Designated Hitters Outlook

by Tim Heaney on June 8, 2007 @ 16:00:00 PDT



Table: Do not bench list

David Ortiz
Travis Hafner
Jim Thome
Gary Sheffield


Frank Thomas, Toronto Blue Jays

Schedule: 6 games - @SF (3), WAS (3)

Analysis: Thomas has a chance to cut loose on Nationals pitching. There's not much back story for his career against Washington; he last faced them when they were still in Montreal. Thomas went 0-for-6 in two games versus the Giants last year, but might not get to play in every game at the National League park. He still has 22 RBI this year, and he has hit six of his eight home runs against right-handers. His .218 average, however, turns stomachs all over the Web. If you have the flexibility to stash him in a utility spot, he could club a home run for you this week, especially in the series with the Nationals.


Sammy Sosa, Texas Rangers

Schedule: 6 games - @PIT (3), @CIN (3)

Analysis: Sosa has been a popular candidate as a cheap power pickup, but his six-game road trip at National League ballparks will limit his playing time this coming week. If he does get a chance to play, he's worth a spot. He had an RBI in three straight games last week. He went 12 straight games without a homer, and his batting average has dropped 23 points since May 22. In 2005, he hit two home runs and drove in three runs while batting .300 against the Reds. Against Pittsburgh, he has a solo home run while batting .375.

Jose Vidro, Seattle Mariners

Schedule: 7 games - @CLE (1), @CHI (3), @HOU (3)

Analysis: The Mariners will be facing a hot Cleveland team as a makeup from the Snow Series in April. Vidro, who has 20 RBI in 53 games, went 3-for-5 in his only game versus Cleveland this year. The sometimes second baseman is batting a healthy .290 with 20 RBI, while scoring 27 runs. These are far from the scary numbers he has put up in the last two seasons. If the DH gets a chance to play in National League parks, he could be a decent play, especially against the struggling staffs he's facing.


Mike Sweeney, Kansas City Royals

Schedule: 6 games - STL (3), FLA (3)

Analysis: Sweeney has not driven in a run in six games, and he hasn't hit a home run since May 23. He's batting .283 with runners in scoring position. He's not the reliable offensive option he once was, and his name isn't Mark Teahen. One thing working for him is his showdown with a reeling St. Louis pitching staff (12th in the National League with a 4.59 ERA), but it might not be enough to include him in your lineup.

Shea Hillenbrand, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Schedule: 6 games - @CIN (3), @LAD (3)

Analysis: Hillenbrand has two home runs and four RBI in his last 10 games, but he hasn't played since June 3. As of June 5, he has officially been taken out of the role as full-time designated hitter. Vladimir Guerrero, Garret Anderson and up-and-coming outfielder Reggie Willits are reported to be sharing duties between corner outfield and DH spots. Count him out for this week, as he will probably assume pinch-hitting duties.


Mike Piazza, Oakland Athletics - Out until late June

Jason Giambi, New York Yankees - Out until at least late June

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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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