Pittsburgh Pirates: What to do With the Designated Hitter

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PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 28: Adam Frazier #26 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action against the Philadelphia Phillies during a game at Citizens Bank Park on August 28, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 28: Adam Frazier #26 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action against the Philadelphia Phillies during a game at Citizens Bank Park on August 28, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

Move Adam Frazier from second base to designated hitter

This idea is one that may seem a bit outside of the box, but it will make sense. Moving Adam Frazier from second base to DH could also improve the infield defense of the Pittsburgh Pirates for 2020.

Now, this may sound a bit odd. Especially since Frazier was a finalist for the National League Gold Glove Award at second base in 2019. But that season was a bit of an outlier for Frazier who had previously struggled defensively at the keystone position.

The main reason it would improve the infield defense, though, is due to the other moves that would go with it. Moving Frazier to DH would allow Kevin Newman to slide from shortstop to second base. At shortstop, Newman is a below league average defender owning a -10 DRS and OAA during his two years at the MLB level. At second base, however, he owns a +2 DRS and a +1 OAA, making him an above average defender at the position.

This move would also open the door for the team to play Cole Tucker every day at shortstop. Tucker is a plus defender at shortstop, and by far the best defensive shortstop in the Pirate organization.

Many people in the front office view Tucker as a future start at shortstop, but he needs playing time at the MLB level. Moving Frazier to DH and Newman to second base can create this playing time for Tucker, while also improving the team’s infield defense.

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