ARLINGTON, Texas— The way Sean Doolittle sees it, he didn’t have much of a choice but to resume pitching in 2011. He had missed all of 2009 and 2010 due to injury, and with his future as a position player in professional baseball uncertain at best, he decided to return to the mound and sort of reinvent himself.
But it wasn’t like pitching was new for the now-26-year-old southpaw. He had done so at Virginia, going a combined 19-5 in his sophomore and junior years. Just over a year after resuming his pitching career, Doolittle made his Major League debut with Oakland on June 5, 2012 as a member of the A’s bullpen and through 21 games pitched this season he is 3-0 with a 0.90 ERA and 21 strikeouts, proof that he has found his niche as a setup man for Oakland closer Grant Balfour.