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Arizona Diamondbacks Game Preview, #55: DH Ahoy!

Into the realm of the designated hitter go the Diamondbacks...

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Robbie Ray
LHP, 2-4, 4.67
Mike Fiers
RHP, 3-3, 5.20
Jean Segura - 2B George Springer - RF
Michael Bourn - CF Jose Altuve - 2B
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Carlos Correa - SS
Jake Lamb - 3B Evan Gattis - C
Rickie Weeks - DH Marwin Gonzalez - 1B
Chris Herrmann - C Luis Valbuena - 3B
Chris Owings - SS Carlos Gomez - CF
Yasmany Tomas - LF Tyler White - DH
Brandon Drury - RF Jake Marisnick - LF

Rickie Weeks Jr is your first Designated Hitter for us this season. Weeks also becomes the 55th Arizona Diamondback to start a game as DH. Erubiel Durazo holds the mark for Arizona, having 10 games there, one ahead of a trifecta on nine: Chad Tracy, Wily Mo Pena and Jason Kubel, which I think largely gives you an indication of the kind of player you want for the role. Among current D-backs, Yasmany Tomas leads the way with three; Goldie actually has a couple to his credit, although I suspect those were more likely a desperate manager's attempt to get him to rest a bit. "Look, Paul - you'll still get to swing the bat, okay?"

But if you look at the full list, you begin to see why the National League is at a disadvantage when it comes to interleague play in American League parks: AL teams are built to use the DH spot. For among those players the Diamondbacks have used in the past as a designated hitter: Tony Abreu, Andy Green, Robbie Hammock, Wil Nieves and, in 2014, Nick Evans. I had completely forgotten he was even a Diamondback. Who knew? Durazo actually had quite good numbers in the position for us, batting .308 with a pair of home-runs, for an .899 OPS as a starting DH. Among those with more than three stats, Jay Bell is the only better OPS, having gone 11-for-27 with four HR, a 1.303 OPS.

On the other hand, Goldie clearly didn't take to the position, being 0-for-7 with one walk and two strikeouts. Adam LaRoche, whom you'd think would flourish in the role is also hitless in his two DH starts. Even Wily Mo Pena wasn't all that great: 5-for-35, though it helps that three of those hits were home-runs, including the one back in Detroit, back in 2011, which triggered the classic reaction GIF below from Don Baylor. If Rickie Weeks can produce anything as memorable in this series, I'll profess myself full satisfied with his performance.