Tuesday, February 25, 2003

A lighter note

The Sporting News reports that major league journeyman Brooks Kieschnick will compete for a spot with the Milwaukee Brewers as a utility infielder/outfielder and a relief pitcher, making him the first two-way player in awhile. (Think Babe Ruth when he toiled in Beantown.) Turns out my beloved Atlanta Braves will handle new starting pitcher Mike Hampton (whose hitting stats have surpassed several Braves regulars over the past several seasons) similarly, using him as a front-line pinch hitter when he's not on the mound. Why the interest in two-way players? As Ken Rosenthal's TSN story notes, more teams are carrying 11 and 12 pitchers on their 25-man rosters, placing versatility at a premium. Wouldn't it be fun if Hamp logged, say, 15 wins and led the National League in pinch hits?