Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Bondson Arroyo

I think I had Wayne Krivsky all wrong. I questioned the wisdom of trading Wily Mo Pena for Bronson Arroyo, considering that Wily Mo still has plenty of time to develop into the slugger he's been projected to become. Well, we see who the slugger is now, don't we? Somebody in the Cincy front office did his homework, because the Reds seem to have acquired the hitter that they could only have dreamt Wily Mo Pena would be.

The real question is when does the switch happen? The Red Sox waited four years before converting Babe Ruth to full time OF duty. I doubt the Reds will want to wait that long. Four years is a long time. I think by the end of this year you'll start to see Arroyo starting at least two games a week in the field to get his potent bat in the lineup.

You know, if these Reds had Babe Ruth, I feel like they could screw that up too. Can't you just picture it? "Sure, we like Babe's upside, but for now we just feel like we need to get Scott Hatteberg his ABs."

But I digress. I was wondering if a pitcher had ever done what Arroyo did. Hang on. Now might be a good time to stop and tell you, if you haven't heard, that Bronson Arroyo hit a homer off Glendon Rusch tonight, which he also did last week. Although if you kept reading this far the whole time having no clue why I was talking about Bronson Arroyo's slugging prowess, I should have been content to keep you in the dark, because you'd be an idiot.

Anyway, thanks to Elias, I know that the answer is no, a pitcher has never homered in his first two ABs of the season. Had ESPN not published this Elias factoid, I could have instead relied on common sense.

Then again, does common sense cut it when you can rely on a stat service? Sure, my gut may tell me not to do something stupid, but doesn't it carry more weight for an announcer to tell me that "Elias has just informed us that no person in history has survived lighting himself on fire and then feeding himself to a ravinous mountain lion."

A pitcher has homered in consecutive games though. Wes Ferrell, the all time leading home run hitter among pitchers, did it, as well as having a number of multi-homer games. Check out this link for a list of all his home runs: http://www.baseball-fever.com/archive/index.php/t-4304.html

And for a list of the top home run hitting pitchers, you can check out this link on Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MLB_All-Time_leaders_in_Homeruns_for_a_Pitcher

I suppose it's not shocking to see good representation on this list by HOFers like Lemon, Spahn, Gibson, Drysdale, Johnson, etc, considering that HOFers are the ones with careers long enough to get on a list like this. Still though, lots of pitchers, while falling way short of the hall, could conceivably pitch for long enough to compile enough homers to be on the leaderboard, so there shouldn't be that strong a correlation between this list and hall of fame status. Then again, maybe it's the hall of famers who are the better athletes and have the extra hitting ability that their pitching peers lack.

Or, alternatively, who gives a damn.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Ander said...

Fantasy leagues should really include HRs by pitchers in the hitter stats. Obviously I say this because I have Arroyo on my team.
Four pitcher HRs already in this early stage of the season (Arroyo (2), Jorge Sosa, Mulder).

10:20 AM  
Anonymous JP said...

Hoyt Wilhelm hit a home run in his first MLB at-bat. His second season included two doubles and a triple. Then he had just one more extra-base hit over the next 19 years.

I wonder how many decent-hitting pitchers are currently buried in the AL?

2:28 PM  

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