Diamondbacks’ Daniel Descalso can Break a Record…as a Pitcher
It’s OK if you don’t know much about Daniel Descalso.
The annals of baseball are filled with tales of glory and greatness. We’ll pass stories of Mike Trout and Clayton Kershawdown to our young, just as stories of Babe Ruth and Walter Johnson were passed down to us. But for every Ted Williams or Bob Gibson, there are hundreds of utility infielders, middle relievers, and backup catchers. Some of their careers are lengthy but most are brief; some are remembered but most are not.
This is why we keep statistics and historical records. Once in a while, if you stare at such a player in just the right light, you can find some unique record or contribution that has never been accomplished before or since.
I managed to unearth one such corner of the baseball record book, shining a light on Daniel Descalso, who is about as anonymous as an eight-year MLB veteran can be. The quintessential utility man has played for the Cardinals, Rockies, and most recently the Diamondbacks, slashing .240/.318/.359 with 0.9 bWAR for his career. He’s played mostly everywhere on the diamond without a true starting gig anywhere.
Descalso has that one necessary quality for a position player to pitch in blowouts: expendability. The sum total of his entire career doesn’t quite add up to one win above replacement. As such, he is often the most replaceable player on the roster should he hurt himself doing something as unnatural as pitching. So it’s no surprise that he’s taken the mound three times in his career, including twice in 2017.
Here’s where things get strange: He’s faced seven major league batters and retired every single one. He is now on the verge of setting the record for…