MLB's best and worst benches

Ranking the five best and worst benches across baseball

Updated: August 20, 2013, 3:52 PM ET
By Dan Szymborski | ESPN Insider

Jarrod Dyson Denny Medley/USA TODAY SportsJarrod Dyson -- along with George Kottaras and Miguel Tejada -- has been solid off the bench in 2013.

Baseball's 162-game season has accurately been described as a marathon rather than a sprint. When playing games nearly every day for a six-month period, any team that relies only on Plan A is going to run into problems when something goes awry. Baseball isn't a contact sport in the way football and hockey are, but teams that enter the season assuming all those pretty March depth charts will remain intact are in store for a rude awakening.

Having a Clayton Kershaw or Miguel Cabrera is the best way to make the playoffs. However, those players are few and far between. And when a playoff spot is on the line, one, two or three games in that 162 can be the difference between playing in October or watching with a beer sitting on the couch.

So, which teams this season have gotten the most out of their benches? And which ones have been burned by those secondary players who inevitably will get significant playing time?


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