Stat of the Day: Who are the best-hitting pitchers?

71 Comments

In honor of Ross Ohlendorf smacking a three-run homer against the Dodgers last night after coming into the game with a career .070 batting average, here’s a list of the best-hitting active pitchers based on their career OPS:

                     PA      OPS
Micah Owings        217     .820
Dontrelle Willis    443     .663
Yovani Gallardo     263     .660
Carlos Zambrano     708     .646
CC Sabathia         104     .627
Mike Leake          125     .606
Daniel Hudson       106     .601
Dan Haren           291     .581

Prior to this season Micah Owings was so good at hitting and so bad at pitching that becoming a hitter who occasionally pitches seemed like a good idea, but he’s 7-0 with a 3.05 ERA in 59 innings for the Diamondbacks and is hitting just .211.

All of the other guys on the above list have impressive numbers for a pitcher, but it’s worth noting that they’re still pretty terrible at the plate in general. For instance, Dontrelle Willis has the second-best OPS at .663, which is lower than position players who’re often mocked for their lack of production like Aaron Miles (.674), Jack Wilson (.676), Miguel Cairo (.682), and Yuniesky Betancourt (.683).

Incidentally, after last night’s homer Ohlendorf boosted his career OPS from .140 to .211 (and it comes with a nifty 47/3 K/BB ratio).

Adam Eaton sustains leg injury after tripping over first base

Getty Images
1 Comment

Nationals’ outfielder Adam Eaton was carried off the field after stumbling over first base on Friday night. In the ninth inning of the Nationals’ 7-5 loss to the Mets, Eaton appeared to catch his ankle on the bag as he ran out an infield single, suffering a leg injury on the fall. He was unable to put pressure on his left leg after the play and required assistance by two of the Nationals’ athletic trainers as he exited the field.

Eaton is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday, but Nationals’ manager Dusty Baker told reporters that it “doesn’t look too good.” It’s the first significant leg injury the outfielder has sustained since 2014, when he went on the 15-day disabled list with a hamstring strain. He’ll likely be replaced by Michael Taylor in center field for the next couple of games, though that could be a temporary fix as the Nationals seek a better solution during Eaton’s recovery process.

Madison Bumgarner likely sidelined through the All-Star break

Getty Images
Leave a comment

It’s been just over a week since Giants’ left-hander Madison Bumgarner got a serious scare after a nasty dirt bike accident. He escaped with bruised ribs and a Grade 2 strain of his left shoulder AC joint, but there was some speculation that the injuries would cause a significant, if not permanent, setback in the southpaw’s career. Thankfully, things aren’t looking quite so bleak today. Not only will Bumgarner not require surgery, but he could return as soon as the week following the All-Star break, the Giants said Friday.

Of course, that timeline is wholly dependent on how smoothly the recovery process goes, so nothing is set in stone yet. NBC Sports Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic estimates 2-3 months of rest and rehab, including “two months before he can get back on the mound and then another three to four weeks of throwing and rehab starts before he’s big league-ready.” It’s a long and laborious schedule, but still looks much better than any surgical alternative.

Prior to the accident, Bumgarner was working on a solid start to the 2017 season. He maintained a 3.00 ERA, 1.3 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 through 27 innings with the club, though his average 1.75 runs of support per start fed into an 0-3 record.