How would the SF Giants be impacted by DH rule change?

SF Giants (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
SF Giants (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

We take a look at how the SF Giants could benefit from having a universal DH.

As SF Giants fans eagerly await the beginning of the MLB season, it is clear that the landscape will look drastically different in 2020.

The fact that we have officially entered June and we are still awaiting Opening Day signals the beginning of several unprecedented changes. The threat that the season is canceled is still a legitimate outcome.

If we do get MLB baseball this year, two things look abundantly clear: the season will be shorter, and a universal DH seems inevitable.

While some fans are huge proponents of the traditional National League model that features pitchers having an opportunity to bat, fans of the SF Giants should be excited about the prospect of an additional position player in their lineup.

The Giants, who are clearly cemented in a drastic rebuild, have one of the weaker rosters in baseball. They feature a mix of former All-Stars who are past their prime and young prospects who are relatively unknown.

However, they have two players who would benefit tremendously from the opportunity for consistency at-bats at the DH.

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Hunter Pence would benefit from being the SF Giants’ DH.

The Giants brought back their former postseason hero when they signed Pence to a one-year, $3 million contract in San Francisco. While the move brings back great memories for fans in the Bay Area, it was a curious fit considering the fact that the outfielder is currently 37-years-old.

Pence made the All-Star team as a DH with the Texas Rangers before injuries derailed the second half of his season in 2019. However, he appeared in only 23 games in the outfield.

After another injury and season of wear on his body made it difficult to see how Pence would fair in a position where his at-bats were connecting with his ability to play the field.

However, the presence of the DH position would immediately change the landscape. Pence would have the opportunity to use his elite hitting abilities without risking injury or poor defensive play.

Considering this important development, Pence could very well be the Giants’ representative in the 2020 All-Star game.

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Wilmer Flores would benefit from being the SF Giants’ DH.

The DH in the National League could also have a major impact on Wilmer Flores. The longtime New York Mets utility player is currently slated to be a primary bat off the bench.

Despite his ability to play shortstop, second base, and first base at a proficient level, he will begin the season behind the likes of Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt, and Mauricio Dubon.

While I fully expect Flores to get a fairly consistent amount of playing time as the primary backup to those three players, the availability of a DH will allow him to bat each game.

Why is this good news? Because Flores is a phenomenal hitter!

As a starting point, the utility man is a .310 lifetime batter. He has also averaged 14 home runs and 50 RBI per season since 2015. Last year, he posted nine homers, 37 RBI, and a blistering .317 average in just 265 at-bats as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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New Giants manager Gabe Kapler should do his best to get Flores’ bat in the lineup as frequently as possible. The universal DH makes this an infinitely easier task.

How do you think the universal DH will affect the Giants in 2020?