Infielder-turned-pitcher throwing knuckleball amid MLB investigation

While being investigated by Major League Baseball over gambling allegations, veteran infielder David Fletcher is getting an opportunity to pitch in the minor leagues and turned in an impressive outing Wednesday in his first start.

Pitching for the Atlanta Braves’ Class AAA affiliate, the Gwinnett Stripers, Fletcher racked up six strikeouts in five innings, allowing three hits and two runs against the Norfolk Tides (Baltimore Orioles).

Notably, he whiffed top prospect Jackson Holliday with a knuckleball.

Fletcher is currently under investigation by Major League Baseball over allegations that he placed bets with an illegal bookmaker, the same one linked to Shohei Ohtani’s long-time interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara.

Follow every MLB game: Latest MLB scores, stats, schedules and standings.

Fletcher was Ohtani’s teammate with the Los Angeles Angels for six seasons, both debuting in 2018..

Fletcher told ESPN earlier this year that he was at the poker game where Mizuhara first met the bookie. Fletcher claimed he did not introduce Mizuhari to the man but the bookie gained entry to the game at through an acquaintance of Fletcher.

David Fletcher contract

Fletcher hit .277 in six seasons with the Angels, earning MVP votes in the COVID-shortened 2020 campaign when he hit .319 in 49 games. Traded to the Braves in the offseason, Fletcher is making $6.5 million this season and has club options worth a total of $16.5 million in 2025-26, with a $1.5 million buyout on each year.

Fletcher had signed a five-year, $26 million extension with the Angels prior to the 2021 campaign.

This post appeared first on USA TODAY