Now Commenting On:

Baxter is Collins' option as emergency pitcher

Baxter is Collins' option as emergency pitcher

Baxter is Collins' option as emergency pitcher
DENVER -- So desperate for pitching in a 18-9 loss to the Rockies on Sunday, Mets manager Terry Collins told outfielder Mike Baxter that he would be next in line to throw after Bobby Parnell. So when Parnell began scuffling in the eighth inning and Collins walked to the mound, Baxter began jogging in from left field.

"I touched dirt," he said, laughing.

That's when center fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis caught Baxter's attention, signaling that left-hander Tim Byrdak had begun jogging in from the bullpen to take Parnell's place. Byrdak needed work, sparing Baxter a rare position-player appearance on the mound.

It was not the first time Baxter thought he might have to pitch in a big league game. A natural infielder who has not pitched since Little League, Baxter warmed in the bullpen once last summer in a similar situation but did not have to enter.

If he did, Baxter knows what would have happened.

"There's only one pitch coming," he said, laughing. "It's a straight ball. It's not fast."

Joking aside, Baxter is the team's clear choice as emergency pitcher. Though first baseman Ike Davis pitched with great success at Arizona State, the Mets would not be willing to use him on the mound and risk injury to one of their core players.

As for an emergency catcher, the answer is not so clear.

"That would have been a meeting of nine guys on the mound," Collins said, "and me saying, 'Which one of you ... can go back there and catch?'"

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español