Change-UpJuly 22, 2008
Designated "Hitter"
By Patrick Sullivan

Last night Miguel Cairo, hitting .225/.298/.284, started at Designated Hitter for the Seattle Mariners. When the obit is drafted for the hapless 2008 Mariners, their disregard for the defensive spectrum, for the opportunity to gain offensive punch from the 1st Base and Designated Hitter positions, should be pointed to as the primary cause of death. Maybe this is too harsh in that Richie Sexson's rapid decline could not have been foreseen, but the Mariners have moved on from Sexson with a 1B/DH combo of Cairo and Jose Vidro.

Some numbers to take in below:

           AVG   OBP   SLG
Cairo     .225  .298  .284
Vidro     .222  .266  .319
AL 1B     .260  .344  .421
AL DH     .246  .333  .416
SEA 1B    .221  .312  .354
SEA DH    .197  .249  .280
NL P      .148  .182  .178

Seattle's Designated Hitter output approximates that of a National League pitcher about as closely as it does an American League DH's.


By the same token, the Angels are not going to win the World Series with Maicer Izturis (.267/.326/.357) hitting third. He adds value as a utility player, holds his own as a starting SS, but is nothing more than a weak link when inserted into the three hole in the lineup.

Maybe the Mariners can upgrade their 1B/DH production to putrid soon. The current platoon is way below even replacement value.

Surely there's a AAA lifer out there who can hit .240 or .250 at the major league level. Even that would be a real improvement.