Just say “NO!” to the rotating DH

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

30 thoughts on “Just say “NO!” to the rotating DH

  1. not Montero's dad

    THANK YOU for not buying into the whole obsession with Eduardo Nunez! I am still trying to figure out why he is portrayed as some sort of future above-average regular! (Some leeway given for the possibility that Cashman, et al are just trying to pump up his trade value…)

  2. OldYanksFan

    There were 43 players in MLB that had at least 200 PAs at SS. Of the 43, Nunez finished 18th in OPS, so he was better (in OPS) then 12 STARTERS.

    He also actually had a decent rep in the minors for Defense, even though he stank last year. Many of his errors were throwing errors in the first 2 months. His throws were lazy, and from all kinds of different arm angles. When he started throwing consistant from over the top, he improved greatly.

    He is still young, has shown flashes of a very good bat, is very CHEAP, and the Yanks have no SS's of note on the farm.

    The guy is a bit like Melky. Has the tools, but lacks concentration and brain power. If he can get serious, he can be a starting SS, and maybe a good one (considering the SS market in MLB is pretty weak these days).

    • BrienJackson

      But we're not comparing him to potential replacements at SS, but to potential replacements to DH against right-handed pitchers.

      • skeaney

        He would basically be replacement level for about 250 PA.

        • BrienJackson

          Nunez was worth half a win below replacement level in 338 plate appearances last year.

          • skeaney

            Exactly.

  3. jerkblog

    He can be a SS, but the Yankees already have one. Why would they want 2 SSs on the team if the position is so poor offensively right now?

  4. Michael P

    The revolving door at DH is a nice idea and all to get through the season and have everyone on it get through the season healthy. However this is the Yankees and we all would like to see them win a WS ring. In the playoffs, everyone plays their respective position and now there is a major hole at DH. A revolving door at DH doesn't help the Yankees win #26. I hate the argument that you "cant" have a full time DH bc what happens when Jeter or ARod need a day off? Then you freaking sit either the DH down or give ARod, Jeter, Tex whoever the actual day off and keep the DH in depending on how good a hitter he is.

    • #28

      They have 27 genius

  5. Michael P

    Hypothetically if the Yankees were to acquire a true DH in say a bad contract for bad contract with a Burnett for Dunn swap…would that be a bad thing? Or pry Billy Butler from the Royals somehow (again this is all hypothetical). When Jeter needs a day off his offense isn't good enough to displace either of the two, so he can sit. In the playoffs Jones and Nunez are on the roster in case of injury and having a Butler or Dunn in the lineup would make it much more fearsome than a combo of two scrubs, not to mention the roster numbers crunch.

    • BrienJackson

      I would trade Burnett for Dunn in a heartbeat, but I don't think it would fit into the team's long term budget plans.

      • skeaney

        Cashman and Williams have a history of unexpected deals. Dunn might be just that (pun somewhat intended) but watching him in Yankee Stadium would be fun if someone hangs a pitch.

        • John

          I can see it now:

          Sterling: "It is high, it is far, it is gone! That pitch is Dunn!"

    • Interesting idea, Burnett for Dunn, except once again Dunn is signed through 2014 and that violates the budgetary Neutral Zone the Yanks are treating as inviolate.

  6. mcmastro

    It's so tough to say the Yankees should have traded Nunez when his stock was higher, but in my opinion, the defensive problems he has faced should have been recognized in the minors. It's much easier to spot a guy who struggles defensively than it is to spot a guy who will struggle hitting in the majors.

    • lardin

      Is it possible that he wasnt that bad in the minors? In 2010 he committed 10 errors in 101 games. Is it possible that going back and forth between short and 3B has caused him to change his throwing angles? I certainly think so, once he starterd playing one position the throwing errors went down.

  7. DustyYF

    My view is that while the rotating DH isn't ideal, the team has a bigger need: lefthanded relief pitching. Unless you think luck will shine on the Yankees two years in a row with Boone Logan. If we're gonna be dumping AJ and spending another 1-2 million, I'd rather it be spent there. I thought Nunez did a decent job at the plate last year considering he was young. I'm not going to go to the "he could improve" point, because he could also regress. But the fact of the matter is the team has a bunch of old guys who are going to need rest. The rotating DH allows you to still get some value out of them while they are "resting". And I don't see the potential candidates in the free agent market providing much better value, if any at all.

    • BrienJackson

      But the "value" you'd get out of them is offset to a great deal by the amount of playing time it would require giving Nunez. And even if his bat is okay, it's still below average, and that's compounded by his below average defense as well.

      • DustyYF

        You're missing (or perhaps just don't agree with) the other part of my argument. I admitted that the rotating DH isn't ideal, but I believe the need for a good left-handed reliever is greater than the need for a DH. And that's especially true when I think the possible DH candidates from the free agent market aren't so great anyway.

        They're saying the team has 1-2 million left to spend this offseason (which could be true or untrue. I never know what to believe when the team talks about salary limitations). I'd rather settle on the rotating DH and use those funds to get a good lefty in the pen.

  8. Brian

    Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I'm not ok with paying my hard earned money to come to the ballpark once a year and miss out on seeing Jeter and Arod entirely so they could "rest" if they don't need it…

    If it's an injury.. or a doubleheader… or a stretch of like 16 games in a row… ok fine… whatever is best for the team…. but this "lets just have the old guys sit more"… not down with that

    At least if one of those guys is the DH i still get to see their at bats

    • BrienJackson

      You do realize that these guys are, well, pretty old for everyday baseball players at their positions, right?

  9. Todibus

    I don't understand the basis of this argument. If you're going to give your aging players a day off – then someone still has to play their position on the field. So whether Arod or Jeter or whomever sits or hits as the DH, the result on the field is the same: someone else plays their spot. So doesn't this mean that even if you sign a full time DH, Nunez or someone will still have to play the field when your oldtimers need rest?

    • BrienJackson

      Yes, but if you use the rotating DH, Nunez isn't just a necessary fill in for aging players, he's part of your A-lineup, in effect. (Or Andruw Jones has to DH against RHP, which isn't necessarily much better. Either way, you get the idea.)

  10. williamjtasker

    Thank you, Brien, for stating what should be obvious. I certainly don't want more of Nunez in the field or at the plate. I kind of like the idea of J.D. Drew. Always hated the dude, but the OBP is attractive and he can spell Swish a few games.

    • BrienJackson

      I would go do barrel rolls down my frozen street right now if they signed J.D. Drew to a minor league contract.

  11. Gene

    Brandon Laird could compete for a roster spot this spring. He could be used to rotate between third base, first base and DH as needed to give arod and tex a day off or two.
    Plus he has some experience at the outfield corners where he could fill in from time to time in an emergency. just to keep with the theme of young cheap players, you have one in your system who is on the verge of being ready for the show.

  12. smurfy

    They should get a good lefty bat in a decent 5th outfielder. What did Reddick cost?

    And Chavez' swing, bat handling and tactical abilities at the plate, we should get him for another go. Having both of those to stack against tough righties would be good.

  13. Andy

    I've been thinking about it, and I realized that Casey Kotchman is still out there. Not necessarily a super-sexy option, but as part of a righty-lefty DH platoon with Andruw Jones, he could have some value. Last season, he posted a 127 OPS+, while batting .313. Also, he hit the Red Sox well last season, with 4 of his 10 homers coming against them. While he is almost certainly outside of the $1-2 million range, given that he has lasted almost into February, someone may be able to get him at a relatively good value, say $3-5 million. Possibly outside of the Yankees price range, but a good option to consider.

    • Andy

      *posted those stats vs. RHP.

  14. Yonkees

    The concept of cheering for JD Drew makes me sick. I like the Branyan idea a lot if his back is healthy. He has feasted on the short porch on road trips to Yankee Stadium

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