For the first time in MLB history, we will see a universal DH. While this has been rumored to happen seemingly every year, we will get a chance to see it in play in this unique 60-game season. This is perhaps the biggest change that we will see to this year’s game-play and is one of the most significant changes that has occurred in baseball history.
This change is set to stay in place for the 2021 season as well and will be addressed again in the new CBA after that season is completed. While nothing is set yet, last year may very well have been the last time we see a pitcher hit in MLB history. Regardless of what is down the line, the Phillies must find a DH for this season, so let’s break down who their best options seem to be.
Bruce will benefit greatly from this new rule change as his playtime was up in the air going into this season. Bryce Harper is a lock to eat up innings in right field and Andrew McCutchen should be all set to take over left field after recovering from a torn ACL last year.
Bruce is not mobile enough to play center field and that job will most likely be held down by Adam Haseley anyway. Bruce is best known for his bat which is why DH is a good match for him. While his .216 batting average by no means jumps off the page, he was able to hit 26 home runs and drive in 59 runs in 310 plate appearances last season. Bruce and his lefty swing will be best suited against right-handed pitchers and could effectively slide into the lineup on these days.
Alec Bohm is an exciting prospect who is expected to make his debut this year. He is a corner infielder who is not known for his defense, and is stuck behind Jean Segura at 3rd and Rhys Hoskins at 1st. Bohm swings the bat righty so he very well could be a matchup based DH contrasting Jay Bruce. In his 125 games in the minors last season, Bohm spent time with the Lakewood Blueclaws, Clearwater Threshers, as well as the Reading Fightin Phils. In those 125 games, Bohm knocked in 21 home runs and 80 RBI’s. He also hit .409 in the Grapefruit League this spring. While he likely would not have been on the Phillies roster to start this year, the addition of a DH is a great chance for Bohm to jumpstart his MLB career.
While it is very possible that Quinn will split time with Adam Haseley at centerfield, it is likely Haseley will shoulder the majority of the time. Quinn only played in 44 games last season and got just 108 at-bats. In this limited time, he hit .213 with 4 HRs. His greatest asset is his speed and he stole 8 bases in those 108 at-bats. Quinn has struggled to stay healthy so by moving him to a DH role it could help him stay in the lineup more consistently and hopefully find a rhythm at the plate.
Garlick was a sneaky addition that the Phillies picked up from the Dodgers earlier this year. He is another outfielder who looked solid in his limited time in the big leagues last year. He has only 53 career plate appearances in which he has 12 hits. Of those 12 hits, 3 were HR’s and 7 were extra-base hits. Overall Garlick hit .250 and had an impressive slugging percentage of .521. While he isn’t the sexy name to plug into their lineup, Garlick could be a guy that can add some much-needed power.
Realistically the Phillies will likely not be a team that decides to have one designated DH. In this accelerated 60 game season, moving guys to DH for a game will be a way to give them a rest while still keeping their bat in the lineup. While many of the old-school baseball fans will no doubt be upset about the addition of the DH, it will provide a cool little twist to what will already be a strange season.
Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Lifelong Philly Sports fan and current college student at Alvernia University. Writes about Sixers and Phillies and Co-Host of Pick Swap Podcast
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