Miller: Robert Gsellman, the pitcher who could not swing but got a hit

From Sam Miller at on February 6, 2017:

Robert Gsellman had a secret: He couldn’t swing.

The right-handed pitcher was making his major league debut for the New York Mets, a National League team playing in the year of the lord 2016. He was thus obliged by major league rules to bat, against major league pitchers, in a major league game, with a major league audience and major league stakes.

He had a partially torn labrum in his left, non-throwing shoulder. It would be repaired with arthroscopic surgery in the offseason. But there were, as it turned out, 17 plate appearances between that debut and the offseason, 17 times Gsellman had to take a bat, two batting gloves, a thick wad of bubble gum and a secret into the batter’s box, for the most extraordinary experiment of the 2016 baseball season.

What happens when a man can’t bat? Would teams notice? If they did, how would they react? Until they did, how would he approach his role? After they did, would he change? Fortunately for us, they play these baseball games for our consumption, so all of these questions can be answered.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: February 6, 2017. Last Updated: February 6, 2017.