Madison Bumgarner says Home Run Derby doesn't pose injury risk

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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

San Francisco Giants ace Madison Bumgarner said Tuesday he's not worried about injuring himself if he's allowed to participate in the All-Star Home Run Derby.

The left-hander pointed out to reporters that the team let him ride a horse in April last year when he carried the team's World Series banner onto the AT&T Park field before the home opener. That posed a bigger risk to his health than swinging a bat would, he said.

"I mean, they had me ride a horse on the field, so if they trust me with something like that with 40-some-thousand people going crazy and I can't do baseball activities, that's a little bit different," Bumgarner told reporters. "We'll talk about it for sure. I'm not trying to say that this is a done deal or anything like that."

He told ESPN's Buster Olney on Sunday that he'd like to take part in the Derby, and he reiterated Tuesday that if he's asked to participate at next month's event at Petco Park in San Diego, he will accept.

"I'll do it for sure," Bumgarner told reporters. "If they ask me to do it, I'll do it."

Bumgarner, who bats right-handed and has 13 career home runs, has made Giants batting practice a must-watch affair, even hitting a ball into the upper deck at Busch Stadium on Sunday. He said Tuesday that he believes he would do well in the Derby but left himself some wiggle room.

"I'd like to think [I'd do] pretty good, but you never know," he said. "Hitting is not the easiest thing in the world to do, so there's always a chance you go out there one day and you just ain't going to have it."

Giants manager Bruce Bochy has expressed reluctance to allow Bumgarner to take part in the Derby, although he admitted it would be fun to watch. On Tuesday, he said he worried that Bumgarner, who is having another stellar season on the mound with a 7-2 record and 1.91 ERA, might try to swing so hard that he would injure himself.

Bochy said Tuesday that he planned to talk with Giants vice president of baseball operations Brian Sabean and general manager Bobby Evans soon to discuss the organization's position on Bumgarner's Derby aspirations.

"Your initial feelings are to keep him out of it because I know how competitive he is and how hard he'll swing, but at the same time I think it'll create interest with fans getting to watch one of the best pitchers in the game swing the bat," Bochy told reporters.

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