Druschel: The original Golden Age of position players pitching

From Henry Druschel at Beyond the Box Score on May 16, 2016:

There are a lot of great things about the era of baseball we’re currently living in. Somewhere on that list is the preponderance of position players taking one for the team and pitching, either in a blowout or the sort of marathon, total-bullpen-exhaustion slugfest that you remember for the rest of your life. It’s not just wishful thinking, either; as Jeff Sullivan wrote last June, 2014 represented a high-water mark in terms of appearances of and innings pitched by position players, with 2015 eventually beating it in appearances and nearly matching it in innings pitched. A quick look at the data (from Baseball-Reference.com) confirms it: we are living in the Golden Age of position players pitching.

2014 and ’15 represented incredible new highs, but really all of the 2010s saw more pitches from position players than most prior years in baseball history. I say “most,” however, because of the very strange, short-lived surge in innings pitched by position players from 1986 to 1991, which was the original unprecedented bump in position players taking the mound. The above chart can be a bit hard to track with its drastic fluctuations; here’s a smoothed version, using a weighted ten-year average.

Read the full article here: http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2016/5/16/11679542/position-players-pitching-mlb-golden-era

Originally published: May 19, 2016. Last Updated: May 19, 2016.