Padres call up former outfielder Jason Lane, who's now a pitcher
Jason Lane's most unusual shift of gears has landed him back in the big leagues for the first time since 2007.
In today's "Profiles in Doggedness," former MLB outfielder Jason Lane has been called up by the Padres, and he'll return to the big leagues for the first time since 2007. Oh, and he's a 37-year-old pitcher now ...
As a right-handed hitter, Lane batted .241/.314/.457 (97 OPS+) and hit 61 career homers across parts of six major-league seasons, almost all of which came with the Astros. As a member of the Astros, Lane hit two homers in the 2005 NLCS and another in the 2005 World Series.
Lane's second career as a left-handed pitcher isn't as drastic of a transition as you might think. As Tyler Kepner notes in a recent piece for the New York Times, Lane pitched in college and even toward the end of his first run as a big-leaguer, then-Padres GM Kevin Towers approached him about becoming a full-time pitcher.
Indy-league and Triple-A stints followed later, and this season Lane has pitched to a 4.36 ERA in 64 innings for Triple-A El Paso (a very hitter-friendly home park), while also keeping his bat fresh. If he can get major-league hitters out, then he'll add extra value as a pitcher who can also pinch-hit on occasion. Even if nothing comes of his stay in San Diego, that Lane returned to the majors at all is roundly impressive.