Blog Entry

Switch Pitching Hitters...What are your thoughts?

Posted on: April 10, 2009 3:25 pm

Baseball players only focus their efforts on one facet of the game, either hitting or pitching.  Very rarely do we see a player who can hit as well as they can pitch or pitch as well as they can hit.  Rick Ankiel is a novelty act because he was able to successfully transition from a decent pitcher to a starting batter.  In Rick Ankiel's case, though, he was only a legitimate starting pitcher for one season in 2000.  He made pitching starts in 1999 and 2001 but only a total of eleven in those two years combined.  As a National League player, Ankiel was able to hone his batting skills just enough throughout his career because NL pitchers get to hit in every game they start.  Unfortunately for American League pitchers, they rarely have the opportunity to shine in the batter's box because of the DH postion.  Are there any legitimate pitchers who can truly hit?

One can make a case for a few current pitchers who could develop into a starting batter caliber player.  Here is my list:

1.  Micah Owings-The problem with Owings is he is not really a "respectable" starting pitcher to date. 

     Career ERA:  4.97, Career AB:  117, Career HR:  5, Career RBI:  21, Career BA:  .316

2.  CC Sabathia-The predicament with Sabathia is pitching in the American League.  He ate up the spotlight in Milwaukee for a half season while batting like a regular professional hitter.

     Career ERA:  3.68, Career AB:  88, Career HR:  3, Career RBI:  13, Career BA:  .261

3.  Yovani Gallardo-The trouble with Gallardo is his limited time in the big leagues.  Did you see his three run shot against Randy Johnson on Wednesday?  When he hit the ball, everyone knew the ball was gone the second it left his bat.

     Career ERA:  2.70, Career AB:  51, Career HR:  3,  Career RBI:  9, Career BA:  .235

4.  Carlos Zambrano-Zambrano is probably the most respected hitting pitcher who can legitimately win a game pitching and, at the same time, legitimately be a deep ball threat.

     Career ERA:  3.47, Career AB:  497, Career HR:  16, Career RBI:  47, Career BA:  .237

Who did I miss?  Who do you think is currently the best hitting pitcher? 



Since: May 14, 2008
Posted on: April 13, 2009 6:05 pm

Switch Pitching Hitters...What are your thoughts?

All of you have had very interesting comments and additions. 

Mike Hampton is definitely someone I overlooked when making this list.  A career .241 BA for a pitcher is phenomenal.  Although Hampton seems to get hurt a lot, I was surprised at the number of consecutive years he went with at least twenty games started.  In fact, Hampton went ten consecutive seasons with at least twenty games started and seven consecutive seasons with at least thirty games started during the same time period.     

Micah Owings could probably switch to a batter all together.  Currently in the MLB, a respectable pitcher is much harder to come by than a respectable hitter.  Being only twenty-six years old, Owings can still develop into a very skilled pitcher.  If Owings reaches age thirty and can not drop his ERA below 4.00, he should seriously consider a role reversal.  He really seems like a candidate to be the next Rick Ankiel.

As far as fantasy scoring, I HATE that pitchers do not accumulate batting points.  When Yovani Gallardo pitched against the Giants last week, he hit a three run home run to carry the Brewers to a win.  Gallardo allowed two runs over six innings and scored twenty-one fantasy points which I am happy with.  That being said, had his batting stats counted, he would have scored twenty-nine points.  Furthermore, had Gallardo not hit a three run shot, the Brewers would have lost since they only won 4-2.  Gallardo should have been awarded batting points because he essentially allowed -1 runs.

Surely I am in the minority but I like having pitchers bat.  I had a lot going on the night of the Brewers-Giants game when Gallardo pitched.  In Wisconsin, the game started at 9:20pm.  I have to be up at 5:00am for work and knew I wouldn't be able to watch the enitre game.  At about 11:00pm the Brewers had a runner on 2nd base and I was ready to go to bed.  I realized Gallardo could potentially bat in the inning and I could not pull myself to turn the game off in anticipation of his at bat.  Randy Johnson intentionally walked Jason Kendall setting up Gallardo with two outs and two runners on base.  When a pitcher can belt a home run, the intrigue of watching him hit is very high.  Although rare, a good hitting pitcher draws a lot of interest and attention.    &

Since: Apr 12, 2009
Posted on: April 12, 2009 11:15 am

Switch Pitching Hitters...What are your thoughts?

Micah Owings should consider going the route of Rick Ankiel if he cannot produce from the bump this season.  I was at the Braves game where he hit two HRs.  I mean seriously.. a career .316 hitting pitcher with a career ERA of 4.97.  Seems to me like he should switch positions.

Since: Apr 6, 2008
Posted on: April 12, 2009 11:01 am

Switch Pitching Hitters...What are your thoughts?

it's kind of a stretch saying this because this guy is always hurt, but i think mike hampton

should be somewhere on this list he is almost a better hitter than pitcher in my mind.

career ERA: 4.01 career ab: 689, career hr: 15, career rbi: 72, career ba; 241

let me know what u think.


Since: Nov 3, 2007
Posted on: April 12, 2009 2:37 am

Switch Pitching Hitters...What are your thoughts?

From what I've seen, I'd say Zambrano is the best hitting pitcher.


Since: Jan 19, 2007
Posted on: April 12, 2009 12:21 am

Switch Pitching Hitters...What are your thoughts?

If you play in an nl only league you should be able to count a pitcher's hitting stats along with their pitching stats. How many at-bats do they get in the first place? I feel it might throw an extra twist in the land of fantasy which we've all grown to love. 

Since: Dec 17, 2008
Posted on: April 11, 2009 2:59 pm

Switch Pitching Hitters...What are your thoughts?

i agree about big z being the best hitting pitcher, but i don't see why the nl doesn't just pick up the dh rule. I say this because it would bring more pop to the national league lineups and give the pitcher more time to recooperate between innings. and i'll truly just come out and say it ......... i get no points from my pitchers at bats and that is about 80 percent of why i feel this way 

Since: Mar 22, 2009
Posted on: April 11, 2009 9:31 am

Switch Pitching Hitters...What are your thoughts?

I think Carlos Zambrano is the best hitting pitcher. Unlike other pitchers, he just swings as hard as he can. If you ever see him at the plate, he cuts at the ball hard. 


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