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Game #38: Diamondbacks @ White Sox

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Into the land of the designated hitter go the Diamondbacks, opening a three-game series against the White Sox. A win tonight will guarantee them a non-losing road-trip, at the very least.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

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Brandon McCarthy
RHP, 1-5, 4.67
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Andre Rienzo
RHP, 2-0, 4.50

Diamondbacks Lineup

  1. Gerardo Parra - RF
  2. Chris Owings - SS
  3. Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
  4. Miguel Montero - C
  5. Aaron Hill - 2B
  6. Eric Chavez - DH
  7. Martin Prado - 3B
  8. Cody Ross - LF
  9. A.J. Pollock - CF
    + Brandon McCarthy - P

The Chicago White Sox are the team we have played least often over the history of the franchise. Going in to this series, we have only faced them nine times, going 5-4. Bizarrely, four of the five White Sox pitchers to have lost games to the D-backs, also played for us as some point: Tom Gordon, Jon Garland, Orlando Hernandez and Edwin Jackson. Maybe we should sign Jose Contreras and complete the set. The last series was June 2011: the only current survivors who took part are Josh Collmenter, Parra and Montero [Daniel Hudson also played, throwing a complete game in the opener]

Oh, look: Eric Chavez is DH. So much for claims it'd be Tuffy Gosewisch. He's actually a better fit than some of the players we've had in the role over the years: we'll get into that over the rest of this series. But for now, here are all the Diamondbacks to have had 10 or more PAs as a designated hitter, sorted by OPS.

Rk Player GM PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1 Jeff DaVanon 3 11 9 5 1 1 0 2 1 1 .556 .545 .889 1.434
2 Jay Bell 6 29 27 11 1 0 4 5 1 2 .407 .414 .889 1.303
3 Miguel Montero 4 17 16 7 2 0 1 2 1 1 .438 .471 .750 1.221
4 Eric Chavez 5 20 17 5 1 0 2 8 3 3 .294 .400 .706 1.106
5 Eric Byrnes 3 14 13 4 0 0 1 4 1 2 .308 .357 .538 .896
6 Carlos Baerga 8 32 29 11 3 0 0 7 2 2 .379 .406 .483 .889
7 Erubiel Durazo 13 47 41 12 2 0 2 6 6 8 .293 .383 .488 .871
8 Chad Tracy 10 35 32 8 0 0 2 8 3 10 .250 .314 .438 .752
9 Tony Clark 7 30 28 6 2 0 1 6 1 8 .214 .233 .393 .626
10 Greg Colbrunn 9 32 29 7 1 0 0 1 3 5 .241 .313 .276 .588
11 Jason Kubel 9 38 37 8 1 0 1 5 1 8 .216 .237 .324 .561
12 Conor Jackson 4 18 15 2 0 0 1 3 2 4 .133 .222 .333 .556
13 Wily Mo Pena 9 35 35 5 0 0 3 4 0 16 .143 .143 .400 .543
14 Luis Gonzalez 6 30 25 5 0 0 0 2 5 3 .200 .333 .200 .533
15 Steve Finley 4 18 17 3 0 0 0 1 0 4 .176 .222 .176 .399

So, Jeff DaVanon is the best designated hitter in team history. Who'd have thought it? Jay Bell isn't far behind, and probably deserves the title more, considering he put up almost the same OPS, over a more extended number of PAs. He also had the two best games by a Diamondbacks DH, the only times the position has hit for more than five bases. In 1999, Bell had a two-homer game against the Rangers - he also walked. And the following season, against the same opposition, he had the only four-hit game by an Arizona designated hitter, going deep there too. I also note Wily Mo Pena's contribution: only 5-for-35, with no walks and 15 K's, but three homers! Wily gonna Wily...