Oakland A’s: Let Chad Pinder play all nine positions
By David Hill
Five players in MLB history have played all nine positions in one game. Why not let Chad Pinder become the sixth?
Chad Pinder has established himself as the Oakland A’s super utility player. He has seen action all around the diamond, playing every position except for pitcher and catcher. That versatility has made him a weapon for manager Bob Melvin, as Pinder can be used to give the starters a day off while keeping a solid bat in the lineup.
To this point in MLB history, 47 players have made an appearance at all nine positions over the course of their careers. Of those, 15 players appeared at each position in a single season, a mark of the true utility man. In some cases, that feat was accomplished with just a single inning either behind the plate or on the mound.
Of those 47 players, five accomplished that feat in one game. Bert Campaneris was the first, doing so with the Kansas City A’s in 1965. Since then, four other players have joined Campaneris, with Austin Romine in 2017 becoming the most recent player to do so.
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Enter Pinder. To this point, he has yet to appear either on the mound or behind the plate professionally, but that can be done. Pinder could catch a bullpen session or batting practice to establish some comfort behind the plate, and add another area to his defensive versatility as an emergency option.
There are potential issues with getting Pinder to play all nine positions. With new rules governing two way players (because Major League Baseball just does not like fun) it will be more difficult to get Pinder on the mound. However, in a potential blowout, those rules are pushed aside. He could then get to make that appearance.
The issue is having the time in such a game to get Pinder action at every position. Unless the A’s are getting blown out early, or they start the game hot and annihilate the opposition, there may be few innings to move Pinder around. But in what is already a strange season, when the outcome of a game may be determined early, why not?
Chad Pinder has been a super utility player for the Oakland A’s. Let’s take it to the next step, and see him make history.