Cubs' Maddon intrigued about idea of pitchers in HR Derby
ATLANTA (AP) Cubs manager Joe Maddon is intrigued about having pitchers, including Chicago ace Jake Arrieta, compete in the All-Star Home Run Derby.
Giants ace Madison Bumgarner has said he would like to participate in the July 11 event at San Diego. Following his 8-2 win over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday night, Arrieta said he would want to match home-run power with Bumgarner.
''If he's in it, I want to be in it,'' Arrieta said after having two hits in the win.
Arrieta said swinging for the fences in the All-Star spotlight ''would probably be the most adrenalin I would ever have.''
Maddon said Sunday he would not be worried about Arrieta getting hurt but stopped short of endorsing the idea on behalf of the team. ''That's above my pay grade, right there,'' he said.
Still, Maddon became more enthused about the idea as he mentioned Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw, Jacob deGrom and Bartolo Colon as other possible NL pitchers who could compete.
''I think it would be interesting,'' Maddon said. ''It might even be more interesting than the regulars.''
Maddon said a home-run competition for pitchers would have to be ''a toned-down version'' with fewer swings.
''Well, he's strong, man,'' said Maddon of Arrieta. ''Real strong. Bumgarner has got a great swing, though. I watched. Jake is good but Bumgarner is really loose and free and easy with his approach.''
St. Louis pitcher Adam Wainwright used his Twitter account on Sunday to state his interest in joining the fun - if there is an opportunity.
''Well, if Madbum and (at)JArrieta34 want in on this (hash)homerunderby...I might as well throw my name in the hat!'' Wainwright tweeted.
Maddon said pitchers would have no problem hitting homers off batting-practice pitches.
''I happened to see some video of Bumgarner. It was pretty impressive,'' he said. ''He could be like an absolute regular pinch hitter and he could be actually be a DH in the American League, I think. He's good. He really is. He's that good.''
Bumgarner has hit two homers this season. He hit five last season and has 13 in his big league career.
Arrieta has one homer this year after hitting two in 2015.
''I said I was going to hit five this year, so I've got a ways to go,'' Arrieta said.