My friend and I were involved in a discussion about the importance of pitchers who can hit well on NL teams. We both agreed that if a pitcher can hit its a nice bonus, but we couldn't agree on the extent of how nice it was. To put it concisely, if there are two pitchers of exactly equal pitching talent, but one can hit well and the other one can't, then exactly how much more valuable is the one who can hit well? Is there any sort of stat that can prove this?

Any insight is appreciated.

"I'm going to meet the greatest umpire of all, and he knows I'm innocent."

Interesting question. What do the best pitchers hit? .250 with 2 HR a year? That's probably good for maybe 10 to 15 extra runs per year. That's not a big infusion of offense to really consider anything more than (like you said), a nice bonus. It would probably translate into maybe one extra win per year, at most.

Then again, I have no stats to back this up, so take it for what it is...i.e. pure conjecture.

Last edited by Doughhead on Tue Aug 09, 2005 9:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Well imagine if a team sought after a whole rotation of hitting pitchers. Then the 9th spot hitter each and every game would be a .250 hitter as opposed to a .150 hitter each day. Wouldn't that be a pretty big boost to the teams overall BA?

"I'm going to meet the greatest umpire of all, and he knows I'm innocent."

I would bet it has a small advantage. W a man on base w less than 2 outs, they are still usually bunting. It may help though when they lead off an inning not to have an automatic out. It may also help that a pitcher can't just laypitches over the plate, so they may actually walk here and there. Rather have em than not.

Answer is next to zero. No one cares how much a pitcher can hit...no one. Just look at Al Leiter. Man could never hit a lick...no one cared. One of the strongest arguments in favor of the DH is that a pitcher has never been drafted one rung higher, given one more dollar on a contract because he could hit 240 instead of 090.

Livan Hernandez and Dontrelle Willis are both pretty good hitters, might show you the imprtance of a pitcher can hit based on their numbers. Both have similar numbers.

My friend and I were involved in a discussion about the importance of pitchers who can hit well on NL teams. We both agreed that if a pitcher can hit its a nice bonus, but we couldn't agree on the extent of how nice it was. To put it concisely, if there are two pitchers of exactly equal pitching talent, but one can hit well and the other one can't, then exactly how much more valuable is the one who can hit well? Is there any sort of stat that can prove this?

Any insight is appreciated.

Well it would all depend on how much better one pitcher could hit compared to the other. Being that an NL pitcher is usually in the 70 AB range the difference between a good hitter (good in relative terms for a pitcher) and a bad hitter is only about 5 runs over the course of a season.

Havok1517 wrote:Livan Hernandez and Dontrelle Willis are both pretty good hitters, might show you the imprtance of a pitcher can hit based on their numbers. Both have similar numbers.

Dontrelle has actually pinch-hit for pitchers in games that he hasn't been the starter in. When your bench gets thin, they are a nice luxury to have. I have always wondered when a hitting pitcher will come around and earn such a fat contract that it will alter the landscape of the game (a la Babe Ruth). They could be on the horizon. Every team is looking for an edge. If there is a mediocre pitcher that can hit .280, National League teams might take a closer look at them.

One advantage that may not be obvious is that it may keep them in 4 or 5 games per year when the manager does not have to pinch hit for them in a 1 or 2 run game. Thisa gives them the advantage to pull out a win if they are losing.