Searching For Some Punch

It’s early, but some teams in the American League seriously need to take a hard look at their guys manning the DH position. No less than five teams, the White Sox, Indians, Athletics, Red Sox and Mariners have DHs that have amassed a wOBA that ranks below the combined wOBAs that two National League teams have received from their pitchers!

Houston pitchers have a collective .305 wOBA and the Diamondbacks are second in the NL with a .289 wOBA at the plate from their hurlers. The Padres are in third at .261 and the Rockies in fourth at .249, which both still manage to rank ahead of the Red Sox (.248) and the Mariners.

The Mariners deserve special scorn for their below pathetic .210 wOBA from Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Sweeney. That scornful figure would rank 9th amongst National League pitchers. The Mariners have had a DH combo that would be in the bottom half of pitchers.

It’s not quite as bad, but it’s worth pointing out the awful rates put up by the Yankees (.234) and Rangers (.240) at first base as well. First base at least is an actual defensive position, but it is the lowliest of them, and teams really need to get an offensive powerhouse there.

The Yankees will certainly be fine with Mark Teixeira. Will Justin Smoak be the savior for the Rangers at the position and will Chris Davis get another shot? Time will tell.



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Matthew Carruth is a software engineer who has been fascinated with baseball statistics since age five. When not dissecting baseball, he is watching hockey or playing soccer.


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Matt
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Matt
6 years 2 months ago

I just wonder how much longer the M’s can justify having both Junior and Sweeney on the roster. I understand (and don’t completely disagree) with keeping Griffey as a DH/pinch hitter for one last season, but keeping Sweeney too just make no real sense.

Matty Brown
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Matty Brown
6 years 2 months ago

I generally see the public calling for a universal DH; perhaps it should be universally eliminated.

As a side question: the other day I was browsing box scores and saw sone pitchers with multiple hit games and multiple rbi’s, and I couldn’t help but think that those offensive points from the pitcher should be counted in fantasy baseball, or at least in some leagues (if it isn’t already).

What are your thoughts FanGraphs patrons? It would certainly make strategy more interesting.

RonDom
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RonDom
6 years 2 months ago

It would be nice, but meh…. it’s not a pressing matter (for some leagues it would decrease production, what with the k rates and all)

max
Member
max
6 years 2 months ago

If you gave fantasy teams credit when their pitchers got good hitting stats, then you would also have to count every time a starter goes 0/3. That would just diminish your batting average and imo make the game less fun. Leave it the way it is.

judas
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judas
6 years 2 months ago

In a points league, last year. I had Gallardo pitch something like 8 shutout innings and clobber a HR at the plate for the Brewers only run in a 1-0 W. It would have been nice to get those extra points!

Perhaps adding a pitchers batting stats would perhaps make up for the ERA & K/9 rates, etc that make NL pitchers a tad more valuable. It would be interesting.

RonDom
Guest
RonDom
6 years 2 months ago

Man….. David Ortiz, if only you started hot so I could trade you *sigh*

ogZayYsj3r7CGsz
Member
ogZayYsj3r7CGsz
6 years 2 months ago

I want to see an Onion style article about the AL dropping the DH in an effort to improve production.

BX
Guest
BX
6 years 2 months ago

Beane, please release Eric Chavez.

Jack Weiland
Member
Member
Jack Weiland
6 years 2 months ago

“The lowliest” … this gave me a GREAT mental image of a foggy back alley with “first basemen” lurking in the shadows.

So thank you for that.

pft
Guest
pft
6 years 2 months ago

And it’s not like there are not some FA out there capable of filling these holes. The Mariners let Braunn and Garko go. Jermaine Dye says high. Frank Thomas and Sheffield were looking for jobs, Thomas finally gave up. Oakland sent Cust to the minors, probably hoping he would refuse the assignment and they could save on his salary.

It almost looks as if some teams are voluntarilyy giving up the DH spot by going with low cost replacement level hitters. In the Red Sox case thats not so, they just got stuck with an early decline by Big Papi who is making over 12 million (he could still rebound like last year) so now have 2 DH hitters in Lowell and Papi making 25 million between them.

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