in a 13-7 loss to the Indians. He'd done the same thing last July 26 in a 13-9 loss at Boston.

Yost considered using reliever Greg Holland in the ninth, but finally decided it made more sense to have the right-hander fresh and ready for Monday night's game against the Tigers.

"We had Holland warming up and I told [bench coach] Chino [Cadahia], 'This doesn't make any sense. Let's do the smart thing and get through the inning with Mitch and we'll have a full 'pen tomorrow against Detroit,'" Yost said.

How does a manager decide which non-pitcher to send to the mound?

"What I do is I pick the smartest guy on the team that I know and trust," Yost said. "When I put Mitch out there, he's not going to be a dope. He's not going to try to throw 120 miles an hour, he's not going to try to strike anybody out. He's going to go out there and try to throw strikes, let them hit the ball and get us back into the dugout."

Which is exactly what Maier did, using his 71-to-74 mph deliveries, getting a flyout, a single and a double-play grounder.

Maier is the third non-pitcher to take the mound twice for the Royals. Infielder Jerry Terrell did it in 1979 and 1980 and outfielder Joe Simpson did it twice in 1983. One-timers were outfielder Leon Roberts (1984) and infielders Bill Pecota (1991), David Howard (1994), Shane Halter (1998) and Tony Pena Jr. (2008).