Pardon me if you’re exhausted from it, but the Yankees’ DH situation is about the only thing left to talk about as the Hot Stove (thankfully) enters its final stretch drive and we (finally) approach Spring Training. Off the top of my head, I’d venture a guess that each author here has at least touched on it, and I did for sure yesterday, as did MJR.
With Carlos Pena unfortunately off the market, the DH options aren’t all that plentiful. There are guys like Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui, but they’re on the wrong side of hill at this point (hell, so is Raul Ibanez). We’ve heard little about anyone else and it appears that the talking has all been done by agents, not the Yankees. In fact, it’s been called a low priority for the team.
Because of this, I’ve been trying to think of ways that the Yankees could avoid the “rotating DH” based on their internal options (Eric Chavez isn’t signed, so I’m considering him an out of organization option). There really is no way to do this, and it just goes to show that the Yankees do need a full time DH. One way it could be done is to make Andruw Jones the full time DH. After all, he is a former full time player and a veteran; he won’t fold when he sees a right handed pitcher up there. But even so, CAIRO projects his wOBA vs. RHP to be .315. As a DH, he obviously gives no value on defense, so it’s hard for him to be a big plus against righties. What about Chris Dickerson? He’s shown he can hit RHP in the minors. He hasn’t had much exposure at the Major League level, so take this with a grain of salt, but CAIRO projects his wOBA against right handers to be .312. We must acknowledge, though, that Dickerson has shown himself to be a good outfielder. Because of that, you could slot Nick Swisher in at DH and play Dickerson in right. This could be a more desirable solution if Swisher were a bad fielder, but he’s not. It also gets a subpar bat into the lineup, as does every permutation of the rotation DH.
I’ve never been a fan of the rotating DH for the Yankees and I don’t think I ever will be. Still, to be fair, I’m going to at least try to see the validity and make an argument for it. But at this point, I just can’t. Like most of us have been saying, the rotating DH is just not a good idea for the Yankees.