After his mammoth blast on Thursday against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago Cubs’ Jake Arrieta now leads the “pitchers who rake” movement.
On Thursday, against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta took Zack Greinke deep; and I mean way deep. 466-feet to be exact. That was good enough to set the record for longest home run by a pitcher since the statistic started being recorded in 2009.
Arrieta’s home run on Thursday puts an interesting idea back into the heads of many baseball fans. That idea is having pitchers compete in or have their own home run derby during the All-Star break. Last summer, San Francisco Giants ace Madison Bumgarner raised the idea of having pitchers participate in the event.
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"“I think he would have won. And I’m being honest with you.”"
A pitcher’s HR Derby?
After hearing that Bumgarner wanted to participate, Arrieta was quick to jump on the bandwagon. In fact, even Jose Fernandez and Adam Wainwright were noted as having an interest in participating in the home run derby.
Citing safety concerns for the pitchers, major league baseball put the idea on the back burner for now.
In the same article by Stark, Arrieta had this to say:
"“We were almost there, man. I think it would have been something fun for the fans to see. And if it stunk, maybe we don’t do it again.”"
Still Possible For 2017
As of now, the idea of pitchers competing in the home run derby, or having a derby of their own seems to be far-fetched. However, it is not dead, especially now that Arrieta practically hit a ball a full mile.
Since joining the National League in 2013, Jake Arrieta has hit four home runs and driven in 15 runs. He is a career .188 hitter but hit at a .262 clip in 2016. That mark was good enough to net Arrieta his first Silver Slugger Award.
Madison Bumgarner will forever hold an advantage on Arrieta as Bumgarner has been in the National League his entire eight-year career. In those eight years, Bumgarner has clubbed 14 home runs and driven in 49 runs. Bumgarner is also a two-time Sliver Slugger and career .183 hitter.
While Bumgarner may have the upper hand when it comes to hitting statistics, Arrieta has the knack for the long ball. In addition to his record-breaking home run on Thursday, Arrieta also mashed a 441-foot blast back in April of 2016. That game was also against the Arizona Diamondbacks, as Arrieta took Shelby Miller deep in the Cubs 7-3 win.
More to Come in 2017
While Jake Arrieta and Madison Bumgarner are considered two of the best pitchers in baseball, they also know how to handle themselves at the plate. As they continue to smash deep home runs, the “pitchers who rake” movement will keep growing.
Let us also not forget Arrieta’s three-run home run in Game 3 of the NLDS off Madison Bumgarner.
Do not be surprised when Arrieta, Bumgarner, and other pitchers have their own event during the All-Star break. It is only a matter of time until pitchers are allowed to showcase their home run hitting ability. I just have one question. Where is Carlos Zambrano?