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Why The Diamondbacks Need The DH

By Guillermo Salcido
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It’s a polarizing subject that has compelling arguments on both sides. The implementation of the Designated Hitter in the National League. Whether or not the Senior Circuit follows in little brother’s footsteps remains to be seen. Before I begin, I want to clarify. I’m not, by any means, suggesting that Rob Manfred make this significant move. What I am suggesting is that the Diamondbacks would benefit greatly from such a change.

First things first, this isn’t a knock on the Arizona offense, who’s running away with the National League lead in runs and is second in hits. Quite the contrary, the addition of an extra bat in the lineup would only further (obviously) the club’s offensive capabilities. But, how much further? Well, currently the Dbacks (on any given night) have a player riding the bench that could be starting for most clubs.

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No matter if it’s David Peralta, Yasmany Tomas or Jake Lamb, the fact that any one of those players has to sit a game is a disadvantage to the Dbacks offense. Unless, they can teach Tomas or Lamb the middle infielder’s position (0% chance), this trend will continue. It’s a shame that these numbers don’t have secure everyday playing time.

Peralta: .299 AVG, 12 HR, 64 RBI

Tomas: .299 AVG, 8 HR, 43 RBI

Aug 11, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks left fielder David Peralta (6) runs the bases after hitting a against the Philadelphia Phillies during the second inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

For those that are quick to state that this season is an anomaly, I’ve got a couple of names that are set to arrive in the near future. Peter O’Brien, Brandon Drury and Dansby Swanson are all key prospects and are sure to be in the plans for the Dbacks very soon. Ender Inciarte, along with Tomas and Lamb, is 24-years old. A.J. Pollock, an All Star this season, is considered a lock in the lineup along with Paul Goldschmidt. It won’t take too long for the club to be overcrowded with bats next season. An extra spot for a bat in the lineup could accommodate these great-to-have concerns.

Another angle that could be explored is the catcher’s position. Welington Castillo has been nothing but exceptional since arriving from Seattle earlier this season. Castillo is hitting .260, has smacked 13 home runs, and has driven in 32 runs. However, the Dbacks are aching to give 22-year old Oscar Hernandez at chance at backstop (Interesting to keep three catchers on the team before September). In this scenario, Castillo is the perfect DH candidate.

It’s not that the Dbacks aren’t getting any production from their pitchers at the plate. They’ve been in the middle of the pack with exceptions in RBI (ranked 3rd) and runs scored (ranked 13th). However, certain exceptions to the “Pitchers can’t hit” statement exist. The problem is that they exist in the National League West.

Madison Bumgarner launched his 5th homer of the season (more than Chris Owings and Inciarte) on Friday night. Meanwhile, Zack Greinke has two dingers to his credit this season. Those two lead the majors in home runs by a pitcher. Of the 17 homers hit by NL pitchers, 10 of them belong to NL West pitchers. Arizona pitchers have yet to get on the board in this department. Here’s another stat that’s exclusive to National League West members.

In fact, each team in the NL West was represented in that last tweet (except Arizona). The point here is that I would much rather have Tomas or Peralta match up at DH against a Justin Maxwell, Carl Crawford or Jedd Gyorko as opposed to having Greinke and MadBum hit circles around a guy like Rubby De La Rosa, who’s average just rose up over .100 recently.

I don’t want to be the scrooge that takes away your beloved Bartolo Colon GIF’s or MadBum’s towering long balls. However, there can’t be many people among the Arizona faithful that believe the Dbacks would be better off without the DH.

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