In a baseball world where each roster seemingly carries 13 pitchers, versatility is a must. This is especially true if your designated hitter is locked in full time. Enter the cases of Shohei Otani and Gary Sanchez.
In comments made to Mike Mazzeo at the New York Daily News, New York Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman discussed the intriguing possibilities of adding the “Japanese Babe Ruth” to the roster and shifting his stud catcher to DH.
At the GM meetings, Cashman said of a versatile player like Otani, “it’s kind of like having a 26th man.” Otani, who bats left and throws right, could also serve as DH when he starts. Should the Yankees sign the Japanese phenom, whomever the next manager is will also want to line him up to make road starts in National League parks.
A fair amount of players have made the shift from hitter to pitcher, or vice versa, but it would be unique for one to do both. After coming to New York, Ruth only made four starts and appeared in five games as a pitcher. Otani is only 23 and there’s no reason to believe he couldn’t handle both.
On the subject of DH, Sanchez had his fair share of troubles behind the dish in 2017. Cashman was asked if he would consider shifting his Silver Slugger winning catcher to DH. His answer? “Hell no.”