Phillies: Andrew McCutchen more suited for bench or DH role?
By Bryce Turner
A second option could be to give Andrew McCutchen a couple of games as DH
McCutchen missed much of last season with injury and is coming off of what he calls the longest time away from the sport since he first held a bat, so taking a break from the outfield may be beneficial, even though playing defensively would seem unlikely to distract an MLB veteran from his hitting.
Perhaps spending more time on the bench and less on the field would allow him to become more laser-focused on hitting and ensure he doesn’t burn all of his energy running after fly balls.
McCutchen has a .229 batting average in 10 career games as DH, but his most recent opportunity in that role was his biggest success.
In May 2019, the left fielder entered a DH opportunity having gone 4-for-28 in his previous seven games and hitting five HR, 14 RBI, and .234/.357/.397 through his first 37 games of the season. As DH against the Kansas City Royals, he went 1-for-2 with three walks.
While there were only two at-bats, he still got on base four times and followed that appearance with five HR, 15 RBI, and a .289/.393/.566 slash line in his next 21 games before a season-ending injury.
Coincidence? Maybe. But, why not give McCutchen a couple of turns as DH and let Bruce do the fielding. The Phillies DHs seem to be off to a hot start this year.
Regardless of whether the Phillies sit McCutchen or give him an opportunity as DH, the team should make a move after his 1-for-14 start.