3 Options to be the Phillies’ Designated Hitter
The proposed temporary use of a designated hitter for National League teams in Major League Baseball this year raises a natural question.
Who would occupy that role for the Phillies?
"You could use it as a vehicle for giving guys sort of a semi-rest," explained Phillies beat writer Scott Lauber from the Philadelphia Inquire.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported on a proposal implementing a DH across both leagues, among other changes. The proposal still has to get approval from the MLB Players Association.
Here are some candidates to consider:
Normally a outfielder, Bruce is known for his pop, which might make him the most obvious candidate to hit as the DH. Bruce hit 26 home runs and drove in 59 runs in 2019 with the Phillies and Marines. His .216 batting average in 310 plate appearances isn’t ideal, but his pop from the left side makes him a prime candidate at least against right-handed pitching.
Quinn has had huge issues staying healthy, and while he is very good defensive centerfielder, maybe using him in the DH role would help keep him healthy and his speed on the field.
This could be a great opportunity for Quinn to stay in the everyday lineup and not have to "play" everyday. Quinn is a difference-maker when his speed is in the lineup, he's stolen 23 bases in 334 plate appearances as a major leaguer.
"I recognize that when Roman Quinn is healthy and playing to his potential, it’s hard to take him out of the lineup," Phillies GM Matt Klentak said this offseason.
Well adding the DH is a way to keep both Quinn and Haseley in the lineup daily.
"You can also use Quinn and Haseley as a way to give McCutchen a break and have Mccutchen DH," Lauber said.
A corner infielder who plays third but isn't considered to be a very good defensive third baseman. With the season getting such a late start the Phillies can start Bohm as the right away and not have to worry about his defense and let him just concentrate on helping the lineup.
"Its definitely a possibility," said Lauber. "You could have Alec Bohm DH against lefties and Jay Bruce DH against righties."
He it .305/.378/.518 with 21 home runs and 80 RBI's in 125 games across three levels last season.
Being used as a DH against left-handed pitching could be a perfect fit for Bohm, while adjusting to big league pitching.
Veterans Neil Walker, Josh Harrison and Logan Forsythe could benefit from the at-bats, and all offer versatility as utility backups that come in as a defensive replacement or start when other players need days off.