Yesterday Charlie Manuel started Greg Dobbs at third base in place of the injured Pedro Feliz, and he went 0-for-3. Moreover, he remains a liability defensively at the hot corner.
Quickly checking out some numbers, I found it’s much more beneficial for the Phils to keeps Dobbs a bench player. He likes that role, he thrives in that role, and Eric Bruntlett isn’t a bad option to start.
Bruntlett as starter (142 PA): .242 AVG/.312 OBP/.352 SLG/2 HR/12 RBI
Bruntlett as substitute (33 PA): .222 AVG/.364 OBP/.222 SLG/0 HR/0 RBI
Dobbs as starter (81 PA): .237 AVG/.284 OBP/.316 SLG/1 HR/7 RBI
Dobbs as substitute (62 PA): .397 AVG/.419 OBP/.586 SLG/2 HR/7 RBI
As it shows, Bruntlett seems to be a better starter than a sub, while Dobbs is much more successful off the bench. Start Dobbs, and you automatically lose a bench bat, whereas if you start Bruntlett, Dobbs remains the weapon he needs to be. For Manuel, it makes sense to plug Bruntlett into the lineup everyday.