The DH Tandem of Ibanez and Jones Are Providing Great Value Amongst the Position
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones might only be hitting about .250 as a combined DH unit, however they are providing some much-needed power from the DH slot for the New York Yankees. Ibanez is batting .260 with 9 HRs and 27 RBI in 137 AB, Jones is .227 with 5 HRs and 10 RBI in 66 AB. The two totals combined equal 14 HRs and 37 RBI in 193 AB. This is really good production in the power department. This puts the duo on pace for about 45 HRs and 120 RBI out of the DH slot. These numbers are comparable to Chicago White Sox primary DH Adam Dunn, who is .240 with 15 HRs and 35 RBI, and Edwin Encarnacion for the Toronto Blue Jays, who is .274 with 15 HRs and is second in the AL with 39 RBI.
There are factors that cancel out the production of both Encarnacion and Dunn. The Blue Jays first base position has killed any type of edge that Encarnacion’s start should have provided. Adam Lind hit himself out of the Majors with his under .200 average, thus negating the production that the position of 1B needs to have in order to compete along with a DH. Adam Dunn has racked up 74 strikeouts to add to his power numbers. While this has been a renaissance year for Dunn so far, the all or nothing philosophy does hurt in the clutch sometimes. I think the White Sox have to be happy with his production, plus Paul Konerko has been the best player in the AL outside of Josh Hamilton.
Andruw Jones signed a one-year 2 million dollar contract before this year, while Raul Ibanez signed for half of that. This platoon is perfect for the Yankee Stadium and for the AL East. Ibanez hammers right-handed pitchers and Jones has great career power numbers against left-handed pitchers. You can even let Ibanez play in left field on occasion which the Yankees have done. The Blue Jays have done well with Encarnacion’s contract only at 3 Million per year, however they still are looking for a bat to replace the absence of Lind. One theory will be to move EE to 1st base and call up Vladimir Guerrero. This would definitely help the team where Vlad had never hit worse than .290 in his career. Adam Dunn has put up great power numbers, but he is supposed to with his 14 Million per year baseball contract.
David Ortiz is as steady as ever at DH, featuring a .309 AVG with 10 HRs, 30 RBI and 15 doubles in his 1st 47 games. He is by far the most productive player in the position. Just like last year, the man is helping maintain some semblance of a team until the pitching turns around. At a 14.58 million dollar salary for this year, Ortiz is earning every cent. Luke Scott is hitting what you would expect so far, clubbing 8 HRs and has driven in 32 RBI for the Rays. The Orioles have struggled with Scott’s departure and are using Nick Johnson routinely at DH. One wonders if the O’s will use Wilson Betemit in the role once Mark Reynolds returns to the lineup.
The Twins have only recently had some success at the DH spot, with Justin Morneau having hit 9 HRs in only 115 AB. Ryan Doumit is the other option and has provided some pop. Again, like the Jays, the lack of power from the 1st base position has hurt them. The Indians have had okay power from Travis Hafner, but Johnny Damon has not helped with his .160 average so far. The Royals are receiving great production from Billy Butler. This guy should move to the DH position permanently. He is on pace for another 25 HR, 40 2B, .300 AVG with 100 RBI. Eric Hosmer‘s slow start at 1st has hampered the Royals, so do you see a pattern here?.. The Tigers are finding a tough time finding a permanent DH and are using just about anybody. Please remember these guys are primed for the position when Victor Martinez returns in 2013.
The Angels are finally receiving power numbers from Kendrys Morales of late, at the same time as Albert Pujols. These 2 are starting to hit like they should. If Morales can hit like he did in 2010, the Angels will be fine. The Oakland A’s are hitting .209 as a team and there is no possible way that they should not try Manny Ramirez when he can come up to the ball club. Having a team hit near the ‘Mendoza Line’ is ridiculous. The Mariners are rotating John Jaso with Jesus Montero, surely the team hopes that Miguel Olivo‘s injury troubles are over so they can have Montero just worry about hitting. The Rangers have steady hitter Michael Young doing the DH duties on most nights. The man is clutch and gives the team much depth.
The main theme here is to have your DH be productive, along with the first baseman providing decent pop as to not be detrimental to the club. The teams that look the best are: The Rangers, Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, White Sox all seem to have a great chance to prove my theory. The Tigers, Rays, Blue Jays and Orioles better hope their solid pitching picks up the slack of the DH/1B tandems.
***Thank you to our Baseball Writer***- Douglas “Chuck” Booth for preparing today’s feature on MLB reports. To learn more about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames” and Chuck Booth, you can follow Chuck on Twitter (@ChuckBooth3024) and you can also follow Chuck’s website for his successful Guinness Book of World Record Bid to see all 30 MLB Park in 23 days click here or on the 30 MLB Parks in 23 days GWR tracker at the Reports click here. To Purchase or read about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames Book please click here . ***
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Posted on May 28, 2012, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged adam dunn, adam lind, albert pujols, American league, andruw jones, angels, billy butler, blue jays, Chuck Booth, david ortiz, DH position, edwin encarnacion, eric hosmer, indians, jesus montero, john jaso, johnny damon, josh hamilton, justin morneau, kendrys morales, Luke Scott, manny ramirez, mariners, mark reynolds, micheal young, miguel olivo, nick johnson, oakland, orioles, paul konerko, prince fielder, rangers, rays, royals, ryan doumit, the fastest 30 ballgames, tigers, travis hafner, twins, victor martinez, vladimir guerrero, white sox, wilson betemit, yankees. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.