Per reports, MLB is considering the addition of the DH for the 2020 season. Who on the San Diego Padres would be the best fit for the role?
We learned on Saturday that MLB is finalizing a proposal for the 2020 season, and now there is another wrinkle being added. The San Diego Padres may be able to utilize a designated hitter this season, according to Jim Bowden of The Athletic.
The idea is to reduce the number of injuries in an already-reduced season. MLB had been considering the addition of the DH to the National League in 2021 under normal circumstances, but this would, obviously, speed that notion along.
In what would be an unexpected move, it could actually end up being extremely favorable for the Padres, who have several players on the roster who leave a lot to be desired in the field.
On paper, Josh Naylor would appear to make the most sense transitioning into the role, given he logged a .936 fielding percentage in 62 games in the outfield last year. However, does his bat justify regular playing time? In 279 plate appearances, Naylor posted a .249/.315/.403 line with eight home runs and 32 RBI.
With the impending promotion of Taylor Trammell, Wil Myers would likely make more sense as the team’s designated hitter. Myers has played all over for the Padres, but he’s now a full-time outfielder with the addition of Eric Hosmer in 2018.
But he logged a below-average .979 fielding percentage in 134 games in the outfield last year. He was expected to be the everyday right fielder in 2020. However, an outfield consisting of Tommy Pham, Trent Grisham, and Trammell would be much better defensively.
Moving Myers to the DH would also open up more playing time for Franchy Cordero, who has struggled to remain healthy but is consistently revered for his exit velocity.
This also leaves the potential for the Padres to add another bat to their lineup if they like Myers better in right field.