Put him in, Tulo. Madison Bumgarner wants to hit it deep.
According to the San Jose Mercury News’ Alex Pavlovic (via Dan Wohl of MLB.com), the San Francisco Giants starting pitcher is lobbying NL Home Run Derby captain Troy Tulowitzki for a spot in the lineup.
Pavlovic tweeted Sunday that the 24-year-old from Hickory, North Carolina, told reporters he had put in a request to Tulowitzki but had yet to hear back.
Wohl points out that while Bumgarner could be joking, he’s a big boy capable of some serious power at the plate.
“MadBum isn’t the first pitcher to campaign, seriously or otherwise, for a spot in the Derby,” Wohl writes. “But there’s reason to believe that if given the chance, the 6’5”, 235-pound Bumgarner could put on a legitimate show. The country-strong North Carolinian crushed a grand slam in April.”
Bumgarner and teammate Hunter Pence are the two Giants selected to represent their team at the 2014 All-Star Game this July. The young lefty is 9-6 on the season with a 3.09 ERA and 120 strikeouts. Unfortunately, the back-to-back All-Star won't participate in the game.
According to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle, Bumgarner is slated to start two days before the July 15 game at Target Field and says his first priority is helping the Giants win.
“Any time I get a chance to help [the Giants] out here, obviously it takes precedence over anything else,” Bumgarner told Shea. “Having my name mentioned with the rest of those guys and getting that recognition, that means everything in the world.”
There’s nothing that suggests Bumgarner couldn’t pitch his game and be ready to take a few huge swings at the Home Run Derby, which kicks off Monday night at 7 p.m. CT.
I, for one, believe at least one pitcher should get a chance at the Home Run Derby. The hardworking mound-dwellers of the National League deserve representation, and if it can’t be Bartolo Colon, Bumgarner is the next best option.
Pitchers are people too, you know.