Los Angeles Angels Utility Man Cole Tucker Spotless in 1st Career Pitching Appearance

Cole Tucker, a position player and six-year MLB veteran, tossed a scoreless eighth inning in the Los Angeles Angels' loss to the Seattle Mariners.
May 9, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA;  Los Angeles Angels shortstop Cole Tucker (8) takes the field for the game against the Kansas City Royals at Angel Stadium.
May 9, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels shortstop Cole Tucker (8) takes the field for the game against the Kansas City Royals at Angel Stadium. / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Towards the end of the Los Angeles Angels' blowout loss at the hands of the Seattle Mariners on Saturday, the team enjoyed a brief bright spot.

Each and every Angels pitcher who took the mound got battered by the Mariners' lineup. Starting pitcher Reid Detmers gave up four hits, four walks and five earned tuns in 3.2 innings before he got relieved by Carson Fulmer.

Fulmer hardly fared much better, allowing two earned runs in 1.2 innings of work. Roansy Contreras posted a nearly identical line, also allowing two earned across 1.2 frames.

All the while, Los Angeles failed to plate a single run.

Trailing 9-0 in the bottom of the eighth, manager Ron Washington sent Cole Tucker onto the mound. It marked the first career appearance as a pitcher for Tucker, a utility man and six-year MLB veteran.

Shortstop JP Crawford was the first batter to get a look at Tucker, and he bounced a grounder back to the mound. Tucker made a leaping grab before firing the ball to first base, recording his first out on a unique web gem.

Tucker gave up a single to third baseman Dylan Moore, then walked right fielder Dominic Canzone. Catcher Seby Zavala grounded into a double play to end the inning, though, helping Tucker get out of the eighth unscathed.

Still, the Angels went on to lose 9-0 and fall to 21-37 on the season.

Tucker may actually have more success on the mound than at the plate this season. Across 16 games, the 27-year-old is batting .195 with a .594 OPS and a -0.2 WAR.

The Pittsburgh Pirates selected Tucker in the first round of the 2014 MLB Draft, and he made his big league debut in 2019. He appeared in 154 games with the club over the next four seasons, batting .211 with five home runs, 35 RBI, four stolen bases and a .573 OPS.

Tucker then played five games with the Colorado Rockies in 2023. He also spent time in the Mariners and Arizona Diamondbacks' organizations, but never logged any MLB action with them.

Prior to Saturday, Tucker had played every position besides pitcher and catcher. Now, the Angels will have to stick Tucker behind the dish if he is going to complete the defensive cycle.

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Sam Connon is a Staff Writer for Fastball on the Sports Illustrated/FanNation networks. He previously covered UCLA Athletics for Sports Illustrated/FanNation's All Bruins, 247Sports' Bruin Report Online, Rivals' Bruin Blitz, the Bleav Podcast Network and the Daily Bruin, with his work as a sports columnist receiving awards from the College Media Association and Society of Professional Journalists. Connon also wrote for Sports Illustrated/FanNation's New England Patriots site, Patriots Country, and he was on the Patriots and Boston Red Sox beats at Prime Time Sports Talk.