Pinch-hitter deluxe explains how it's done
Pat Gillick claimed Greg Dobbs off waivers from the Seattle Mariners on Jan. 16, 2007. Fan reaction? Tumbleweeds, mostly. Dobbs had played parts of three seasons with the Mariners, but nobody in Philadelphia really knew him. They certainly know him today, as he has been one of Gillick's finest acquisitions with the Phillies. Dobbs hit .272 with 10 home runs and 55 RBIs last
Pat Gillick claimed Greg Dobbs off waivers from the Seattle Mariners on Jan. 16, 2007.
Dobbs had played parts of three seasons with the Mariners, but nobody in Philadelphia really knew him. They certainly know him today, as he has been one of Gillick's finest acquisitions with the Phillies. Dobbs hit .272 with 10 home runs and 55 RBIs last season. He led the majors with 18 pinch-hit RBIs. He had several memorable hits, too, including a grand slam against the New York Mets on Sept. 16.
Dobbs has continued to hit this season. He entered this weekend's series against the Florida Marlins at Citizens Bank Park hitting .462 (12 for 26) with two doubles, one triple, one home run and 11 RBIs as a pinch-hitter to lead the majors in pinch-hits and pinch-hit RBIs.
Readers of The Inquirer's Phillies blog - The Phillies Zone (
» READ MORE: http://go.philly.com/phillieszone
) - submitted questions for Dobbs earlier this week. Dobbs answered them Wednesday.
Here's what he had to say:
Would you rather be a role player on a contending team or an everyday player on a mediocre team? -
Dave W., Halifax, Pa.
I've never been a guy who wants to put me before the team. I'm not an "I" guy, so I'd have to say the way it is right now is perfect for me. Everything has worked out coming over here, not being an everyday guy, but being on a contending team. We have a great nucleus. We have a chance to go to the postseason, and ultimately that's what you play for. You see guys who have been in organizations who haven't done well and then they get to the end of the career and what are they looking for? To be on a team that contends. And they take a pay cut to do it. You're considered lucky to be on teams that win. Personal things aside, if you win, everything else will take care of itself.
Do you mind being used mainly for pinch-hitting and playing many different defensive positions? Would you be satisfied if you were a backup player for the next 10 years if it came to that? -
Betsy W., Philadelphia.
I could be happy doing that for the next 10 years. If I look back and say I was able to do this and have a 10-year career in the big leagues, without a doubt. And I don't mind being moved around the field anymore, because I've grown accustomed to doing it. I'm more comfortable with possibly being moved here and there. Now, if I'm thrown into one of those positions, I'm comfortable with any one of them.
How do you physically and mentally prepare for a possible pinch-hitting appearance during the game?
- Stu C., Newport, Pa.
Physically, I take a lot of flips in the cage. I take a lot of swings. I start that in like the fourth inning. And then mentally, I just try to stay in tune with the game from the first inning on. I make sure I'm out there watching the game and mentally get into the flow of the game and not feel like I'm not a part of it because I'm not playing.
How do you prepare differently for your role as a pinch-hitter than you did when you were an everyday player? -
Bob P, Glassboro.
Pregame, if I know I'm starting at a position, I just stay at that position during batting practice. If I'm starting at third I just take ground balls at third. If I'm starting in the outfield, I'll take fly balls in the outfield. If I'm not starting, I have to do more just so I feel more prepared for anything that could be thrown my way during the game. That could mean taking ground balls at first, third and then moving to the outfield just because I don't know where I might be during the game. That's the big difference.
When was the last time you faced lefthanded pitching with regularity, and what kind of success did you have?
- Joe G., Haddonfield.
Triple A. I think if you look back at my career in the minor leagues, I faced everyone, and I actually had a better average against lefthanders than I did against righthanders. I believe so. It definitely wasn't the other way.
How does it feel knowing that you're the most clutch pinch-hitter in the game? -
Ed M., Philadelphia.
(Laughs.) It's very satisfying just because of all the hard work that I've put into it . . . the hard work that we all put into this game to get results, that's the key. You hope to get results no matter what you're doing, but to be able to have the results that I've had to this point is very, very rewarding.
What is your intro music? -
Mike C., Lansdale.
It's Incubus' "Megalomaniac." I'm a big Incubus fan, but I've never seen them in concert.