News broke today from multiple sources, that Major League Baseball’s Owners have approved a proposal plan that would get the season off and running right around the 4th of July. Where this would affect the Phillies the most in particular, is regarding the DH position.
Some important things in this proposal include:
- An expansion of the playoffs which would now have 14 teams.
- 82-game season
- The use of home stadiums in areas that have local and state governmental approval
- A second Spring Training that would get started in mid June
- A universal designated hitter
- Altered schedules which would have teams play their division opponents, as well as teams geographically located nearby. For example, the NL East would play the AL East.
- Expanded Rosters between 30-50 Players
The thing that leapt off the page for me right away was the idea of both leagues using the DH. This has been an idea that’s been discussed for the last decade or so, and it looks like it may come to fruition this year.
In regards to the Philadelphia Phillies, they have a handful of options to use as their Designated Hitter. In this instance, I am looking at guys who are not projected to start for the Phillies this year. This eliminates guys like Andrew McCutchen and Rhys Hoskins; both of which fans have been clamoring for in the DH Spot. Granted, there will be instances where the Phillies will look to get these guys off their feet while still having their bat in the lineup.
Now let’s take a look at the Phillie’s options at DH.
The most obvious choice for the Phillie’s to use at DH would have to be Jay Bruce. The left handed power hitter would add another thumper to the middle of the Phillie’s order. Bruce was acquired from the Seattle Mariner’s last June originally to add more pop to the Phillie’s bench. Unfortunately, less than a week later the Phil’s lost Andrew McCutchen for the season; which in turn forced Bruce into the lineup on a regular basis.
Bruce got off to a blazing hot start which saw Bruce slash .291/.308/.949 to go with 10 HR and 29 RBI in his first 30 games with the club. Unfortunately not long after this, Bruce was lost to an elbow injury. He briefly returned for 1 game in August before going back on the IL until mid September.
The option of having Bruce in the middle of the order to go along with Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins is tantalizing to say the least.
On February 15th of this year, the Phillie’s acquired Outfielder Kyle Garlick from the Los Angeles Dodgers. While this was not a “sexy” deal at the time, I view it as a nice under the radar move that just might work.
Garlick made his Major League Debut last summer for the Dodgers at the ripe age of 27 years old. While only having 53 career plate appearances at the Major League level, Garlick made the most of his limited run in LA. In those 53 PA’s, Garlick had 12 hits. 7 of which were of the extra base variety, including 3 that cleared the fence. When all was said and done, Garlick slashed .250/.321/.842 with 3 HR and 6 RBI in 2019. The thing that impresses me most is his ability to drive the baseball, as indicated by his .521 slugging percentage (the league average in 2019 was .435.)
While Kyle Garlick is definitely not the most attractive name on this list, he most certainly is a dark horse candidate to DH for Philadelphia.
We have all heard the hype surrounding the Phillie’s top hitting prospect. Since being drafted 3rd overall by the Phil’s in the 2018 MLB Draft, all Alec Bohm has done is hit. In 165 Minor League Games across 5 different leagues, Bohm has slashed .293/.368/.842 to go along with 21 HR 97 RBI.
If there is one area of concern in Bohm’s game, it is his glove down at 3rd base. There has been much speculation since being drafted about whether Bohm would be able to stick at 3rd or whether he would eventually have to transition to 1st base. A simple solution to this situation would be to not have Bohm play the field at all. The Phillie’s could hide his defensive deficiencies while being able to reap the rewards of his offensive game.
Ultimately, you will not want Bohm being a DH forever. When you spend such a high pick on a player, you definitely want to get as much out of him as you can as opposed to being forced to use him at DH. The beauty of this situation though is Bohm is only 23 years old, and he can still work on his defense in practice. No player is a finished product at such a young age, and with the offensive game he brings I see no reason why Bohm wouldn’t make an excellent DH for the Phillies.
Okay, hear me out; Nick Williams was awesome for the Phillies in 2017. In 343 plate appearances, Williams slashed .288/.338/.811 along with with 12 HR and 55 RBI across 83 games.
Look, I am well aware things for Williams have totally fallen off the rails the last few years, but at one time he was considered a top prospect and has shown flashes of being a productive player at the big league level. At just 26 years old, I am not ready to give up on Williams just yet.
This is more of a wild card selection, but its certainly a route the Phillie’s could go if the DH comes to the National League this year.
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