Yesterday we looked at NL teams spending the upcoming week in AL ballparks (click here to view). Today, let’s turn our attention to the AL teams who will be forced to operate without their designated hitters.
This is a much different week for AL teams spending their time in NL ballparks. There are no decisions with the likes of an Adam Dunn or a David Ortiz that we need to make. That said, there is going to be at least a little bit of a change in value for the four teams playing without the DH. Let’s take a look:
Primary DH – Ryan Doumit/Justin Morneau/Joe Mauer
The Twins don’t necessarily use one designated hitter, instead using the spot to keep Ryan Doumit, Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer all fresh and in the lineup. Without that spot, I’d anticipate the three simply rotating in and out of the lineup.
Maybe one game it is Morneau at 1B and Mauer at C…
The next game could be Mauer at 1B and Doumit at C…
We could then see Doumit at 1B and Mauer at C…
Maybe Morneau at 1B and Doumit at C…
In other words, I would expect it to be mixed and matched to keep all three fresh and playing. The problem is that they will all lose playing time throughout the next week. It all depends on your other options, but in two-catcher formats Mauer and Doumit remain viable options. Morneau, and his .236 average, could potentially be benched if you have someone who is definitely going to play all week.
Primary DH – Jesus Montero
Montero is the one true DH that the schedule will have a significant impact on this week. That’s not to say that he’s not going to be in the lineup, because we all know he’s going to be behind the plate at least 2-3 games (he’s played 27 games at catcher this season). However, with John Jaso and Miguel Olivo also on the roster it is impossible to think that he’s going to get any more time than that.
Like with Morneau, it all comes down to your other options (and your format). However, outside of two-catcher formats I would think you could find an option who should be in line for significantly more at bats with similar upside (Montero is currently hitting .271 with 8 HR and 28 RBI). In ESPN leagues Jarrod Saltalamacchia, J.P. Arencibia and Russell Martin are all viable replacements owned in fewer than 50% of the leagues.
Tampa Bay Rays
Primary DH – Hideki Matsui
Could Matsui see a game in the outfield? I guess it’s possible, but I wouldn’t consider it likely. He will likely operate as a bat off the bench this week and can be ignored in all formats.
Toronto Blue Jays
Primary DH – Edwin Encarnacion
There is absolutely no chance that Encarnacion loses much, if any, playing time over the coming week. If Adam Lind had not been banished to Triple-A, then it could have been tougher (though Encarnacion does have the ability to play in the OF), but we all know what happened there.
David Cooper, who has been struggling as it is, is going to be banished to the bench with Encarnacion seeing the bulk of his playing time at 1B (maybe Cooper gets a start with Encarnacion moving out to the OF). In other words, Encarnacion should remain a viable option in all formats.