Two innings pitched, no hits, no walks, no runs, one strikeout, one save. That’s not some random Mariano Rivera stat line, it’s what Jameis Winston did over the weekend.
Winston, who pinch hit and drew a walk in Florida State baseball’s season-opening series against Niagara over the weekend, threw the final two innings of a 4-1 win on Saturday to earn a save.
Now, before this becomes too mundane of a “Hey! Jameis Winston is playing baseball!” update, I’ll write this: Being a pitcher is rolling the dice on the health of your elbow and shoulder. Pitchers with excellent, widely-praised mechanics (see: Prior, Mark) are just as prone to blowing out their arm as guys with herky-jerky, unorthodox motions.
Winston is your typical power pitcher, throwing a mid-90’s fastball with a slider to pair with it. It’s a combination that often shows up among pitchers who underwent Tommy John surgery, though again — it’s often very difficult to know if a pitcher’s elbow is on the verge of giving out.
That’s not to say Winston shouldn’t be playing baseball — personally, I think it’s pretty neat that the Heisman Trophy winner still has a passion to play baseball — but it’s not without risk.
Then again, there’s plenty of risk assumed playing football (concussions, knee blowouts, etc.) that often aren’t a part of baseball. And the possibility of Winston winning championships in football and baseball is certainly on the table, too, which would be pretty awesome.