Are .300 hitting pitchers the wave of the future?

I know we’ll never see another Babe Ruth in our time, but I believe that the time is at hand for a new generation of pitchers. Pitchers, in half of the MLBA, account for 11% of the offense.

If I were a coach, then I would rather have a .250-.300 hitting pitcher with an ERA of 4.50, then a .118-.195 hitting pitcher with an ERA of 3.50.
With all of the potential for hits and sacrifices, managers should start focusing more on the pitchers that can hit (IMHO).

There are a lot of big outfielders who could pitch for two or so innings. Put them to good use. Put them on the mound and have them throw two-seamers and change-ups.

ps: I realize that I’m not the first person to ever make this point.

Richard, what we may be seeing is not the wave of the future but the return of something I used to see all the time way back when—pitchers who knew what to do with a bat. This is particularly true in the American League, when before the ill-advised advent of the designated hitter (boooooo) the woods were full of good-hitting pitchers. The Yankees, Red Sox, Indians, even some lesser teams like the Philadelphia Athletics and the Washington Senators of the '40s and '50s, all had pitchers who could hit, and quite a few of them hit close to .300. I remember some of those guys whom you have to pitch to like any other batter—Bob Lemon, Early Wynn, Joe Page, Tommy Byrne, Allie Reynolds, Ed Lopat, Hal Newhouser, we have quite a list! I recall how the Yankees, for example, used to use Joe Page as a pinch-hitter because he could, and did, hit for power; Lopat looked as if he didn’t even know how to hold a bat, but when he would come up to the plate, especially with runners on, the opposing outfielders would be forced to play him straight away and up against the fence because he had a very nasty habit of hitting to all fields and for extra bases from time to time.
And even in our time, look at C.C. Sabathia, a very good hitting pitcher who welcomed his trade to the Nationa League because it meant regular at-bats for him. He can hit. Jason Marquis can hit. Yes, I do believe we are seeing the return of something that never should have gone away—the good-hitting pitcher who can do a lot more than just lay down a good sacrifice bunt. Let’s watch and see what happens. :slight_smile: 8)

The best thing to look at a hitting pitcher is not his average or hr, Owings, Zabrano, CC, but to see if he puts the ball in play a lot. Guys like Glavine or Johan Santana are never going to hit hr, but they give solid at bats, make the pitchers work and put the ball in play. I believe that in the minors that DH’s are used for the majority of the leagues. So when guys get the the majors it could have been three to four years since they really hit. But i’m fine with a guy who has era under 3 and puts the ball in play a lot, aka Johan Santana

That was an outstanding post Zita. I really enjoyed read that! And you’re absolutely right…. every step of the way.

A while back I didn’t have that outlook … oh I had access to the same data base, but being the parochial type at heart, it took a real eye opener for me to come around.

I had a pitcher once that was build of linebacker for Texas A&M. I mean he was solid. He had all the stuff that coaches asked for on the wish list for Santa.

We used a DH for everybody on the pitching staff, no exceptions.My way of saving my “group” for bigger and better things … so I thought. And I’m sure a little ego on my part had something to do with it.

Well, as fortune wasn’t with us one game… our DH got decked by a wild throw while going to second … and the next inning we were really doing some shuffling with our roster. Our skipper was in a nasty mood all day long… so trying to reason with him was out of the question for everybody.

Our bat boy comes into the dugout and say’s sarcastically (the skipper’s son), “what do you have to lose… put him in.” And the kid points to my ace. Now, before I can spit my gum out … and say “whoa!!! … My ace gets up … grabs a stick form the bat rack and digs in the box.

The first pitch… and a real beauty too … KRACK!! The bat shatters into toothpicks, but the ball rockets just on the fair side of the left field pole and into the parking lot, ricocheting off of a number of cars… All I can say is that it’s a good thing that there’s a disclaimer on all tickets sold that day! The guy must have pin-balled a Chrysler, a couple of Buicks and a Caddy or two. No cheap stuff mind you… just the good stuff.

When my ace came into the dugout and sat down… my jaw was still down around knees. I had to say …” I didn’t know you could hit like that!”. His response was priceless and still rings in my ears to this day… “YOU NEVER ASKED ME COACH.”.

I never made that mistake again. Never.

Coach B.

[quote=“Coach Baker”]

When my ace came into the dugout and sat down… my jaw was still down around knees. I had to say …” I didn’t know you could hit like that!”. His response was priceless and still rings in my ears to this day… “YOU NEVER ASKED ME COACH.”.

I never made that mistake again. Never.

Coach B.[/quote]

Coach you can really tell a story!

Thanks

Hose

[quote=“Coach Baker”]When my ace came into the dugout and sat down… my jaw was still down around knees. I had to say …” I didn’t know you could hit like that!”. His response was priceless and still rings in my ears to this day… “YOU NEVER ASKED ME COACH.”.

I never made that mistake again. Never.

Coach B.[/quote]

That’s great! Haha

I remember watching a Cubbies game and they let Big Z bat instead of bringing in a pinch-hitter, but still took him out. Zambrano hits doubles and singles, too while CC is more of a power … hitter? (Well look at his build. He isn’t legging out any triples any time soon).