6 Potential DH Options for Dodgers in 2022

One of the biggest changes set to happen for the National League in 2022 is the addition of a designated hitter to game play, if indeed a collective bargaining agreement is ever reached. While there’s still a small chance the DH rule might get bumped off the final deal, the fact that it’s something both sides agree to means it will probably stand pat.

With the DH going into effect, fans of the Dodgers have already been chattering about which player might see the most action in this spot, although skipper Dave Roberts will likely mix and match his designated hitters based on matchups, who’s injured and which players need rest. Already, there’s speculation that newcomer Stefen Romero could potentially see action there, even though he hasn’t made an MLB appearance since 2016.

Regardless, despite the fact players will be moving around position-wise, it till doesn’t hurt to guess which players might see the most action there this year.

Justin Turner

Justin Turner is the first player that comes to mind as a DH for many fans, primarily because of his age and the idea that his defense is deteriorating. However, even a subpar Turner at third base could be a better option than anyone else the team fields there. Of all the options to spell Turner at third, Chris Taylor is probably the best.

Still, there are plenty of secondary options at the hot corner, including Max Muncy, Edwin Rios, Matt Beaty and maybe even Gavin Lux, all of whom we’ll mention later.

AJ Pollock

Even at 34 years old, AJ Pollock probably still has the skills and athleticism to play every day, even though he’s susceptible to extended slumps like we saw over the last few years. Despite some of his struggles, Pollock still hasn’t hit below .266 since joining the Dodgers in 2016. We know he still has a little power, as made evident by his 21 homers last year.

If keeping Pollock off the field as a DH can somehow limit his propensity for getting hurt, the team could benefit from putting him there regularly.

Max Muncy

What we do know for sure is that Muncy will be among the everyday players for the Dodgers, so long as he stays healthy. There’s been a ton of speculation about a possible free agent deal with Freddie Freeman, which could conceivably push Muncy to second or third base, or better yet, a full-time designated hitter. We’ve seen Muncy show decent skills at the keystone and the hot corner in previous seasons, but we’ve also witnessed games when he’s looked borderline horrible there.

Matt Beaty

Beaty is one of those guys that would see significant playing time for many other clubs around the league, but he just can’t seem to settle into a regular role with the Dodgers, even as a utility player. Beaty has made a handful of appearances at third base in the past, but the general feeling is that the coaching staff doesn’t trust his glove and throwing accuracy enough to play him there regularly. Adding in his inability to hit lefty pitching reduces his potential playing time even more.

Edwin Rios

There’s still plenty of speculation as to whether Rios’s injury at the beginning of last year was the reason he couldn’t hit or if pitchers just figured him out. The fact that his labrum was almost completely torn infers the prior. Whatever the case may be, Rios should be good to go and might play as a decent DH option if he shows he can hit the ball well early on.

Gavin Lux

With so many players around him settling into everyday roles, there never seems to be a regular playing spot for Lux. The 24-year-old lefty hitter is a natural shortstop, but even though he has a rifle for an arm, his throwing accuracy was one of the reasons the organization considered him as an everyday second baseman. Like Pollock, Lux is another one of those guys who can severely be affected by slumps.

In his three years as a big leaguer, Lux still hasn’t hit over .240.

Fans know that Lux has tons of potential, but his defensive liabilities and his streakiness at the plate could dictate how much time he sees in 2022. If the Dodgers end up snagging Freeman, it could spell doom for Lux, especially if the team decides to play Muncy or Zach McKinstry at second most days.

11 thoughts on “6 Potential DH Options for Dodgers in 2022

  1. To a team as talented & wealthy as the Dodgers the DH is a gift. As there are lots of options without looking at the Farm Team or free agents. I believe Lux will improve this season if given a shot. Rios is a favorite and he will contribute when he has recovered from his surgery as his shoulder was severely torn we will have to see how he responds. JT, Pollock, & BeTy should benefit.

  2. Their priority’s are fixing that lousy bench and the starting rotation. There still is no definitive news about Bauer. All we know is that the DA is not pressing charges. Now it is up to the most messed up commissioner in baseball history to either suspend or allow him to play. Then it goes into the Dodgers court.

  3. Heartiest congrats to the Rams, Super Bowl Champs 2022!
    Cooper Kupp is an amazing football player. Maybe he’d like to DH for us during the off season.

  4. The Athletic. Scott Boras.

    Scott, if you could point to one thing out of the last collective bargaining agreement that maybe hurt the game or hurt things from the player’s perspective, what was it?

    I don’t think a lot of people really understood what the draft means to these major league teams. In 2011 when they allowed (MLB) to put a cap on the draft, I heard general managers say things two weeks before (about) what they were going to do, and then completely alter their program once they got the rules and understood what was available to them. And that was, sell off your free agents, it’s a race to the bottom so I can get all these valued draft picks and get as many as I can. And it gave the fan base a method of illustrating that losing was OK; it was actually beneficial. And I think when you introduce that cancer, that non-competitive cancer, into the sport … the local fan does not go to the ballpark with the intent of having his team win every day. And I think we have to reintroduce that into our game.

  5. Dh is a position. It’s not where you put over the hill players or career minor leaguers. It’s a position guys. A chance to Rest your older players. Fine. But serious, beatty, rios, lux? It’s now a 9 player team and the 9th player should be one if your best hitters. The bench is less of a concern now with a dh, but it has to be better than what we had last year.

    1. Even young players don’t play every game in the field these days. Take, for example, Will Smith, who often DH’s when Barnes gives him a rest behind the plate. I think Doc will rotate all of his guys through the DH to give them a chance to stay off the field once in a while without pulling them completely out of the lineup. That said, older guys like JT will get more time there than younger guys.

      Still looking for that lefty hitting third baseman to spell JT on a semi-regular basis. Since we haven’t come up with anyone I am hereby willing Rios to have a complete recovery and a very good year in 2022.

  6. I could see smith DHing once or twice a week to keep his bat in the line up more often, while still giving him enough rest behind the plate to keep him fresh for the season, or as fresh as a catcher can be.

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