With the Astros moving to the American League next year, there will be at least one interleague series throughout the seasons moving forward. So, when interleague play begins Friday, it's the last time this will be put forth as a novelty.
Anyway, one of the areas of intrigue is who the NL teams will use as a DH. Let's take a look at what each of the 16 NL clubs could do when faced with playing an AL team on the road here in the next several weeks.
Arizona Diamondbacks: Lyle Overbay will probably get a shot, but I'd think about putting Jason Kubel at DH, playing Willie Bloomquist in the outfield and getting John McDonald's glove in at shortstop. UPDATE: With Chris Young coming off the DL, Jason Kubel will probably be the DH.
Atlanta Braves: Eric Hinske has served as DH several times before in his career and he's certainly an option, but I'll bet on him playing left field with Martin Prado at third base and Chipper Jones being used as the DH to save his knees. The powerful Juan Francisco is another option, but I bet he's only used if Chipper sits altogether.
Chicago Cubs: Should be a pretty easy call. Alfonso Soriano is a bad left fielder and has been hobbling around with a knee issue recently.
Cincinnati Reds: The best bet is probably Ryan Ludwick, with Chris Heisey playing left field.
Colorado Rockies: They already have a DH: Jason Giambi.
Houston Astros: They probably wouldn't mind keeping Carlos Lee fresh by letting him DH. Brian Bogusevic played some 1B in the minors, and that opens a spot for Travis Buck in right.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Gotta be Bobby Abreu, with Tony Gwynn Jr. in center and Scott Van Slyke in left. If Matt Kemp were healthy, it would still be Abreu, with Gwynn playing left.
Miami Marlins: Looks like of the threesome of Logan Morrison, Greg Dobbs and Austin Kearns the Marlins will have one left fielder, one DH and one bench bat (via PalmBeachPost.com), with Dobbs obviously not an option in left.
Milwaukee Brewers: Injuries have created a problem here, but they still have flexibility in how they use Norichika Aoki and/or Brooks Conrad.
New York Mets: Scott Hairston could get a shot, whether it's as DH or in the outfield with Lucas Duda or Kirk Nieuwenhuis slotted as the DH. Justin Turner and Jordany Valdespin are also options. I also wonder if they'll try to DH struggling Ike Davis and put Duda or Turner at first? There's good flexibility here and Terry Collins will surely mix it up.
Philadelphia Phillies: Jim Thome! Oh wait, he's on the DL. Damn. Instead, look for Ty Wigginton and John Mayberry to fill the first base and designated hitter spots.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Garrett Jones and Casey McGehee manning the first base and DH spots is the best bet.
San Diego Padres: They have lots of options with outfield and first base. We know Yonder Alonso will play while Cameron Maybin will be in center with Will Venable in right. From there, Mark Kotsay, Chris Denorfia, James Darnell and Jesus Guzman will fill spots, whether 1B (if Alonso DHs), LF or on the bench.
San Francisco Giants: They have a choice between the two guys who don't start at first (from Brandon Belt, Brett Pill and Aubrey Huff) or whoever doesn't start in the outfield between Nate Schierholtz and Gregor Blanco, unless they want to give Buster Posey a break from catching. So, yes, plenty of options here.
St. Louis Cardinals: It depends upon health, but if they're all playable for the interleague series, Lance Berkman, Allen Craig and Carlos Beltran can fill the RF, 1B and DH spots. That's a huge boost for this club. Craig's presence actually makes them better suited for the AL, from this point of view.
Washington Nationals: Too bad Michael Morse isn't healthy, as he's a perfect DH-type. Instead, the Nationals will be looking to Xavier Nady.
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