You win, Ozzie.
I’m finally buying into the idea of having a revolving DH.
Sure I'm still drawn to the old idea of having one veteran hitter fill that role. A veteran hitter that can draw walks and drive in runners (Jim Thome anyone?)
However I’m starting to see the value that a rotating DH brings. The benefits of this new way to handle the DH role are generally considered to be twofold:
It allows guys like Konerko and Quentin to take a break from playing the field. Which in theory should help them stay fresh and continue to produce from the plate.
It also creates more of an opportunity for veteran players like Andruw Jones and Omar Vizquel to contribute. Obviously it’s debatable how much those guys have left in the tank to contribute, but for the sake of this argument let’s assume they’re both more than washed up veterans.
However, there’s another benefit to this rotating DH idea and it’s one that I haven’t heard talked about nearly enough. It creates a chance for good young hitters like Tyler Flowers and Dayan Viciedo to get at bats and develop at the major league level in a gradual way .
Both Flowers and Viciedo have shown that they can hit in the minors (Viciedo wasn’t wildly successful, but he certainly passes the eye test), so why not let both of them get some meaningful at bats with the big club? Are Jones/Kotsay/Vizquel going to put up better numbers at DH than Flowers/Viciedo?
I feel confident in saying that not only would putting those young guys at DH right now help them develop, but they’d also outperform the veterans that are slated to do that job.
Now I understand that eventually one if not both of those guys are going to have to play the field. This really only creates a problem for Viciedo, since Flowers ought to be the backup catcher anyway (sorry Ramon). So far Viciedo has been playing first base in spring training, which makes sense, since Mark Teahen is locked in at third base for the next three seasons and Konerko’s deal is up after this one.
Wouldn’t it make sense to have the young Cuban back up Konerko and learn from him this season?
Hopefully Ozzie recognizes both the short term and long term benefit of playing these two good young sluggers this season.