The big difference in this discussion is whether Mullins can put up enough offense to be a regular. If he can have close to a 350 OBP and be on a pace to score 100 runs as a leadoff hitter he can play center or left.
Having Mullins and Hays is the same outfield helps the defense and therefore the pitchers. Hyde is likely move guys around the outfield, 1B and DH to get everyone playing time.
We have heard a lot of people recently talking about not rushing players. The reasoning for that is you want them to develop and be ready to stay here for good.
Well, what about the opposite (or something that is reasonably the opposite) of that? Why are we taking developed players and trying to find a way to have them play above their capabilities? How many players, throughout history, have been forced to start instead of relieve or forced to have 600 at bats when it should have been 300 at bats and it has cost them their careers? Lots of guys probably could have had longer careers had their organizations used them properly.
But here we are, taking a guy that has value and could stay in the league for a while and we are trying to have him do something he’s not capable of doing. It’s a disservice to Mullins and the team to try to fit him into the mold of a 600 at bat player.
Maybe he can be a poor mans Jerrod Dyson. Not sure he will be quite as good defensively as Dyson has been but he can still be that type of piece...but if you try to force him into something he’s not, he will be out of the game.
Nah, corner outfield defense is not important enough for Mullins to get starts over Stewart, considering how much better Stewart's bat is.
Bring Mullins in as a defensive upgrade in the late innings (probably Mullins to center with Hays to the corner), but Mullins's bat doesn't play as a starting corner outfielder (nor is it good enough to push Hays to the corner).
I do think they will be the rotation, as you say. Matchups, injuries, resting guys, etc..will dictate they do this anyway.
What will be interesting to watch is how long it will be those 6 guys doing the rotation. The health of Hays and Santander, as well as the stamina of Mancini will dictate a lot of that.