Monday, March 3, 2008

Bang the Gavel: Should Pitchers' Batting Stats Count in NL-Only Leagues?

It is a good thing fantasy sports did not exist when Babe Ruth manned the mound for the Boston Red Sox because nobody had to address with the Sultan of Swat's hitting stats should count. However, after Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Micah Owings finished the 2007 season with a .333 batting average and a .683 slugging percentage, there is a real chance Owings will see time in the Snakes' lineup on days that he is not pitching. In fact, Tristan Cockroft of reports as follows:
"Owings, perhaps baseball's best-hitting pitcher, served as the designated hitter and went 1-for-5 in Sunday's spring game. ... Owings batted eighth, and he'll hit seventh in the order when he starts on Monday, a sign that the Diamondbacks are seriously considering hitting him higher in the order on days he pitches. In addition, it might be an indication that the Diamondbacks are reconsidering the idea of getting Owings into the lineup even on days he doesn't pitch, like slotting him as the DH during interleague games or perhaps even trying him at first base." (Full article available here).
This raises an interesting question about whether NL-only leagues should count pitcher's batting statistics.

As someone who saw the Mets' Dwight Gooden hit a three-run home run in my very first inning of my very first game (a 12-1 Mets win over the Pirates), I would be open to adding pitchers' batting numbers into the equation.

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Brian said...

This makes me think of the time Bronson Arroyo was on my team in 2006, hit a home run, and I lost home runs for the week in a head to head league by 1.

It adds a whole new dimension to drafting pitchers in an NL only league. I like it, or at least I'd like to see a test run of it.