After MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke to reporters Thursday, I came away with a few near certainties. One of those certainties is that the National League will soon adopt the Designated Hitter. While I disagree with it, it appears that the Arizona Diamondbacks will soon be forced to adjust their roster and lineup to make way for the DH. Or do they already have great candidates on the roster? Let's take a look.
The Diamondbacks have historically struggled with designated hitters. Of course, this makes sense as they have been an NL team where the pitchers hit. From 1998-roughly 2014, the Diamondbacks played roughly 9 games where they would need a DH-player a year. As such, you would just throw in your bench guys or give a starter a breather. Then, when interleague play became more normal, the Diamondbacks still only played roughly 12 games a year at most where they would use the DH. Due to that, the same philosphy applied.
Last year, the MLB DH hitter hit at a .753 OPS, 4th in the league behind first base (.787), RF (.769), and third base (.757). However, if you take the NL out of that bunch, then the DH moves up to third-highest. As for how the Diamondbacks did? Well, the Diamondbacks hit only at a .682 OPS throughout their team history. Although in 2021, they hit at a .762 OPS at the DH spot. This was their highest mark since 2010. Perhaps there's a reason for that, or maybe it was just luck.
Regardless, the team has far too many hitters that aren't great fielders at the moment. Additionally, they have elder players who might need to soon find a spot on the bench as the team starts playing their young guys. Despite that, there are 4 clear and obvious DH Candidates.
1. Seth Beer
Seth Beer is an obvious choice to be the Diamondbacks' future DH. He's a young hard-swinging left-handed power hitter. To date, he has struggled tremendously in the field. They have tried him at left field, first base, right field, and anywhere else the giant young man could fit. Alas, he's never found a true defensive home.
The power hitter was acquired in 19' from the Astros in the Zack Greinke trade. He made his MLB debut last year. In fact, his first three games came as the DH for the Snakes. Over those 9 plate appearances, 8 at-bats, he walked once, struck out twice, but had 4 hits, 1 HR, and 3 RBIs. That's a pretty great start to being a DH. Unfortunately for him, he dislocated his shoulder in the first game he started at first base. Perhaps that was a sign he needs to be our DH.