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April 30, 2009 at 5:54 am ET
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B&C’s 10 Greatest Active Hitting Pitchers in Baseball

rsz_brewersj4_0430091Growing up a Brewers fan, I had the rare opportunity to witness seasons upon seasons of both American and National League brand baseball. Without even touching on the positives and negatives of the designated hitter (hint: there are no positives), I think we can all agree there’s something especially exciting about watching a man who’s primarily employed to throw a ball smack the Christ out of the thing he usually throws. Yet in the modern era, such a sight is seen increasingly seldom.

But as a 23-year-old pitcher smited his 4th career four-bagger Wednesday to provide the only run in a Major League Baseball game, I was inspired to circulate a query around the Bugs & Cranks headquarters to which active pitchers wielded the most vicious lumber – which could best channel their inner Burke Flynn. In no particular order, here they are.

Yovani Gallardo, Brewers – As mentioned above, Yo clubbed his 4th career longball (2nd this season) Wednesday. He has more hits than position player teammates Brad Nelson, Chris Duffy and Casey McGehee – and two more homers this season than all-star Matt Holliday.テつ

Carlos Zambrano, Cubs – Winner of two Silver Slugger awards, Zambrano has 17 HR, 49 RBI and 121 hits. He’s a career .239 hitter and has thrice tripled to boot. His secret? When hitting, he imagines he’s pitching. Anger does a lot for a man’s bat speed.

Bronson Arroyo, Reds -テつI make no secret of my disdain for the bleach-blond “pitcher”/house boat owner, but I have to give it to him. He can hit. He’s nearly made up for his below average pitching with his surprisingly not entirely atrocious hitting. He’s homered at least once in each of the past three seasons. If that’s not something to tell (alleged) future STD carriers between poorly-played acoustic guitar ballads, what is?

Micah Owings, Reds – Sticking with bad Reds pitchers, Owings has 5 homers, 23 RBI, a .323 BA and a Silver Slugger in just over two full seasons of play. I’d say Dusty Baker should consider pinch-hitting him in extra inning games, but it’s probably too risky. He’s walked seven times… he might “clog the bases.”

Mike Hampton, Astros -テつ15 HR, 73 RBI, 3 SB, 45 BB, .240 BA. What is Wes Helms’ career line? Nope. Mike Hampton – when not injured or in the process of becoming injured, handles the bat quite well. He boasts five Silver Sluggers.テつ

Jason Marquis, Rockies -テつ169 homers! Is that right? Oh wait, that’s the amount of homers he’s given up. OK, so Marquis isn’t exactly a pitcher’s pitcher… that doesn’t mean he hasn’t kept his team in games he blew with some timely batsmanship. 5 HR, 43 RBI, a steal and a Silver Slugger… I can only imagine what a season in Denver will do for that career homer total. Six?!?

Jason Jennings, Rangers -テつ2 HR, 26 RBI, 68 hits, .207 BA. Bip Roberts is rolling is his grave at the mention of Jennings’ stats accrued while a NL pitcher. Wait, is Bip Roberts dead?

CC Sabathia, Yankees – At this point in the season, most position players have totaled at least 88 at bats. How many respectable hitters currently have 3 homers, 13 RBI and 3 doubles? A few, right? Those are Sabathia’s numbers over 88 at bats spanning eight big league seasons – primarily spent on AL teams.テつ

Dontrelle Willis, Tigers – Things were better for Willis when he was a Marlin. He won a World Series, his gimmicky leg kick and crooked hat fooled many an analyst to believe he was the real deal, only 50 people witnessed his bad home outings and, mostly, because he could hit. With 8 HR, 35 RBI and 21 BB, I’d venture a guess he misses the batter’s box of Miami.

Livan Hernandez, Mets -テつA lot can happen in 14 years. I can grow facial hair (kind of), 3 1/2 Presidential terms pass, a British boy can be born/knock up his girlfriend/have a year to spare. Livan Hernandez can also smack 9 homers and 75 RBI. I think the British kid-dad thing is most impressive, but not by much.

What do you think? Any we missed?

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7 Responses to “B&C’s 10 Greatest Active Hitting Pitchers in Baseball”
  1. Ryan says:

    Baker already does pinch-hit Owings as long as it’s not the day before his start, and he’s a beast. He’s batting .364 this year with 3 doubles in 11 ABs. He’s not that bad of a pitcher btw. Neither is Bronson. He won 15 games last year.

  2. Noonan says:

    Look at Adam Wainwright’s career hitting stats, too. He could definitely be on this list.

  3. Nic Lake says:

    All this just makes me think of/miss Greg Maddux. That guy was the master of the sacrifice bunt… guy on first? No outs? You can bet a sacrifice is incoming, and you can bet that Maddux would have it down within 2 pitches.

  4. El Capitan Obvioso says:

    Does Randy Wolf still pitch on a Major League roster? Dude could rake a little.

  5. a different Brian says:

    Wainwright – for sure. He’s got the numbers of a good hitting middle infielder.

    Career BA, OBP, SLG, OPS – .283/.306/.399/.704

  6. Jimbo says:

    Peavy, Wainwright and Cole Hamels

  7. Lyell says:

    Wainright.

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