Who will be the Philadelphia Phillies’ designated hitter if the Universal DH returns to MLB in 2022?
While the latest updates from the MLB/MLBPA Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations aren’t ideal, there is one bit of news that indicates a modicum of progress and will help teams shape their post-lockout plans.
The Universal DH seems like a go.
MLB temporarily implemented the Universal DH in the shortened 2020 season but returned to normal in 2021. Bringing it back permanently seems to be one of the only things the two sides can agree upon in this stalemate.
With the return of the DH to the NL, the Philadelphia Phillies have some decisions to make. They have current players who struggle defensively who might benefit from moving to the offense-only spot, but there are also some very attractive free-agent options who might do even better.
Here are six in-house and free-agent options for Phillies DH…
1. Kyle Schwarber, Free agent
Kyle Schwarber is an obvious choice for this role. The slugger totally revamped his swing in 2021, with the help of none other than Kevin Long, whom the Phillies hired as their new hitting coach in the fall.
Schwarber is coming off one of the best seasons of his career. Over 113 games between the Washington Nationals and Boston Red Sox, he hit .266/.374/.554 with a .928 OPS, 29 doubles, 32 home runs, 72 RBI, and 76 runs scored. The slugger also lowered his strikeout percentage and raised his walk percentage.
Versatility is the name of the game nowadays, and with the Phillies desperately needing outfielders as well as sluggers, Schwarber could still play the outfield on occasion.