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View Full Version : Astros' Brad Mills Uses First "Waxahachie Swap" in MLB since 2009



Unassisted
08-25-2011, 02:41 PM
http://mlb.sbnation.com/2011/8/24/2380972/brad-mills-pulls-waxahachie-swap-tuesday-night


Tuesday night in Denver, Astros (http://www.sbnation.com/mlb/teams/houston-astros) manager Brad Mills (http://www.sbnation.com/mlb/players/69476/brad-mills) made one of the most unusual moves a manager will occasionally make, sending his relief pitcher to right field for one batter, then bringing him back to the mound.

The idea, of course, is to maintain the platoon advantage for three hitters without having to use three pitchers. In this case, the left-hander Wesley Wright was summoned to start the bottom of the eighth inning against lefty-hitting Carlos Gonzalez. After retiring CarGo, Wright went to right field, Mills called upon right-hander David Carpenter, who retired righty-hitting Troy Tulowitzki ... after which Wright returned to the mound to face lefty-hitting Todd Helton. He got him, too. So Mills' highly unorthodox tactics worked perfectly.

How rare is this move? Lou Piniella did it a couple of years ago in this game (http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CHN/CHN200907122.shtml), with lefty Sean Marshall (http://www.sbnation.com/mlb/players/703/sean-marshall).

reds1869
08-25-2011, 02:46 PM
I love that unorthodox move. Reminds me of college ball.

REDSEER
08-25-2011, 02:48 PM
Love it, especially the poll at the bottom, asking if the swap is worth doing. One of the choices is:


No, it's just a showboating trick and it's hard to believe La Russa doesn't do it every week.

I laughed a little bit. :laugh:

RichRed
08-25-2011, 03:58 PM
No, it's just a showboating trick and it's hard to believe La Russa doesn't do it every week.

LaRussa reportedly liked the idea but he boycotted the move. Apparently, he was upset that his petition to have it renamed the "LaRussa Legerdemain" was denied.

Roy Tucker
08-25-2011, 04:34 PM
I remember a Reds game with the Mets where Davey Johnson swapped Roger McDowell and Jesse Orosco from pitcher to OF. Other shenanigans happened in the game IIRC.

Late 80's?

dabvu2498
08-25-2011, 04:44 PM
I remember a Reds game with the Mets where Davey Johnson swapped Roger McDowell and Jesse Orosco from pitcher to OF. Other shenanigans happened in the game IIRC.

Late 80's?

That was the Eric Davis-Ray Knight brawl game. Wild, weird and wacky.

RBA
08-25-2011, 04:49 PM
What would a Cards pitcher tell his son if he was swapped out for an outfielder?

Spitball
08-25-2011, 05:01 PM
I think Dave Bristol may have employed this tactic back in the late 1960s with Wayne Granger. I'll have to see if I can find anything.

Imagine warming up a loogy and a roogy in the bullpen for the ninth inning. You send the loogy to right and the roogy faces the first batter (a right hander). then, they switch places as the loogy faces the next batter (lefty). Then, the roogy comes back to the mound to face the next batter (righty).

Caveman Techie
08-25-2011, 05:19 PM
I remember reading an interview done by Mike Leake where he talked about in college, him and a lefty pitcher kept switching back and forth from First base to Pitcher depending on who was batting.

kaldaniels
08-25-2011, 08:53 PM
A great idea. Wish it was used on a regular basis with your LOOGY type guys. I'd love to see the batters aim for the ill-equipped pitcher in the outfield.

BCubb2003
08-25-2011, 09:27 PM
My memory may be faulty, but I seem to remember Sparky doing it once in a key game.

marcshoe
08-25-2011, 09:27 PM
I remember reading an interview done by Mike Leake where he talked about in college, him and a lefty pitcher kept switching back and forth from First base to Pitcher depending on who was batting.

With Ike Davis, I believe.

Pirates did this with Tekulve back in '79. The late FoxSports Pittsburgh ran a piece talking about this constantly for years.

919191
08-26-2011, 08:37 AM
I remember Rose doing this once in a game when he was managing. He got in an argument with the umps about warm up pitches.

cumberlandreds
08-26-2011, 09:55 AM
IIRC, Chuck Tanner did this one time with Kent Tekulve and another reliever. That was the first time I had saw this move. And wouldn't you know it, a batter hit a fly ball to Tekeulve who fielded it just fine. It can be an effective move and a manager should try to use it to save a pitcher.

Guacarock
08-26-2011, 11:51 AM
Rare instances of the Waxahachie Swap through the years...

http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/485/more-on-the-waxahachie-swap

Unassisted
08-26-2011, 03:33 PM
Rare instances of the Waxahachie Swap through the years...

http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/485/more-on-the-waxahachie-swap (http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/485/more-on-the-waxahachie-swap)
I vaguely remember seeing highlights of this example from 9/1/79 that he cited.


Chuck Tanner's case might be questioned, too, as the first pitcher in the swap -- righty Kent Tekulve -- didn't actually return to the mound. But that's almost certainly just because his replacement -- lefty Grant Jackson -- got the game's last out ... which was recorded by Tekulve in left field! If Jackson hadn't retired Darrell Evans, Tekulve would presumably have returned to the mound to face Mike Ivie, a right-handed hitter. So that one counts in my book.

cumberlandreds
08-29-2011, 11:24 AM
I vaguely remember seeing highlights of this example from 9/1/79 that he cited.

That's the one I mentioned. I just couldn't remember all the particulars about it.