FanPost

Pitcher Hitting

I've always felt that hitting by pitchers is an under-appreciated aspect of the game in the National League (and may it always be so).

While hitting will never account for an individual share of one pitcher's value, collectively pitchers and pinch hitters are one ninth of the line-up.

Moreover, pitchers can organize their innings around having the pitcher come to bat, if the opposing pitcher is not a hitting threat. That means pitchers at bat and pinch hitters carry more weight than their bottom of the order position -- generally with one fewer plate appearance in a game than those in the top -- would suggest. How often does the ninth position in the order come to bat with men on, compared with other positions? And in this new, lower scoring baseball environment, how often might a hit by a pitcher have been a devastating blow in a game?

Pitchers will never be good hitters compared with other position players, but a staff that out-hits and out bunts the other staffs can win a lot more more games. Which is why I don't understand why they use the DH in the minors, and in spring training. Without a chance to practice hitting, pitchers just become more and more of a black hole in the line-up, increasing the excuse to just go DH throughout MLB.

Over at the Cyclones meetup, someone suggested a 30 game league after the season in which pitchers play every position but catcher, so they can work on their hitting. I thought about it and it makes sense, but why not do it in Spring Training? They have split squad games. So why not have pitchers and catchers-only games?

They would have two aspects. First, the pitchers would wear the modern equivalent of a suit of armor to guard against the hit by pitch. Second, the pitchers would only run to first, and then be replaced by designated runners, perhaps teens who get to play in the game.

This FanPost was contributed by a member of the community and was not subject to any vetting or approval process. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions, reasoning skills, or attention to grammar and usage rules held by the editors of this site.

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