The San Francisco Giants are in first place in the National League West. Part of the reason for their strong start is due to the pitching of their ace southpaw Madison Bumgarner.
In the National League, pitchers bat as the league has never adopted the designated hitter role. Bumgarner is known as one of the better hitting pitchers and has said he wants an opportunity to participate in the home run derby held during the All-Star Game festivities.
His pleas to participate have not fallen on deaf ears, but his manager Bruce Bochy is not going to give into such temptation.
On Sunday, during his team’s batting practice, Bumgarner put on a big hitting display of power at St. Louis’ Busch Stadium.
Following his batting practice, the hard throwing and now hard hitting pitcher said once again that he wanted to take part in the Home Run Derby in July and was making it a priority to be selected.
Bumgarner told ESPN that he wanted to participate prior to his team’s 6-3 loss to the Cardinals on Sunday night.
One can easily understand how Bumgarner wants to see if he would stack up with the best hitters in the game in a display of power, after all he has hit 13 career home runs, which is No. 1 for all active pitchers.
However, unfortunately for the Giants pitching ace, Bochy is not going to allow him to participate in the hitting derby. Even though the Giants manager originally said he would allow his pitcher to take part if asked, he quickly retracted that statement.
Bochy said that seriously he could not allow Bumgarner to take part with the hitters, as he did not want to risk injury to his No. 1 pitcher on the staff.
However, Bochy did say he would enjoy seeing what his pitcher could accomplish in such a derby.
Bochy added that his pitcher is convinced he would win the home run derby. However, Bochy said that Bumgarner might wear himself down too much during the first round trying to hit the ball so hard.
On Sunday, during his turn at batting practice, Bumgarner hit over a dozen balls into the left field seats. Two of his home runs reached Busch’s third deck above the sign Big Mac Land.
His last cut sent the ball all the way to left field’s fourth deck, which is a feat that is rarely accomplished at the stadium.