SEATTLE MARINERS

Mariners infielder tests the limits with impossibly slow pitch

Apr 7, 2024, 3:15 PM | Updated: Apr 8, 2024, 10:25 pm

Seattle Mariners Josh Rojas...

Josh Rojas of the Seattle Mariners pitches against Cleveland on April 3, 2024. (Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

(Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

It’s almost never a good sign for a team when it opts to send a position player out to the mound, as the Seattle Mariners did for the second time in less than a week during Sunday’s loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.

Mariners fall to Brewers 12-4, still looking for first series win

Troubling results aside, though, it also usually makes for some entertainment.

That was certainly the case when third baseman Josh Rojas was asked to get three outs against the Brewers, just like he had been in an 8-0 loss Wednesday to the Cleveland Guardians.

The 29-year-old Rojas tested the limits of speed when he took the mound at Milwaukee’s American Family Field, and not in the way you’d normally think. No, Rojas wasn’t trying to show off how much of a cannon he has for a right arm. Instead, he offered a high-arcing eephus pitch to Brewers pinch-hitter Gary Sánchez, which was clocked at 40 mph.

Yes. Forty mph.

Good luck finding a slower pitch in Major League Baseball history.

It was effective, too. Sánchez took a mighty cut at the pitch, popping it up to second baseman Jorge Polanco for the final out of the inning.

The outing for Rojas, who also had a pair of pitching appearances last season with Arizona, didn’t go as well as his performance on Wednesday. He allowed a walk and then a two-run homer to Milwaukee catcher William Contreras (his second bomb of the day) before retiring the next three batters in a row. On Wednesday, Rojas worked around a walk by inducing a double play (on a pitch literally twice as fast as Sunday’s eephus) to end a scoreless ninth inning against Cleveland.

In addition to taking the mound, Rojas went 2 for 3 with a walk, a run scored and an RBI on Sunday. In fact, he leads the M’s with a .412 average, .444 on-base percentage and .915 OPS thus far in the young season.

The 4-6 Seattle Mariners now head to Toronto, where they will play three games against the Blue Jays starting at 4:07 p.m. Monday as they look for the first series win of 2024. Mariners Radio Network overage of all games will be carried beginning at least an hour before first pitch with the pregame show on Seattle Sports 710 AM, the Seattle Sports app and SeattleSports.com. For details on how to stream M’s radio broadcasts, click here.

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Mariners infielder tests the limits with impossibly slow pitch