Phillies: 4 Reasons the Universal DH is Great News
#4. Extending Careers
JT Realmuto played catcher in 133 games last year, Jean Segura began to show serious signs of regression and fatigue, and I already talked about Andrew McCutchen and his health concerns. At a bare minimum, the new proposed DH rule will help extend the careers of some of the most important Phillies on the roster.
Gabe Kapler worked Realmuto hard last year, that’s no secret. While Kapler routinely caught flak for how much he played the All-Star catcher, the former Phillies manager honestly didn’t have much of a choice. Realmuto was easily the Phillies most consistent hitter in 2019, and they genuinely needed him in the lineup as much as humanly possible. This created a problem in that Realmuto also had to catch almost every single game. With the new DH rule, Realmuto can still be a regular in the offensive lineup without hurting his knees behind the plate every afternoon.
While Segura is currently training to play third base in 2020, that’s likely not a long term position for him. While I did mention Bohm projects as a more natural first baseman, there’s still a strong belief in the Phillies organization that they can mold him into an average defensive third baseman. With this in mind, that means Segura could be out of a job come 2021.
Segura showed serious signs of defensive regression last year (career-high 20 errors), and that is likely due to age and lowering athleticism levels. However, if the former Mariner can find a way to get back to his .300 hitting ways (he’s been working hard this offseason to get in better shape), he would still be a very valuable asset to the Phillies offense moving forward. Taking him out of the field in 2021, and running him as the DH could very well rejuvenate his playing career in Philadelphia.
Segura carries a $14.85 million cap hit in 2021, so he needs to get back to All-Star level production sooner rather than later. Slotting in as the team’s DH in a year might be the move that the infielder needs to warrant such a lofty price tag.