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Should Dobbs Get More Playing Time?

When the Phillies signed Pedro Feliz to a two-year contract, it seemed the third base situation — in their minds — was resolved. Feliz would play everyday — his standard pop and slick fielding made him the perfect man for the hot corner for the next few years.

Then the reality of Pedro Feliz sank in: .213 AVG, .280 OBP.

Against righties Feliz has a .608 OPS; against lefties it’s .758.

Meanwhile, Greg Dobbs has done this: .355 AVG, .412 OBP.

Against righties Dobbs has a .961 OPS; oddly enough, he has one hit in one appearance against lefties. As a starter, Dobbs has a sterling 1.008 OPS.

While Dobbs is knocking the ball around successfully, he’s getting more playing time against right-handed hitters. But Dobbs can get overmatched sometimes, especially against guys with good breaking pitches. He has struck out seven times in 31 at bats.

Feliz is likely to come around — April has historically been his worst month (.248 AVG, .284 OBP). While it doesn’t get much better than that, chances are Feliz will start hitting with a little more regularity. But with Dobbs hitting the way he has been, does it constitute the need for another platoon situation?

I would think, while Jimmy Rollins is still out, about starting Dobbs at third base and moving Feliz to shortstop. Feliz has the range to help Dobbs from short, and the Phils won’t lose Dobbs’ bat for Eric Bruntlett. Then bruntlett can move in as a defensive replacement late with the lead. When Rollins returns, the Phils can reassess Dobbs and if he’s capable of starting more at third base; until then, the Phils should take advantage of the production they’re getting from him.

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0 Comments

  1. Embassy

    April 25, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    I’m with you on this. While Bruntlett has had his fair share of good defensive plays to go with the bad, I don’t think Feliz there would do any worse. Neither are J-Roll at SS so realistically mistakes are bound to happen regardless as long as they don’t get out of hand. Replacing Bruntlett’s bat with Feliz and Dobbs can only help the Phillies especially since Feliz is a more important to the puzzle and give him a chance to work the kinks out instead of just sitting or platooning him for now.

  2. Geoff

    April 25, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    this is definitely worth trying. i like dobbs hes a solid utility man but hes been hitting well this year. i had been skeptical for a while but hes been steady within his role. a creative manager would try him as a starter for 3 or 4 games and see what happens. now is a better time than ever with rollins abouit. good call.

  3. Gavin

    April 25, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    Dobbs defense hasnt been as bad as Feliz’ so far.

    On the same note….I’m kinda liking Jason Werth staying in the lineup. Either put him in RF when Victorino comes back or…more likely let him stay in CF and have Victorino platoon with Geoff Jenkins for a while.

  4. Tim Malcolm

    April 25, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    Vic is worth much more in centerfield – he plays it too well to take him out. I’d platoon Werth and Jenkins more vigorously and keep Vic playing almost everyday in center so he can get better.

  5. Geoff A.

    April 25, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    Excellent thought. You gotta ride a guy while he’s hot. Dobbs has shown, either as a pinch hitter or a starter, that he can produce consistantly. Moving Feliz to SS and putting Dobbs at third is not the best defense but with all the errors they are presently committing, what’s the difference. The offense will be a huge upgrade over Bruntlett’s dismal average.

    Another thought (a stretch) is that if Howard continues to struggle when Jimmy returns they should play Dobbs at 1B against lefties (I know he is left handed) and let Howard try to smack around some righties to get his groove back. They could/should platoon him in right with Werth given the fact that Jenkin’s strikeout rate isn’t too far behind Howards at this point.

  6. Geoff

    April 25, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    They acted like Jenkins was going to hit 25-30 hr and drive in 80-100 runs just like they said feliz would…theyd better get on it if they want to get there.

  7. The Big Irish

    April 27, 2008 at 10:40 am

    No, Greg Dobbs should not get more playing time. He is an outstanding bench player, role player. He does what he does well: play some 3rd, some OF, some 1st, do some pinch-hitting, etc that makes him truly valuable to the club. The Phils lineup should remain Howard/Utley/Rollins/Feliz/Ruiz/Burrell/Victorino and the Werth-Jenkins platoon as often as possible. Dobbs, Taguchi, Coste, Bruntlett are the bench players, and that is one element that makes the Phillies offense and position-player grouping as good as any in the NL.

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