With the San Francisco Giants in the World Series (still fun to say by the way), a big decision awaits. For Games 3 through 5 (if it goes that far), they will need to look for a person to man the designated hitter role.
Taking a look at the roster, there isn’t an obvious answer to the question. So let’s take a look at the different possibilities and weigh the pros and cons. At the very least, one of these guys just needs to be better than Tsuyoshi Shinjo was when he DH’d for the team back in 2002.
Pablo Sandoval to DH, Joaquin Arias to third base
Pros: The defense is better and the Giants keep Sandoval’s bat in the lineup.
Cons: Arias is not a very good hitter, so adding him to the lineup isn’t a very large improvement considering that Sandoval has been a pretty decent defensive third baseman this season.
Pros: Allows for Sanchez to stay as the personal catcher to Tim Lincecum if he is one of the starters who takes the ball in Detroit. Allows for Sanchez, Posey and Belt to all play at the same time. Gives Posey a rest from catching without taking his bat out of the lineup.
Cons: If Sanchez catches, the defense behind the plate takes a hit. If Sanchez is the DH, the Giants don’t add that much on offense with his .295 OBP. Playing Sanchez and Posey at the same time might lead the Giants to carry a third catcher.
DH: Xavier Nady
Pros: He had a .733 OPS with the Giants (in a very small sample) and has a bit of pop left in his bat. He doesn’t have to play defense.
Cons: The last time he put up a wRC+ above 100 was back in 2008. Since then he has basically been roster-filler for teams looking for a 25th man. Long story short, he probably won’t help the Giants offense very much.
DH: Aubrey Huff
Pros: He’s done it before. He was magical in 2010. Umm … he can still take a walk (but asking him to run is a bit much).
Cons: His power seems to be all but gone. He has been one of the Giants’ worst hitters over the last two seasons.
I do not envy Bruce Bochy in having to make this decision. All of these options are less than ideal.
If Bochy wants to play for the platoon advantage he will look to add another left handed bat, so that would be either the switch hitter Sanchez or Huff. If he wants to put his strongest defense on the field he will go with Arias at third and Sandoval at DH. If he wants someone who has the potential to hit the ball over the fence… well there really isn’t anyone but I guess he might choose Nady.
If it was my decision to make I think I would lean toward the Arias at third and Sandoval at DH. Arias is about as good of a hitter as any of the other options, plus he makes the defense a tiny bit better.
What do you all think? Let us know your choice in the comments.