Bumgarner won't take part in Home Run Derby

Bochy says idea was nixed by Players Union

July 1st, 2016

OAKLAND -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy on Thursday ruled out the prospect of Madison Bumgarner picking up a bat for the 2016 T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Petco Park on July 11.

Bochy told reporters before Thursday night's game -- in which the club eschewed the DH and had Bumgarner bat for himself -- that the idea of the ace participating in the competition was "nixed."

"The Players Union doesn't want a pitcher taking a player's spot and I don't think they were keen on the pitchers thing this year," Bochy said.

Bochy said the league would revisit the possibility of a pitcher batting in the Home Run Derby, as well as a possible format in which pitchers would square off against one another in the event next year.

Bumgarner entered Thursday's game batting .175 (7-for-40) with two home runs and five RBIs in 2016.

Bumgarner, for what it's worth, has 13 homers -- which is the lead among active pitchers -- and a .182 batting average in 407 career at-bats, entering Thursday's game. So he's not exactly an heir apparent to the home run throne. He also wasn't shy about his interest in competing against the game's best sluggers during All-Star Week, telling ESPN in early June that he wanted to do it.

The Giants became the first Major League club since the Chicago White Sox in 1976 to forgo the opportunity to use a designated hitter. The only other time it occurred was in 2009, when the Tampa Bay Rays forfeited the designated hitter due to submitting an incorrect lineup card.

In June1988, Rick Rhoden was the DH for the Yankees on a day he wasn't pitching. 

"He's a competitor, he wants to hit," Bochy said. "And he's earned it, he's a pretty good hitter. It wasn't a tough call. This wasn't done to have fun."