Phils have options at DH

The Phillies will wait, at least another day, to discover their opponent in the World Series. Game six of the American League Championship Series was pushed back a day, due to the rain storms yesterday that washed the Northeast. When the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim meet again tonight, the Phillies could find out who their opponent will be, with the Yankees leading the series 3-2. But regardless of the opponent, the Phils are already faced with a problem.

Because the AL won the All-Star game, and clinched home field advantage for the World Series, no matter who they play, the Phils will need to decide on a designated hitter for Games One and Two, and if necessary, Six and Seven of the World Series. It’s no secret that there’s no obvious choice for the spot.

The Phils have a few potential candidates, but with a lineup that has clicked so well, one can’t help but wonder if adding a DH will prove to be a disturbance.

However, it doesn’t really matter. Like it or not it’s part of the game, and Phillies manager Charlie Manuel has to make a decision. 

Last year, in the same situation, Manuel again waited and waited to clue the media in on what he was thinking regarding DH. Now after hearing Manuel’s thought process from last year, we can expect him to think heavily about match-ups. 

When LAA/NYY use a right handed pitcher, the likely candidate would appear to be Matt Stairs. Stairs, the power hitting lefty, is tailor made for the DH spot, lacking in speed and fielding skills. He’s also no stranger to postseason heroics, sending Jonathan Broxton’s fastball deep into the October sky last season.

Stairs admits he strides to the plate with one goal every time. Sending one into the upper deck.

The downside to Stairs is that he struggled mightily this season. Because of this, you have to have a backup plan, for when the opponent throws a lefty, or if Stairs were to struggle mightily.

There’s no cut-in-stone way to go here. You could use Greg Dobbs, but he’s a lefty, go with Miguel Cairo, but he’s old and may not be the best option, perhaps even use Eric Bruntlett, but he’s not known for his bat.

However, the best option involves one of General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr.’s most useful trade-deadline acquisitions- Ben Francisco.

Francisco was a slip-in in the deal Cliff Lee headlined with the Indians. Perhaps the best deal made at the deadline.

He has proved his worth time and time again this season, both in the field and at the plate. So why not utilize both?

Here’s how it would work: you take Francisco and make him the starting left fielder against all left-handed pitchers. You then make Ibanez the DH. This not only provides you with a defensive upgrade, but also with an upgraded bat in the lineup. Ibanez still gets his at-bats in, and Francisco can become a baserunner in front of the red-hot Carlos Ruiz.

Manuel says he hasn’t decided, but I’m sure he’s looking for everyone to step up. In October, even the 25th man matters.



Filed under Editorial, Shay Roddy

7 responses to “Phils have options at DH

  1. Shark

    very nice article. i think the best bet is ibanez at dh too. i never thought of it before but now i did.

  2. Shark

    fuck yeah, Jimmy

  3. Raul as DH worked in May. Benny Fresh in LF definitely.

    I’ve been listening to sports talk radio a little more than usual, and I don’t get how callers and hosts alike seem to think there’s a debate. We beat the Yankees 2 of 3 with Raul at DH (who hits RHP & LHP well), Mayberry in RF and Werth in LF.

    Regardless of Stairs slumping or not, you want a guy like that coming off the bench. Yeah, he has a lot of ABs as a designated hitter, but you want Raul getting 3-5 ABs a game.

    Nail on the head Shay. No questions asked.

  4. Yeah, I don’t even flirt with Stairs in that spot. He’s on your roster only because he can make a huge impact late in games. If that’s why you have him, that’s when you use him.

    I think the Ibanez/ Francisco duo will work out well.

    Also, noteworthy from today’s presser: Ibanez isn’t ruling out having post-postseason surgery on his torn abdomen.

    I’m looking into that now.

  5. balla

    this is so gay just like shay

  6. balla

    jk its interesting

  7. I think I’ll let your comment slide, balla. Just so you can make an ass of yourself to more people than just me.

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