Dave Roberts has a new opportunity this week to take advantage of the designated hitter in Tampa and Toronto. As we saw earlier Kiké Hernandez will get the start as the DH tonight, but what about the next few games? Adrian Gonzalez is looking forward to the opportunity at adding an extra bat to the lineup as he mentioned in his interview with Doug Padilla:
“We have an off day and then we get to have the DH for the next week so I think come Tuesday we’ll be all right.”
Let’s take a look at the potential matchups:
Tampa Bay, Game 2:
Drew Smyly, another lefty, is penned in as the probable starter for Wednesday. This bodes well for the right handed hitters like Hernandez as well as Charlie Culberson and Trayce Thompson. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Joc Pederson get the night off tomorrow after facing lefty Matt Moore tonight.
Toronto, Game 1:
Marcus Stroman looks to be the probable game 1 starter for Toronto, which will give Roberts a few options at the DH spot. Adrian Gonzalez could possibly start at DH to give him some rest from action on the field and Chase Utley is a solid left-handed bat to use against the right-hander. Using Carl Crawford in a DH role in Toronto could be an option considering the 34-year old’s injury issues and how the hard surface of the artificial turf in the outfield could potentially impact his legs.
Toronto, Game 2 and 3:
R.A. Dickey is scheduled for game 2 and Roberts will have plenty of options. Right-handed batters are hitting at a .316 clip against Dickey on the year, which means the entire bench is open for Roberts to select from. The first year manager might decide to ride the hot hand for this one. Toronto has yet to announced a probable starter for game 3.