The Phillies and the DH in 2022 & Beyond

One of the comments I found myself repeatedly making in the off-season was that although I was against the DH in the NL - if we got it - we should exploit it. I thought it was "loser-think" to use it as Girardi's rest stop and rotate various skill positions (Realmuto, Didi, Hoskins through there) in the name of "flexibility" because their replacement hitters were much less effective and they were less effective than a bat we would get as a dedicated DH - thereby taking to hits to our hitting. A designated DH can actually improve the Phillies defense (over time) because the improved offense provided by a big bat hitter in the DH slot would allow the Phillies to carry a defensive specialist as needed at short or centerfield. This can't happen immediately - because the Phillie's philosophy has over the last few years not been to have defensively skilled players - but it could happen over years (and Schwarber and Castellano are signed for a few).

I'm pleased Dombrowski apparently agrees and went out to get us some big bats that will certainly shut down the use of the DH as Girardi's rest stop. Instead of some combination of Bohm & Realmuto & Didi & Hoskin's day off we'll have a proven run producer that should exceed any of their offensive performance (not to diminish their overall value to the team).

FanGraphs Depth Charts rates the Phillies with the 6th best DH WAR in MLB and the 3rd best in the NL

#1 Astros (Alvarez, Brantley)

#2 Angels (Ohtani)

#3 Yankees (Stanton)

#4 Dodgers (Muncy)

#5 Guardians (Reyes)

#6 Phillies (Schwarber Castellanos)

#7 Nationals (Cruz)

#8 Rays (Meadows)

#9 Red Sox (Martinez)

#10 Braves (Dickerson, Acuna)

I'm actually not sure that you can rate the Dodgers higher than the Phillies and maybe the Nationals might look as well or better).

Anyway, what this means is that the Phillies have responded better to this rule change than other National League teams and should have some competitive advantage this year. After Didi's contract year - the Phillies will be able to start focusing on playing Stott or another skilled shortstop and perhaps dealing or developing a great centerfielder and then the following year - maybe getting a great first baseman.