Dirk Hayhurst’s MLB Debut

As previously reported, former Wizards pitcher Dirk Hayhurst is set to make his Major League debut today against Barry Zito and the San Francisco Giants.

This debut marks the  seventh former Fort Wayne Wizards player to appear at the Major League level during 2008. Luke Carlin (catcher, Padres) , Jared Wells (Pitcher, Padres then traded to Mariners), Eddie Bonine (Pitcher, Tigers), Leo Rosales (Pitcher, Diamondbacks), Nick Hundley (Catcher, Padres) , Sean Kazmar (Shortstop, Padres) are the others.

But this debut is a bit unique. To suggest that many people know him for his writing prowess than his pitching stats is not an out of this world claim. The 27-year-old Hayhurst is the author of Baseball America’s Non-Prospect Diary. Reading it, you receive insight into the world of Minor League Baseball as well as his personality.

Some people are taken aback by his often less-than-friendly yet honest encounters. I tend to enjoy the real perspectives on things and gotta think it is exactly what BA had hoped for when they assigned him to the task.

But now it’s time for Dirk to stop tapping at the keyboard and pitch. This is his chance, and it may be the only one that the non-prospect receives. As noted at FriarForum, 

The Padres are officially using the rest of this season as a glorified tryout for 2009 and beyond. Hayhurst will be pitching to convince the Padres that he is worthy of being on the 40 man roster this offseason, otherwise the Friars would have to make him available in the Rule V draft.

Padres GM seems to confirm the speculations when he explains why Hayhurst was chosen over several other likely candidates:

“We’re trying to reward a guy who came through our system and has turned himself into a suspect at least,” Towers said Friday. “For a while, Dirk was a guy who we thought only had organizational value. But he’s continued to impress. He has three Major League pitches, throws strikes.”

Hopefully Hayhurst does well and impresses with this chance. However, even if her were to pitch a no-hitter or perfect game, his stint in the rotation will likely be a short one given that Chris Young or Shawn Estes will return from the DL soon.

Whatever the outcome, I hope he chronicals it for us on his Non-Prospect Diary.

Update: Despite well-wishes from Paul DePodesta, Hayhurst will have to settle for a no-decision. He had a rough start to his MLB debut by walking Dave Roberts, who then stole second, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a fielder’s choice by the time the Padres got their first out. That was followed by an Aaron Rowand double that plated another run. He pitched scoreless frames in the second and third before allowing a run in the fourth inning. Then, he was lifted for a pinch hitter in the top of the fifth. The line on Hayhurst’s debut: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO, 0 HR, 6.75 ERA.

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