Tuesday, March 25, 2014
SweetSpot TV: Ranking the DHs
By David Schoenfield
Eric Karabell and myself discuss the top designated hitters. Considering few teams use a regular DH these days, it's pretty thin once you get pass the ageless David Ortiz. Only five players were regular DHs last year -- Big Papi, Victor Martinez of the Tigers, Billy Butler of the Royals, Kendrys Morales of the Mariners and Adam Dunn of the White Sox. Morales remains unsigned and Dunn will be sharing duties with Paul Konerko. It will also be interesting to see how much the Rangers end up using Prince Fielder at DH since Mitch Moreland is the better defender at first base.
Butler could be a key guy in the AL Central race. After hitting .313 with 29 home runs in 2012, he fell to .289 with 15 home runs in 2013. This was also a guy who two years ago hit 44 doubles, following seasons of 51 and 45; but he was down to 27 doubles last year. And when your double plays (28) nearly double your home run total you're not contributing a whole lot to the offense.
Nelson Cruz could end up as a full-time DH for the Orioles, as David Lough is the better defender in left, but I'm guessing Cruz will play a couple times a week in the outfield. The Indians are trying to convert Carlos Santana to third base, but if that doesn't take he can DH since the Indians don't really have an option there aside from Jason Giambi.