That's right, folks. Greg Dobbs, he of the persistent 3rd-person referral, subject of much mockery by TGP. But in all seriousness, I wonder if having Greg Dobbs return to the Phillies could actually be exactly what we need in our "dire" situation. We have two corner infielders, one with chronic injury issues and one that will be on the shelf at least for a little bit, and we also have a hole in left field that, while likely to filled mostly by John Mayberry (if Domonic Brown does indeed spend more time in Triple-A), could possibly use a platoon with a left-handed bat getting some time in there as well. If we're really that bent on picking someone up (and I know we aren't) should Polanco go down with an injury or Mayberry can't get it done at first in Howard's stead, why not give Dobbs another shot in the red pinstripes?
It goes without saying that Polanco's defense is irreplaceable, and Greg Dobbs is so very far defensively from what Placido Polanco is, but that's not to say Dobbs isn't serviceable at the hot corner in any way. While his career numbers indicate that Dobbs is overall a subpar third baseman, there have been points in his career where he was actually above average. In 327.1 innings at 3rd in 2008, Dobbs somehow managed to post a 0.7 UZR at third. In 2009 his UZR was 1.4, albeit in limited action at third (88.2 innings), and in 2006, when he played a (at the time) career high 418 innings at third, his UZR was a not-totally-disrespectable -1.5. Below average? Sure, but for a guy who rarely played the field before with the Mariners, it's not too bad. However, this past season he played 755.0 innings at third for the Marlins and posted a -4.8 UZR. It stands to reason that increased playing time equals increased chances for Dobbs to show his true skill as a third baseman: not horrendous by any stretch, but not that great either.
Dobbs seems like a much better candidate to spell Ryan Howard at the beginning of the season and whenever his ankle needs a rest. Over his rather short career at first (232 innings), Dobbs has posted a 1.8 UZR. Granted, I don't know how difficult (or not) that is, but for comparison, Howard's career UZR at first is -20.1. Having Dobbs regularly play first would also allow John Mayberry to spend most of his time in left field and become more accustomed to that position, assuming he's going to hold onto it for at least a little while. And if Charlie is desperate to get Mayberry time at first, throw Dobbs into left field. He's played that position several times with us, and I'm sure his defense can't be any worse than Raul Ibanez's.
Offensively, Greg Dobbs will likely be what he has been: a left-handed bat with some pop capable of getting a timely hit or two when you really need it. In 411 AB for the Marlins, he batted .275/.308/.389 with 8 HR and 49 RBI. More importantly, he collected 10 pinch hits in 27 AB, good for a .370 average off the bench, which is eventually where he's going to wind up over the course of the season. That's the Greg Dobbs we knew when he was here, and it shows that more than anything, he is likely still capable of putting up numbers like he did in 2007 and 2008.
Finally, and probably most importantly, he can be had dirt cheap. He was paid $600,000 by the Marlins in 2011, a number that likely won't increase by too much given his performance. If he can be signed for under $1 million, it could potentially be a huge bargain for the Phillies.