Phillies: Potential DH options if new rules are enacted

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PITTSBURGH, PA – JULY 08: Gabe Kapler #22 of the Philadelphia Phillies looks on from the dugout during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on July 8, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

The Phillies lineup could get some help if the league and player’s union come to an agreement regarding the future of the designated hitter.

Proposals between Major League Baseball and the Player’s Union that could dramatically change the game have generated conversations across baseball, especially locally for the Phillies.

One of several reported topics in discussions reported by several insiders would be the “universal designated hitter.” As Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (subscription required) notes, the commissioner has said that the players have been asking the league for a universal DH for three decades.

That makes sense, as it would add at least another 15 major league jobs with teams needing an everyday designated hitter.

As Rosenthal notes, “pitchers last season batted .115 with a .144 on-base average and .149 slugging percentage in 4,524 at-bats.” The pace of action could see a swing in favor of the fans and the league as a whole if adding another real hitter to the lineup keeps the game moving and exciting.

There are some rumblings that the universal DH could be implemented as early as the 2019 season, but nothing is set as the players and owners continue to negotiate new rules, including clocks, roster spots, relief pitcher roles, and the dimensions of the pitching mound, among others.

What would the Phillies do if the designated hitter were ruled universal before opening day 2019? We looked at several options for Matt Klentak and Gabe Kapler to weigh both internally and on the free agent market.

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