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Saturday Sporcle: Designated Hitters

After last week, I’ll take my foot off your neck...

Arizona Diamondbacks vs Texas Rangers, 2023 World Series Set Number: X164452 TK1

Yeah, last week’s one, concerning swingmen in Diamondbacks history was probably among the toughest I’ve ever put out there. As mentioned at the time, players who start AND relieve in a season tend to be not particularly great at either, so in a lot of cases are players that you’re not going to remember anyway. It doesn’t help that there haven’t been any of late, so you need to go back a few seasons to find examples at all. Unsurprisingly, results were... not great. There were only 44 attempts, which is less than half as many as tried the “Starting pitchers” one the previous week. The average score was only 34%, and barely one in four (27%) got even half of the thirty-one answers.

The most well-known one was not hard to predict, considering his grinning face was on top of the article! 93% of people remembered Josh Collmenter’s sterling work in the swingman role, and he is probably the best the D-backs have ever had. Miguel Batista was the only other to reach 80%, coming in at 84%. Brian Anderson, Zack Godley and our greatest pitcher ever, Yusmeiro Petit, round out the top five. At the other end, are a lot of names you won’t remember. Five came in below ten percent, the most recent being Matt Koch in 2018. The rest were back in 2005 or earlier, with three tied on 7% for least remembered: Mike Gosling, Andrew Good and Clint Sodowsky. Fair enough, frankly!

I figured you deserved something easier this week, so let’s discuss my favorite position on the field: designated hitter. /s But it seems appropriate, with the team having officially signed Joc Pederson, who will likely set a new franchise record in 2024 for starts at DH. The query this time is players who started for Arizona and DH’d. The slightly clunky language is because of the way Baseball Reference’s game search works. You can put in “Starter” and “DH”, but if a player starts at another position, then moves to DH later on, that still “counts” for the search. Close enough though. Five games are the minimum, so you don’t have to remember the likes of Wyatt Mathisen. See? I’m being nice to you!

You get the number of qualifying games, the span of seasons concerned and their initials. With the recent skewing of this list - DH only really being a thing for the past couple of seasons - this one should be lot easier. I’ll set the bar at 50%, so 17 of the 34 players. As usual, last names only are needed and here’s your mobile link.