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Arizona signs former big-league OF Jason Lane as a LHP

Dec 9, 2011, 6:50 PM EDT

jason lane

Jason Lane, who made six relief appearances when he wasn’t playing the outfield for Triple-A Las Vegas last season, will make a full-time move to the mound next season. The Diamondbacks have signed him to a minor league deal as a left-handed pitcher.

Lane hit 26 homers for the Astros as a 28-year-old back in 2005, but he hasn’t seen the majors since 2007. He’ll play next year at 35, so it’s an awfully late conversion to the mound for the former USC Trojan. But his arm will certainly be fresh.

Overall, Lane is a .241/.314/.457 hitter with 61 homers in 1,208 major league at-bats. He came in at .291/.358/.460 with six homers in 213 at-bats for Toronto’s Triple-A affiliate last season. In his 13 innings on the mound, he had a 4.85 ERA and a 12/2 K/BB ratio.

It seems like a long shot that Lane will turn into a serviceable major league reliever, but if he does, it could lead to some really interesting times in Arizona. The Diamondbacks will likely have right-hander Micah Owings back in their pen next year. It’d be fascinating to see the team try to pair the two once in a while: they could alternate between left field and the mound, with Owings facing righties and Lane taking on lefties.

  1. mirmz - Dec 9, 2011 at 6:45 PM

    The Diamondbacks will likely have right-hander Micah Owings back in their pen next year. It’d be fascinating to see the team try to pair the two once in a while: they could alternate between left field and the mound, with Owings facing righties and Lane taking on lefties.

    Gibson would become TLR’s most favorite manager ever.

    • missthemexpos - Dec 9, 2011 at 8:03 PM

      About as close as you could get to having an ambidextrous pitcher on the mound. Mind you TLR would no doubt miss making multiple moves, if he ever had the use of an ambidextrous pitcher

    • cintiphil - Dec 10, 2011 at 10:50 AM

      Owings was here for a while. He is at best a journeyman reliever, with some potential to be better. Never quite made it in Cinti.

  2. JBerardi - Dec 9, 2011 at 8:01 PM

    Sure beats working at Sears.

  3. cintiphil - Dec 10, 2011 at 10:48 AM

    This kind of move almost Never works. Didn’t the Cardinals have a guy a few years back who tried to pitch and was really an outfielder? The name escapes me now, but I will remember. I think he moved on to the Nat’s, ( maybe KC) but could be some other team. I don’t know if he is still even playing or not.

    • yankeefan1950 - Dec 10, 2011 at 1:15 PM

      The name that escapes you is Rick Ankiel and yes, he’s still playing and is still a servicable outfielder. Another “failed” outfielder that’s been pitching for many years now is Ron Mahay. Yet another success is Tim Wakefield, a failed infielder but now a senior citizen pitcher. There have been other conversions but I can only think of one that made a semi-successful conversion at such an advanced age and that was Granny Hamner, a 30’s something shortstop back in the 50’s. And yes, his name was Granny.

      • cintiphil - Dec 10, 2011 at 1:39 PM

        Ankiel,That’s him, Thanks

      • cintiphil - Dec 10, 2011 at 1:41 PM

        Yes, I remember Granny. I didn’t know he was a pitcher early in the career. I recall he was a decent hitter too.

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