Bad Idea: Stephen Strasburg Pinch Hitting

This bad idea rates right up there with Kevin Kennedy allowing Jose Canseco to pitch in 1993, which led to Tommy John surgery. However, the internet is a fertile ground for bad ideas and consider this one fresh fertilizer.

May 15, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) bats against the San Diego Padres during the fourth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

In 2012, Stephen Strasburg showed off his ability at the plate. Strasburg hit .277 with a .333 OBP. He drove in 7 runs and showed some power by hitting 1 home run and 4 doubles in 47 at bats. Not bad.

Strasburg pinch hitting was considered last year after he was shut down. Davey Johnson toyed with the notion by telling Strasburg to take daily batting practice. Nothing seems to have come of this, but there is some history of pitchers pinch hitting. Tom Glavine has been used in his career as a pinch hitter. Best known is Carlos Zombrano’s prowess at the plate with his career .238 batting average, 24 home runs, 71 RBIs and a slugging percentage of .396, which earned him 20 pinch hitting chances.

Hitting is not how Strasburg earns his salary. Each at bat would put the right-hander at risk of injury. A fastball to the arm or a leg injury running the bases would always be a possibility.

The injury risk could be mitigated somewhat by wearing Barry Bondsesque robocop armor on his arm or a pinch runner once reaching base.

Also, the Nationals bench is deep this year, with proven hitters with pinch hitting experience such as Chad Tracy, Roger Bernadina, and Tyler Moore. The need really isn’t there.

The cons outweigh the pros and this idea is really just fresh fertilizer in the pasture, but it is worth thinking about.

Topics: Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals

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