Designated Hitters Need Not Apply
Everybody knows it is easier to pitch in the National League where feeble-hitting pitchers
bat instead of designated hitters. NL pitchers can often work around eighth hitters,
knowing an automatic out waits in the on-deck circle. Don’t tell that to the Milwaukee
Brewers. The Brewers have featured one of the league’s better offenses in recent years
and have taken significant steps to bolster their below-average pitching. Ironically, they
may have further strengthened their offense in the process.
Yovani Gallardo is not only the best hitting pitcher on the Brewers, but maybe in the
entire league. Last season, he hit .254 with four homers and 10 RBIs, but he’s not the
only Brewers pitcher who can rake.
Randy Wolf has posted a .189 average over his 12 year career with five home runs and 54
RBI. Even Milwaukee’s fifth starter, Chris Narveson, who pitched his first full-season in
2010, hit an astounding .327 with 7 RBIs.
As career American Leaguers, newcomers Zack Grienke and Shawn Marcum, have
limited hitting experience at the major league level, but both were position players in
high school and probably still remember how to swing a bat.
Good hitting pitchers start and extend rallies, drive in unexpected runs and keep the
bullpen rested in the process.
No question opposing pitchers would rather face the Brewers’ pitcher than Rickie Weeks,
Prince Fielder or Ryan Braun. But you just might want to think twice about walking the
eighth hitter to face the “automatic out” on deck.