The D-Backs Greg Swindell is contemplating using his knuckleball in real live, honest-to-goodness games. Given his precipitous dropoff in the last few years, anything is worth a shot.
Take a look at his ERA and relative ERA (thanks to baseball-reference.com) since converting completely to a reliever:
Year Age ERA Adj ERA
1997 32 3.58 130
1998 33 3.59 130
1999 34 2.51 177
2000 35 3.20 147
2001 36 4.53 101
2002 37 6.27 70
That's four very good years, one average to subpar (given that "average" is actually poor for a reliever), and one god-awful year. It looks to me like his arm has reached the end of the line. Maybe a knuckleball can save his career-he wouldn't be the first pitcher to extend his career via a trick pitch.
The sad part is that the D-Backs bullpen is so poor and so starved for a quality left-hander (Eddie Oropesa? C'mon!) that he may make the team even if the knuckler doesn't pan out.
[By the way, bonus points to anyone who knew that the headline was a line from the Brady Bunch.]