While the Los Angeles Dodgers have become a poster child for versatility over recent seasons, the team has seemingly taken matters a step further this year by having Russell Martin pitch and now putting newly-acquired relief pitcher Adam Kolarek at first base.
As the Dodgers opened up a sizable lead on the Miami Marlins in their series opener, manager Dave Roberts used the opportunity to get A.J. Pollock, Corey Seager and Justin Turner off their feet early.
Martin took over for Turner at third base in the seventh inning, but finished the night on the mound. Also in the ninth, Kolarek was inserted at first base, which moved Edwin Rios over to third.
Kolarek fittingly was on the receiving end of a double play that sealed the Dodgers’ 15-1 win. Following the game, he marveled at the versatility on the Dodgers’ roster and explained he’d been put through work at first base, as seen on SportsNet LA:
“It definitely keeps it interesting. As far as playing first, I snuck over there twice this year between some lefty matchups, and since being with the Dodgers they’ve actually hit me some ground balls over there just so when we do it in a game, at least I’ve seen some balls hit my way.”
Tuesday marked a third time this season Kolarek played first base; each of the first two instances came with the Tampa Bay Rays. Unlike his moonlight appearance at the position with the Dodgers, both of Kolarek’s previous cases involved alternating between the mound and first base.
After tossing a scoreless sixth inning on April 7, the left-hander allowed a leadoff single in the seventh and moved to first base for one batter. He picked up a strikeout and allowed another base hit upon going back to pitching.
Then on July 24, Kolarek retired the leadoff man, went to play first base for the second out, and returned to the mound to finish the inning.
For Martin, his appearance against the Marlins was a third career game pitching (all this season). He’s allowed just one hit and has one strikeout over three scoreless innings.
Earlier this year Martin became the first player in Dodgers franchise history to pitch and see time at first and third base in a single season.