Adam LaRoche wants to pitch

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I don’t know what it is about pitchers always wanting to hit and position players always wanting to pitch, but Adam LaRoche is the latest example:

“The only thing I can promise you is, if a position
player gets to pitch, it will be me,” he said. “We’ll have a fight on
the mound if somebody else is out there.”

After an extra-inning game last month, manager Kirk Gibson said LaRoche would have been his emergency pitcher. LaRoche sounds like he’s been waiting his entire career for just such an emergency.

He’s been staying sharp, working on his three-pitch
repertoire with occasional bullpen sessions. All he wants is a chance
to toe the rubber, just once, in a big league game.

Given his bloodlines and his amateur record as a pitcher, one wonders how he would have done if he had become a full-time pitcher instead. He speculates a bit about that in the article, as well as his thought process in wanting to hit instead of pitch. He also notes that the Braves were the only team who would draft him as a position player.

Shawn Tolleson retires from baseball

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Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that reliever Shawn Tolleson is retiring from baseball. The right-hander experienced a setback in his recovery from Tommy John surgery last week.

Tolleson, who turns 31 years old on Saturday, last pitched in the majors in 2016. He had two very good years out of the bullpen for the Rangers in 2014-15, posting an aggregate 2.88 ERA with 145 strikeouts and 45 walks across 144 innings.

Tolleson signed a one-year deal with the Rays in January 2017 before undergoing Tommy John surgery several months later. The Rangers inked him to a minor league contract in December 2017, but he wasn’t able to work his way back.