For the first time in recent memory, a typical Cleveland lineup card will not feature the phrase “Travis Hafner, DH.” Not that there is anything wrong with carrying a full-time designated hitter on the team (especially when he is putting up a .308/.439/.659 line with 42 home runs like Hafner did in 2006), but it does limit flexibility.
That lack of flexibility really hurts a team like Cleveland when the full-time DH gets hurt. This leads to light-hitting players like Aaron Cunningham, Cord Phelps,Jason Donald, and Vinny Rottino finding “DH” written next to their name; a true nightmare to behold.
With Hafner a free agent and not expected to re-sign, Cleveland has a flexible DH spot for the first time in years. If the team does not fill it at some point later in the offseason, Terry Francona can use the DH as a way to give one of the regular players some rest while keeping their bat in the lineup.
So let’s take a look at what this could look like. Be warned: math and assumptions lie ahead. One such assumption is that each of the regular players will play 150 games. This is probably a bit low, but this should capture some of the nicks and bruises that accumulate over the course of the season. Or something like that. Read More…
From Indians Prospect Insider, December 20, 2012