Cleat Geeks

Should the National League Adopt The DH?

Pitchers are some of the most valued players in baseball. They spend much of their time on the field trying to get the three outs necessary to get their team up to bat. In MLB’s National League, pitchers are typically called upon to bat at least a few times per game and it’s usually at the bottom of the order. There has been much discussion as to whether or not the National League should adopt the American League’s rule of designating a hitter, known as the DH to bat in place of the pitcher. The National League would greatly benefit from the designated hitter for a few major reasons.

Madison-Bumgarner-home-runThe biggest problems that the National League teams have is that when they face each other, their pitchers have to bat and this is typically not their strong point. Guys like Madison Bumgarner of the San Francisco Giants are a rare exception to that rule. For the most part, pitchers are usually there to just try to get a runner over. If there is more than one runner on base. it is more difficult because they have to try to avoid grounding into a double play. If the pitcher has no runners to get over or the bases fill with two outs, his best hope is to swing and hope that the ball finds fair ground and not a defender’s glove or a catcher’s mitt. Since that does not happen often, he is usually a free out.  Adding a DH to the National League would allow their teams a chance to generate more offense during innings and allow the pitchers to conserve more energy for the innings ahead. As much as one might like Michael Wacha, Jake Arrieta or James Shields to hit anything other than ground balls, odds are it is not going to happen,

MLB: New York Mets-Pitchers and Catchers WorkoutAnother major reason that the National League should add the DH is that it would give more uniformity to the league. There are many people who tune into baseball casually or they might be fans that only keep track of their team in whatever league they are in. This can cause some confusion for those fans because they’ll wonder why the pitcher is hitting in one game but not the other one. Having a DH for both leagues would not only make it easier on the fans but it would make it easy for managers too because there would be one set formula for setting up a batting order regardless of whether they were playing at Great American Ball Park or Minute Maid Park.

In closing, Major League Baseball should consider putting all of their teams on one set of rules as it pertains to hitting. Teams with pitchers who are respectable hitters might not like it but this change would enable their pitchers to do their main job that much better. Fans, players and coaches would be put at ease too because they’d have the satisfaction of knowing that this is how the game would be played going forward.

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