13

Suppose an American League Team ended up with a good-hitting pitcher e.g Yovani Gallardo, or from an earlier era, Ken Brett, who had established this reputation in the National League.

Could such a pitcher be a "designated hitter" (dh) for himself? If yes, could he continue to "dh" after being relieved as a pitcher?

  • So if I understand correctly, the DH could go in to pitch and continue to hit. After he came off the mound, the pitchers would have to hit for themselves. Correct? – user4791 Jun 15 '14 at 10:41
9

NO.

Rule 6.10(b)

2 It is not mandatory that a club designate a hitter for the pitcher, but failure to do so prior to the game precludes the use of a Designated Hitter for that club for that game.

10 Once the game pitcher bats for the Designated Hitter, such move shall terminate the Designated Hitter role for that club for the remainder of the game. The game pitcher may pinch-hit only for the Designated Hitter.

12 Once a Designated Hitter assumes a position on defense, such move shall terminate the Designated Hitter role for that club for the remainder of the game

These rules combine to indicate quite clearly that the Pitcher cannot be named the designated hitter for himself. Specifically 12 would be the clearest case, the DH cannot appear on defense, which is the primary role of the pitcher.

What a team could do if they had a pitcher with sufficient value as a DH though is the have him DH and then allow him to pitch, perhaps in a closer type role. Though rule 15 indicate that he would not be allowed to warm up in the bullpen:

15 The Designated Hitter may not sit in the bullpen unless serving as a catcher in the bullpen

  • 1
    Earl Weaver, long time manager of the Orioles had a lot to do with the creation of this rule. After the DH was instituted, Weaver would set a pitcher as the DH and simply pinch hit for him when the DH would come up, usually substituting based on match ups. – Jerrod Sep 19 '13 at 22:31
  • 1
    @Jerrod interested in a source on that, do you happen to have one? – wax eagle Sep 20 '13 at 2:04
  • 2
    The technique is actually called the phantom DH. baseball-reference.com/bullpen/designated_hitter – Jerrod Sep 22 '13 at 18:11
  • So what happens once a Designated Hitter assumes a position on defense, [and] such move shall terminate the Designated Hitter role for that club for the remainder of the game?" Does the team then bat with eight hitters, or does something else happen? – Tom Au Sep 26 '13 at 19:49
  • 1
    @TomAu the DH is always optional, you just can't get it back if you either sub out your DH or don't start with one. That said in MLB, 99% of pitchers are worse hitters than 99% of hitters, so there is rarely a circumstance where you'd want your pitcher hitting if you can avoid it. – wax eagle Oct 13 '13 at 13:11

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.