One of these was the pitchers batting in a lineup spot other than the 9th spot.
Here is the number of occurrences by year:
Here are the totals by League, Team, and Year::
You can see from this summary that the main years with pitchers batting out of the 9th spot were in the 1897-99 time period. I do not have the data for pre-1897 to compare, but I will discuss two of these years.
Two teams make up 94% of the total - The Chicago Colts and the Brooklyn Bridegrooms
The Colts had Cap Anson in his last year at the helm and he apparently decided to have his catchers bat in the 9th spot a majority of the games (82 of the 138). The main 2 catchers in that slot were Malachi Kittridge with 39 starts in the 9th spot and Tim Donahue with 38 starts. In fact, Anson, himself, had 4 starts in the 9th slot as a catcher early in the season!
It should be of no surprise that Kittridge (lifetime .219 BA and 39 OPS+ in 1897) was in that slot. Donahue was a bit better, but not much (53 OPS+).
The main pitchers that Anson had in the 8th spot were
1. Clark Griffith - 22 times, once in the 7th spot; .235, 21 rbis, 67 OPS+
2. Danny Friend - 19 times, .284, 72 OPS+
3. Walter Thornton - 11 times, .321, 106 OPS+ (Thornton also played in the OF 59 games)
4. Jimmy Callahan - 10 times, .292, 86 OPS+ (Callahan also played in the field, 30-2b, 21-of, 18-SS)
5, Buttons Briggs - 10 tiumes, .160, -2 OPS+ (ok, maybe Anson should have had Him batting 9th)
As you can see, for the most part, having the Colt pitchers batting 8th was the smart move.
For Brooklyn, Germany Smith started in the 9th spot 45 of the 49 times a non-pitcher did. Smith was easily the weakest hitter on the Bridegrooms with a .201 BA and a 32 OPS+.
The pitchers who batted ahead of Smith were the following (all in the 8th spot):
1. Brickyard Kennedy - 16 times, .272, 18 rbi's, 74 OPS+
2. Harley Payne - 11 times, .236, 11 rbi's, 47 OPS+
3. Jack Dunn - .10 times, .221, 17 rbi's, 34 OPS+ (Dunn, of course, later in his life was significant in Babe Ruth's career)
4. Chauncey Fisher - 9 times, .203, 47 OPS+
Again, for the most part, moving Smith down to the 9th spot and having the pitchers in the 8th spot seemed to be the right move.
The other year/team I want to profile is the 1899 Washington Senators, in their last year in the National League. This team finished 11th in the league, ahead of the woeful 20-134 Cleveland Spiders. They also had the emerging slugger and former pitcher, Buck Freeman, who slugged 25 homers (and threw in 25 triples as well).
Manager Arthur Irwin apparently decided to start the season with a different twist, having his 2nd baseman, Dick Padden hitting 9th and his pitcher, Frank Killen, bat 8th. Irwin continued this arrangement for the most part through June 22nd. He briefly did it again at the end of August.
During the 61 games that the Senators had their pitcher batting 8th, Dick Padden, .277, 93 OPS+, batted in the 9th spot 39 times (20 at 2b, 19 at SS). The other primary non-pitcher occupant was leftfiedler, Jack O'Brien, 10 games, .282, 91 OPS+.
This is one of those cases when the reason (for the most part) for the switch is somewhere in the Washington Post or Sporting Life, because on the surface it doesn't make alot of sense.
The pitchers who batted 8th were:
1. Gus Weyhing - 18 games, .206, 38 OPS+
2. Bill Dinneen - 16 games, .303, 84 OPS+
3. Dan McFarlan - 10 games, .186, 45 OPS+
A couple other items worth mentioning -
In 1902, the "all-time" worst hitting non-pitcher, Bill Bergen, hit 9th 18 times. Surprisingly, he hit 9th only a handful of times the rest of his career. If anyone was meant to hit 9th, it was Bergen, who was well known in his time for his phenomenal fielding.
Also, in 1898, Cy Seymour, then still primarily a pitcher who walked and struck out a great deal of hitters (for the time), batted outside of the 9th spot as a pitcher 12 times - 2nd - 3 games, 4th - 5 games, 5th - 4 games. A sign of things to come for this pitcher, then outfielder who nearly had a triple crown in 1905 for the Reds.