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Free Dobbs!

Greg Dobbs should be the Phillies everyday starting third baseman.  Let's put aside the silly fact that the Phils are 12-3 in games he starts.  This is all about the known and the unkown.

Here's what we know:  Abraham Nunez and Wes Helms, the other two candidates to start at third base, stink.  At his best, Nunez gives you solid defense with a terrible bat.  Despite an improved batting eye, Nunez has no power and struggles to hit above .240.  His best three month period of his career produced an .863 OPS for part of 2005 (and a two year multi-million dollar guaranteed contract from Pat Gillick), but even with that his career OPS is .635.  That's not good.

Wes Helms is better, but not by much.  He had a career year last year, with a .965 OPS, but only in 240 at-bats.  Only once in 8 big league seasons has he had more at-bats than that.  He's a career backup for a reason - he is much better against lefties than righties.  And let's face it: he's been downright Nunez-esque this year, with his .313 OBP barely outpaced by his .318 SLG.

That brings us to the unknown.  Greg Dobbs was signed off waivers in the off-season by Gillick.  Going into this season, Dobbs had 2 career home runs in 222 at-bats as a Mariner.  He struck out a lot and didn't walk much.  Basically, he wasn't the kind of guy that The Good Phight usually gets excited about.

But he's shown that he can hit so far this season.  He started the year off with 4 home runs in spring training, a .389 batting average, and a .704 slugging percentage.  Even with very little April playing time, he's kept up the hot hitting now that he's played more in May.  He has all 4 of his regular season home runs this month, a .403 on-base percentage, and a .655 slugging percentage.  For those who care about these things, his home run last night in the ninth demonstrated some clutchiness.  He's been no luckier than Nunez or Helms either, with a BABIP the same as Helms's and lower than Nunez's.

At this point, it's time for the team to see what Dobbs can do playing full time.