With the news about a possible Designated Hitter coming to the National League, soon, I wondered what impact the DH would have on the Dodgers.
https://t.co/u02jeGpOam story on MLB and union making game-changing proposals
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) February 6, 2019
This article won’t be going into whether the DH is good or not for the National League, but I am looking at it as it could be implemented as soon as 2019 but more likely in 2020.
Given the current chatter about a universal DH what is your stance on a DH in the National League?
— Tim Rogers (SD Dodger) (@SDDodger) February 6, 2019
What Is Lost
The Dodgers have a history of having some decent hitting pitchers, and have some now. Pitchers such as Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Ross Stripling and Kenta Maeda have sometimes given the Dodgers an advantage. Of course, there have been some awful hitting pitchers that couldn’t even bunt but most of them have moved on. It still boggles the mind that these pitchers can’t even bunt but many haven’t hit much since early in high school. To have someone like Clayton Kershaw who handles the bat and runs the bases well is an advantage that will be lost.
Of course we’d not be able to see any further adventures of “Babe Ryuth” as he’s actually a decent hitter but always fun to watch.
— Clyle Alt (@clylealt) February 6, 2019
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What is Gained – Lineup Options
As of February 7, 2019 the Dodgers have a glut of players that should be in the lineup. For now I believe the starting candidate players are as follows:
- C – Austin Barnes/Russell Martin
- 1B – Max Muncy/David Freese
- 2B – Chris Taylor/Kiké Hernandez
- SS – Corey Seager/Chris Taylor (in case Seager is not ready)
- 3B – Justin Turner
- LF – Alex Verdugo/Joc Pederson
- CF – A.J. Pollock
- RF – Cody Bellinger
- Others – Andrew Toles, Edwin Rios, Matt Beaty
With the DH, the Dodgers would have even more options and ways to exploit their depth. The first thing I’d want to see is a platoon of Joc Pederson and David Freese. What makes this possible is that Joc would DH against right-handers with Max Muncy at 1B. Against left handers Muncy could go to DH and Freese could play 1B.
With Corey Seager recovering from two surgeries, he could start the season as the full-time DH instead of rushing back to the field. Seager’s bat must be in the lineup and, with a DH, it gives him a better shot.
Resting Justin Turner is also a must and the DH would allow his bat to stay in the lineup while shielding him from some wear and tear. The fact that they could rotate most of the starters through the DH spot provides a fresher team later in the season.
Possibilities – Bring In A Big Bat
One of the reasons that the Dodgers have not landed players such as Giancarlo Stanton and Bryce Harper is because they don’t feel they’d age well, yet would still need to play in the field. If there is going to be a DH then it does open up some possibilities. Maybe signing Bryce Harper or Manny Machado starts to make more sense (I’m not giving up yet). There are also players like Edwin Rios or Matt Beaty in the farm system who have a great hit tool but are blocked at the corner infield positions.
Laying my cards on the table, I am against bringing the DH to the National League. However, if it does occur, the Dodgers are well positioned to get an advantage over others in the National League. Given the resting opportunities maybe they are better rested in October. It would also make the job of Dave Roberts easier. How many times did he burn through the short bench he had? Maybe they go out and get an extra bat, especially a right-handed one. I do hope the DH stays away from the NL but if it does the Dodgers are in great shape to take advantage of it.
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