The All-Time LA Dodger Team: Righty Pinch-Hitter

All-Time Lineup#1 | #2 | #3 | #4 | #5 | #6 | #7 | #8
All-Time Starting Pitchers#1 | #2 | #3 | #4 | #5
All-Time BullpenCloser | Fireman | RHP Setup | LHP Setup
All-Time BenchCatcher | Utility | Lefty PH

Thanks to your votes, we have chosen 20 of the 21 players that will make up the All-Time LA Dodger team.  All that is now left is the right-handed pinch-hitter to complement Dave Hansen, the rightful winner of the lefty pinch-hitting role.

To qualify for this, each player had to appear in at least 200 games as a LA Dodger as a sub.  Here is the full list of righty-hitting subs, ranked by games played as a sub.  There were only two switch hitters to qualify using the 200 game criteria, Mitch Webster and Derrel Thomas.  Rather than add another spot on our bench, I'm lumping in Thomas with the lefties and Webster with the righties since they were respectively stronger at those sides at the plate.

Here are their stats as LA Dodgers (stats include all games with the Dodgers, not just their numbers off the bench):

Righty PH Years Sub G
Overall
BA/OBP/SLG
OPS+ PH Numbers
Manny Mota   
69-80,1982 419 .315/.374/.391 117 .321/.395/.373
Mitch Webster   
1991-1995
317 .256/.320/.392 98 .257/.320/.389
Bill Russell
1969-1986 289 ..263/.310/.338 82 .264/.331/.292
Mike Sharperson   
1987-1993 270 .287/.363/.373 108 .239/.339/.301
Jose Gonzalez
1985-1991 270 .227/.284/.338 77 .194/.229/.284
Dave Anderson
83-89,1992 265 .235/.312/.311 77 .275/.333/.406
Olmedo Saenz
2004-2007 245 .263/.334/.484 110 .247/.317.414
Mickey Hatcher   
79-80,87-90 238 .272/.310/.362 87 .235/.274/.296
Steve Yeager
1972-1985 212 .228/.299/.352 84 .259/.317/.362

Eric's Pick

I am not going to make the same mistake twice.  As much as I loved The Killer Tomato and his eight pinch homers, the pick here has to be Manny Mota.  He's not only the best hitter on this list, but is arguably the most famous pinch hitter in MLB history.

Mota had a key punch hit -- with an assist from Greg Luzinski -- in one of the most famous rallies in Dodger history , a three-run 9th inning in Philadelphia to take a 2-1 series lead in the best-of-five 1977 NLCS.  From Sports Illustrated:

The next pitch was perfect for the situation—a change-up low and outside. Mota somehow stroked it deep to left field over the head of Luzinski, who reached for it at the fence. The ball popped out of his glove, struck the fence and popped back in again. Because it hit the fence between pops, it was no catch.

I just want to point out that pinch-hitting is a very difficult skill.  In 2008, all MLB hitters collectively hit .264/.333/.416, but as a pinch-hitter batters were held to .230/.317/.347.  If you find someone who excels in the pinch-hitting role, or at least doesn't greatly suffer, that player is to be appreciated.  The Dodgers are lucky to have had two true pinch hitters in Dave Hansen and Manny Mota.

Phil's Pick

Wow, Manny Mota might be unanimous after looking at the numbers.  Those are incredible pinch hitter numbers when you figure in how many at bats he got.

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