Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner has hit 11 home runs since the start of the 2014 season, a span of 194 plate appearances. According to Baseball Reference, 197 position players have accumulated at least that many plate appearances since 2014 and have hit 11 or fewer home runs. Compared to other pitchers, Bumgarner’s hitting prowess is otherworldly, but he even holds up compared to players whose everyday job is to hit.
Fans have long been suggesting Bumgarner’s inclusion in the annual Home Run Derby as part of the All-Star Game festivities, but their wishes have gone unanswered. Manager Bruce Bochy was asked about it by ESPN Radio’s Peter Pascarelli, who said, “Bumgarner would love to do it, but Bochy says there’s no way. Though it’s fun to imagine.”
The 2016 All-Star Game will be held at San Diego’s Petco Park on July 12. Petco Park has a reputation as being unkind to hitters due to its spacious confines.
It’s understandable why Bochy doesn’t want his star pitcher participating in a silly exhibition. If the lefty were to tweak something, it could put a serious stick in the Giants’ spokes, as the club entered Sunday night’s game against the Cardinals at 35-23, good for first place in the NL West. Still, selfishly, the rest of us can hope to one day see a pitcher participate in the Home Run Derby.
Bumgarner, in 35 plate appearances this season, has a pair of home runs and five RBI. And he did this in batting practice before Sunday night’s game: