Are the Atlanta Braves converting Charlie Culberson into a pitcher?

Culberson has only played two games in Gwinnett since signing a minor league deal in August and it's not at a position you'd expect...
San Diego Padres v Atlanta Braves
San Diego Padres v Atlanta Braves / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
2 of 2

Is Culberson actually converting to pitcher and is it too late in his career)

There hasn't been an official announcement on Culberson's status as a pitcher. He's had the stuff for years, but is 34 years old too late to convert to the mound?

In 2014, 37-year-old Jason Lane entered into his first big league game since 2007. He had played outfield for the Astros and the Padres from 2000-2007 and had once been a productive hitter, but he slashed .178/.257/.349 (55 OPS+) in his final season.

After floundering in the minors for years, Lane took to the mound in 2012 while he was in the Diamondbacks organization. He had a rough start to his pitching career, as he had a 7.59 ERA in 2012 and a 5.24 ERA in 2013.

But in 2014, after starting 11 games in the Padres organization and holding a 4.36 ERA, the Padres gave him a shot with the big league squad in June. In his pitching debut, he threw 3.1 perfect innings.

Lane would appear in two more games with the Padres, including a start on July 28 against the Braves where he pitched six innings of one-run ball, but would never get another opportunity after that start.

Lane's short stint might seem like a disappointment, but if Culberson actually does convert to pitching, it could be a promising sign. Culby throws harder than Lane, who maxed out at 89.7 MPH in his short MLB pitching career. Culberson has hit 93.7 in the bigs.

For most players, it might be foolish to try and convert to the mound this late in their career, but Culberson could be the one who actually succeeds.