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Wells enjoys pitching debut

Wells enjoys pitching debut

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Wells enjoys pitching debut

CHICAGO -- When Casper Wells went down to the bullpen on Friday evening to warm up for his Major League pitching debut, bullpen coach Bobby Thigpen looked at him and asked, "What do you got?"

Thigpen was surprised when the outfielder started listing off his pitches. He was not surprised that Wells had those pitches, but more surprised that Wells was getting ready to throw and not just delivering a message to the bullpen.

"I didn't really have too much time to ... think about it," Wells said. "I tried to take it as seriously as I could. I didn't want to walk anyone. I wanted to go out there and be efficient, and just kind of throw strikes and really see what happens.

"I've had experience pitching in my lifetime. The last time I pitched off the mound was probably eight years ago, when I was at Towson University. But it was cool. It was fun. I tried to have fun with it and still stay competitive."

Wells posted an 8-5 collegiate record with a 5.61 ERA over 35 games during three years at Towson. He hit as high as 93 mph with his fastball according to MLB.com Gameday and struck out Asdrubal Cabrera as part of a scoreless ninth during Cleveland's 19-10 Game 1 victory.

That pitching outing was the first by a White Sox position player since Dewayne Wise threw a scoreless frame on Sept. 4, 2012, during an 18-9 loss to the Twins. Wells was also cognizant of not overthrowing and hitting someone in the process.

"There was one I tried throwing kind of hard and came up and in a little on Drew Stubbs. And I was like, 'That's the last thing I want to do is hit someone,'" Wells said. "It's nice that I had lefties, so I don't have to worry about yanking one.

"Just from my hitting experience, I know that a moving ball is harder to hit than something thrown straight. So, I just was throwing all two-seamers. Just trying to throw it [down the] middle and let the movement work. See what happens."

Dave Martinez, Steve Lyons, Mike Squires and Wayne Nordhagen are the other four position players to have pitched for the White Sox. According to Elias, Wells became the first player since Minnesota's Dan Gladden on May 7, 1989, to pitch in one game of a doubleheader and start the other game in the field.

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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