Infielder Anna pitches in from the mound

Infielder Anna pitches in from the mound

ST. PETERSBURG -- Yankees infielder Dean Anna has spent the past few winters supplementing his income by pitching in with baseball clinics, so he is only a few months removed from tossing his last batting practice session.

Those offseason workouts came in handy on Saturday, when he pumped 17 pitches to the Rays, mopping up on the mound for the eighth inning of a 16-1 Tampa Bay rout.

Anna was told not to risk injuring his arm and just to focus on throwing strikes.

"When I do a lot of lessons back home, that's actually how I throw, just a nice little flick in there," Anna said. "It was pretty easy throwing strikes and stuff like that, but it's not fun when I'm out there."

Anna said that the last time he pitched in a game was probably for a summer league team, at around the age of 11, but he regularly serves as an instructor at Bo Jackson's training facility in Lockport, Ill.

Anna became the first Yankees position player to pitch in a game since Alberto Gonzalez threw a third of an inning in a 12-2 loss to the Mariners last May 15.

"It's not a great situation to be in as a manager, because you don't ever want to get a position player hurt," manager Joe Girardi said. "But I talked to him and I said, 'Look, I don't want to come out and yell at you if you're throwing too hard. I want you to lob it in there. That's all I want you to do. Just do not hurt your arm. Just play catch.' And he did a really good job of doing that."

Anna's first pitch to James Loney was clocked at 66 mph, and he maxed out at 72 in the inning, with a low of 55. Loney singled and Wil Myers doubled off Anna, who then retired Sean Rodriguez on a popout and got Logan Forsythe to line out to left.

Ryan Hanigan spoiled the party with a two-run single to left, and Anna escaped the inning by getting David DeJesus to pop out, extending DeJesus' slump to 26 at-bats.

"I thought I did all right," Anna said. "I thought I was going to hold them, but [Hanigan] got a base hit. It was fun, but not fun at all."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.