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The Rays will use a DH rotation

Nov 18, 2013, 12:30 PM EDT

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Edgar Martinez’s and David Ortiz‘s Hall of Fame cases often get bogged down in “they’re only part-time players” and “anyone can just DH” arglebargle.

But when you look around you realize that there are fewer and fewer guys who can make the full-time DH thing work. Indeed, there are 15 teams who use a DH most games but only five guys qualified for the batting title out of the DH position in 2013. And one of them was Adam Dunn for cryin’ out loud.

Yep, the days of the dedicated DH seem to be dwindling. And you can add the Rays to the list of teams which have decided to go with DH-by-committee rather than just give the job to some hitter who is too creaky or too clunky to field any longer. Here’s Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune:

Executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said at last week’s general managers meetings that his team could employ a four-man rotation through the DH spot in 2014 with Matt Joyce and David DeJesus as the left-handed half of that quartet and Wil Myers and Desmond Jennings swinging from the right side.

Makes sense after several years of the Pat Burrell/Johnny Damon/Luke Scott parade. Which at times was OK — mostly from Scott — but was not so good that it was worth dedicating a roster spot. Playing platoons and keeping guys fresh with this rotation is bound to provide way better production at way better cost than almost anything else the Rays could do about the DH spot this winter.

  1. clydeserra - Nov 18, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    Its what Bob Melvin has been doing for 2.5 years.

  2. indaburg - Nov 18, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    Using the DH as a fluid position makes complete sense for the Rays. They can’t afford the prototypical heavyweight slugger to be a DH so why pay a mediocre bat and use up a roster spot on someone who can’t field when they can have better production from versatile players who can field? (Luke Scott did do okay, but he spent way too much time on the DL.)

    • straightouttavtown - Nov 19, 2013 at 6:21 AM

      First, Luke Scott has looked washed up for 3 years in a row now. Also, a lot of DH-only power bats would only require the minimum. They choose not to pursue them. That’s why baseball is so offensively-challenged. Last year, they could have signed Jim Thome, who was still mashing fastballs at age 42, or Vladimir Guerrero, Bobby Abreu, Johnny Damon, Carlos Lee, Russ Branyan, Jack Cust, Andruw Jones, Scott Rolen, Derrek Lee, Kosuke Fukudome, Brad Hawpe for the minimum or minor league deals, but they chose not to pursue it. They could have called up Leslie Anderson but also chose not to.

  3. spacemaker101 - Nov 18, 2013 at 1:54 PM

    Pitchers should hit for themselves end of story

    • tfbuckfutter - Nov 18, 2013 at 2:16 PM

      I will point this out again…pitchers who have to bat are being asked to do 3 things integral to the game of baseball, pitch/field/hit.

      So how come no one ever says “Shortstops should have to pitch” or “Outfielders should have to pitch”?

      If you don’t like the DH that is fine….but a more reasonable solution is to have an 8 man lineup with no DH OR pitcher spot.

      • cur68 - Nov 18, 2013 at 3:47 PM

        ^^^^This. Not an argument I’d thought of, but a damn good point. I’m ripping this off and will pass it off as my own idea from here on out.

      • tfbuckfutter - Nov 18, 2013 at 4:03 PM

        No.

        I demand you call into radio programs and pitch the idea giving full credit to me.

        I want it to be known as The Buck Futter Concept.

  4. NYTolstoy - Nov 18, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    futter fully agree. I’m fine with the Dh and I can’t stand the pitcher hitting. either make them both DH or cut it down to 8 batters.

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