Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Lame choices for first-game DH

With lefthander Scott Kazmir starting for the Rays in Game 1 of the World Series, Phils manager Charlie Manuel is in a tough spot as to whom to play as designated hitter.

The strength of the Phillies bench is left-handed with Greg Dobbs, Geoff Jenkins and Matt Stairs, but it's unlikely any of them will start the game as the DH.

So what are Charlie's options? Outfielder So Taguchi, who hit just .220 on the season and received less than 100 at bats; infielder Eric Bruntlett, who hit a robust .217 and actually spent more time as Pat Burrell's defensive replacement in left field than Taguchi did; or catcher Chris Coste, who did hit .263 with 9 home runs, but would have to get behind the plate if Carlos Ruiz was injured.

What's likely to happen is that Taguchi or Bruntlett gets that start in left field and Burrell is the DH. Either way, it puts a poor hitter into the lineup.

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