We will likely see the universal designated hitter in MLB in 2022. Thus, pitchers will no longer take at-bats in major-league games, which, considering they hit .110/.149/.140 in 2021, won’t be missed, at least not by me.
Cubs pitchers hit slightly worse than the MLB average in 2021: .112/.138/.125 (26-for-232) with 117 strikeouts.
This article isn’t for the purpose of debating the DH, since it seems likely to become reality. Yes, there will be some small elements of strategy lost when the DH is universal. Granted and stipulated. I won’t miss pitchers striking out in about 45 percent of their plate appearances, and with starting pitchers going shorter and shorter into games, pitcher PA have been dropping steadily anyway, from 5,924 in 2011 to 4,447 in the season just completed.
If this is indeed it for pitchers batting in MLB, here are some notable “lasts” for Cubs pitchers at the plate.
Last plate appearance: Called strikeout on Alec Mills vs. Cardinals, October 3, 2021 [VIDEO]
Last hit: Single by Cory Abbott vs. Cardinals, October 1, 2021 [VIDEO]
That’s it. Nothing special, just a little dribbler down the third-base line.
Last double: Adbert Alzolay vs. Marlins, August 13, 2021 [VIDEO]
It should be noted that in the bottom of the inning in which Alzolay hit that double, he got pounded by Marlins hitters, left the game and hit the injured list with a hamstring strain, though the two events do not appear to be related. Here’s the pitch where Alzolay appears to tweak his hamstring [VIDEO].
Last walk: Kyle Hendricks vs. Brewers, August 12, 2021 [VIDEO]
It should be noted that the Cubs lost that game 17-4.
Last triple: Jake Arrieta vs. Reds, April 22, 2017:
No Cubs pitcher homered in 2021. Thus the last Cubs pitcher to hit a home run was Jon Lester, who homered off the Pirates’ Chris Stratton at Wrigley Field July 13, 2019 [VIDEO].
The most recent Cubs pitcher to hit a grand slam was Travis Wood, who did it against the White Sox at Wrigley Field May 30, 2013:
Other Cubs pitchers to hit slams: Jason Marquis (2008), Kevin Tapani (1998), Burt Hooton (1972 — off Tom Seaver in a game the Cubs won 18-5!), Ox Miller (1947), Claude Passeau (1941) and Clay Bryant (1937).
Here is Marquis’ slam:
Were those all fun? Undeniably. Were they also so rare that they weren’t worth all the strikeouts in between? Yes, absolutely, in my view.
Some of you will miss seeing MLB pitchers at the plate. I won’t. But I thought you’d enjoy these video memories of pitchers batting, now that such things will likely no longer happen in Major League Baseball.