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Scott Cousins is a pitcher now

Apr 17, 2014, 8:55 AM EDT

Scott Cousins Getty Images

Most folks who have heard of Scott Cousins did so via his takeout slide that ended Buster Posey’s 2011 season and the subsequent threats people made to him — including Giants GM Brian Sabean — in the aftermath.

If you’ve paid more attention than most you know that Cousins has spent the past four years just barely hanging on as a major league outfielder, but actually spending far more time in the minors.

Now Cousins has a new gig: newbie pitcher. Gary Fraley reports that the Rangers have signed Cousins — who spent his spring trying to latch on as an outfielder with the Red Sox — to be a pitcher:

Cousins the outfielder is no more. He will join the extended-spring-training team in Surprise, Ariz., to start the conversion to left-handed pitcher. Cousins has never pitched in a professional game.

Cousins is 29. He last pitched when he played for the University of San Francisco in 2006. As a sophomore in 2005 he went 8–5 with a 2.64 ERA and 76 strikeouts. He won four more games and struck out 61 as a junior. Obviously he was drafted as an outfielder, but I suppose it’s never too late in life to find your true path.

  1. chill1184 - Apr 17, 2014 at 8:59 AM

    So a reverse Rick Ankiel? Sure why the hell not, good luck to him

    • cohnjusack - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:35 AM

      I’m hoping Jason Lane beats him to the majors for the title of Reverse Ankiel.

      Lane spent six years as an outfielder, mostly with the Astros and hit 26 home runs in 2005. He invented himself in indi-ball as a knuckleballer and is currently 2-1 with a 1.00 ERA in 3 starts for the Padres AAA affiliate. Damn, do I want him to make the majors!

      • dlf9 - Apr 17, 2014 at 11:17 AM

        The “Reverse Ankiel?” Not Babe Ruth, not Lefty O’Doul, not George Sisler, not even Stan Musial … but Rick Ankiel? My oh my have we forgotten a few pitchers who became hitters.

      • supersnappy - Apr 17, 2014 at 11:35 AM

        Actually, Ron Mahay was a reverse Ankiel. More properly, Rick Ankiel was a reverse Ron Mahay since on played CF for 5 games in 1995, then returned to the majors in 1997 as a pitcher and played 14 more seasons:

    • paperlions - Apr 17, 2014 at 11:52 AM

      To be a reverse Ankiel, Cousin’s would have actually had to be a good MLB position player and then turned to pitching. Ankiel was a top prospect, minor league player of the year, and rookie pitcher of the year before losing it and leaving the mound.

      • clydeserra - Apr 17, 2014 at 2:37 PM

        and how are we determining this stuff? Take Sean Doolittle. Once a hightly touted 1b/OF prospect. reached AAA but injuries kept slowing his development. After the last injury he started a throwing program to relieve the boredom (was a pitcher at UVA). within 14 months was in the major league bullpen and has not looked back.

        Sure, he never got the the Majors as a position player, but very close

      • mpzz - Apr 17, 2014 at 3:18 PM

        People just don’t have a clue about how an apostrophe is used, do they?

    • moogro - Apr 17, 2014 at 2:51 PM

      I wish Ankiel would’ve tried reversing again before leaving.

  2. mdpickles - Apr 17, 2014 at 9:01 AM

    Not a bad idea. Need all the pitching you can get. At this rate, 23% of all pitchers this year will need TJ surgery. Heck, I may get my arm back into shape and give it a try. OUCH! I just tore my ulnar collateral, nevermind.

  3. ditto65 - Apr 17, 2014 at 9:24 AM

    Brian Sabean is not happy.

    • Old Gator - Apr 17, 2014 at 9:52 AM

      Then Sabean, like his obstructionist catcher, should get out of the way.

      • temporarilyexiled - Apr 17, 2014 at 11:20 AM

        How’s your team doing this year? I know, I know, it’s early. Fortunes can reverse quickly. Just can’t help noticing how much you hate the Giants. Really, it should be me hating on the Marlins, but that’s not my style. Let’s just say that in the unlikely chance Scott Cousins returns to the majors, he might throw at Posey, but he probably won’t throw to Posey.

      • vivabear - Apr 17, 2014 at 11:42 AM

        Sabean should get out of the way of what, Old Felcher? Senseless comment again from you.

      • thisdamnbox - Apr 17, 2014 at 2:17 PM

        Gator, you, sir, are a true a-hole…

      • doctorofsmuganomics - Apr 17, 2014 at 7:41 PM

        there’s a lot of butthurt in this chain here

  4. skerney - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:19 AM

    If by “takeout slide” you mean lowering his shoulder and making zero effort to touch the plate.

    • clydeserra - Apr 17, 2014 at 2:38 PM

      by lowering your shoulder and making zero effort you mean doing what >50% of players in his situation would do at the time?


      • skerney - Apr 18, 2014 at 1:24 AM

        Still doesn’t make it a slide homie.

  5. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:20 AM

    He throws left handed? He should do just fine. That is 3/4 of the battle right there.

  6. illuminancer - Apr 17, 2014 at 1:11 PM

    Characterizing Sabean’s comments as a “threat” is a cheap shot, Craig. His comments were certainly ill-advised, but given that he’d just seen the team’s best player and multi-million dollar investment suffer what, at the time, looked like a possibly career-ending injury because some douchebag was trying to show off, Sabean was pretty upset. The death threats were completely out of line, but what Sabean actually said wasn’t close to the same thing.

    And as it turns out, he was right. In 20 years, the only reason anyone will remember Scott Cousins is because of what he did to Posey, while Buster will be remembered because of his talent and ability. Karma works.

    • clydeserra - Apr 17, 2014 at 2:39 PM

      Sabean’s words were explicitly a threat.

      His teams best player who was not fully taught catching fundamentals and put himself in danger.

      • mpzz - Apr 17, 2014 at 6:15 PM

        You obviously never saw the play. Posey was well in front of the plate, but Cousins went after him rather than attempt to score. The only reason he did score was because the impact knocked him over and his shoulder hit the plate.

  7. lingerie00yardsale - Apr 17, 2014 at 2:16 PM

    29 year old washed out prospect desperately trying to play big league ball attempts to become a pitcher.

    This isn’t newsworthy aside from the fact he’s the dude who blew up Buster Posey.

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