After becoming universal for the 2021 season, some thought that the DH would become permanent, and pitchers would never hit again in the National League.
However, with just over six weeks until Opening Day, the National League is set to have pitchers in the lineup once again. This will likely just be for one season, since new collective bargaining agreement discussions are set to take place this offseason.
But, in 2021, Phillies pitchers will most likely have to hit. So, which of them have the most to offer at the plate?
The best hitting Phillies pitcher is Vince Velasquez, and he is far from a lock to even break the rotation to start the season. Over his career, he has a slashline of .224/.246/.261, and his .234 batting average since 2017 ranks third among all pitchers during that span.
Velasquez’s biggest hit came against the Miami Marlins in 2019, when he hit this mammoth home run:
Velasquez’s athelticism is unquestionable, and that has shown itself both in the field and at the plate.
Zack Wheeler is likely the next best hitter on the roster, with a career slashline of .150/.175/.195, but has yet to have an at-bat as a Phillie. He did, however, hit this solo shot against fellow Phillie Zach Eflin back in 2019:
Eflin is a comparable hitter to Wheeler, slashing a career .152/.152/.196 and also hitting this home run that he hit against the Toronto Blue Jays back in 2018:
The rest of the Phillies pitching staff has struggled at the plate during their career. Chase Anderson, who spent his career in the National League up until 2020, has slashed just .095/.115/.102 to this point. Matt Moore spent much of his time in the American League, but has only hit .106/.126/.106 in his opportunities at the plate.
Phillies ace Aaron Nola has struggled at the plate throughout his career, but began to heat up in the second half of the 2019 season when he slashed .300/.333/.400 during an 11-game stretch to finish out the season. Still, he has hit just .077/.139/.095 overall.
Nola, Moore and Anderson all have yet to hit a home run at the major league level. And, assuming the universal DH returns in 2022, this will be the final opportunity for them to do so.
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