OAKLAND, Calif. — Madison Bumgarner will get to hit for himself — even in an American League park.
San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy says he plans to use his slugging pitcher instead of a designated hitter Thursday night when the Giants visit the Oakland Athletics.
It will be the first time a team intentionally used a pitcher to hit instead of a DH since the Chicago White Sox allowed Ken Brett to do it in 1976 — the Rays were forced to bat pitcher Andy Sonnanstine in 2009 because of a lineup card mix-up.
Bumgarner is batting .175 this season with two homers and five RBIs in 40 at-bats. He has nine homers in 183 at-bats the past three seasons, a rate that would lead to about 36 home runs if he had a full season as a hitter. Bumgarner has even made a public plea to enter into the All-Star Home Run Derby.
Bochy says he made the decision because the right-handed hitting Bumgarner is a dangerous hitter and the A’s are starting lefty Dillon Overton.