Happy New Year! With the 2020 season schedule for baseball fast approaching, it is expected that the Universal DH will be part of the new CBA when everything is agreed on. Some people love the idea and others don’t. Let’s look at the pros and cons of having the Universal DH.
Having the universal DH will open more teams for guys like J.D. Martinez, Giancarlo Stanton, and Nelson Cruz. It also gives the National League teams the option to use their bench players and avoid injury to their pitchers. Having a great bat in the 9th hole helps teams offensively. It’s pretty rare that a pitcher can hit well. The ones that are somewhat decent aren’t decent enough.
American League pitchers do not have to worry about trying to bunt or running the bases if they are lucky to get a hit or walk. Managers wouldn’t have to stress about their pitcher getting hurt because the rule of the game is that a pitcher must bat on National League turf. Sure, it’s kind of enjoyable when a pitcher has to bat but the injury risk is higher if they aren’t used to it.
I really like keeping the older MLB baseball rules as they are. But we need a universal DH. — Perk (@PerkioBaseball) January 4, 2022
Are there any cons? To an American League fan, it’s hard to see the cons of a universal DH. To a National League fan, certain pitchers like Jacob deGrom or Zack Greinke will not be able to hit anymore. Many people think that if the pitcher is on the field, he should also bat. The term “interleague games” wouldn’t be as significant anymore in the sense that the rules are slightly different. Many fans still like to see “small ball” and the only way they really see it come to play is when a pitcher is batting with men on base. Some managers have even used pitchers to pinch run instead of a bench player and the universal DH can sort of take that away.
WHAT ABOUT OHTANI
The only pitcher that will be able to hit and pitch will be Shohei Ohtani. Because of his two-way player status, the Angels can still manage like an NL team pre-universal DH during his starts. In my opinion, two-way player or not, it wouldn’t be fair. We have seen that Ohtani can’t even start every game he is scheduled for because of injury or to prevent injury. Is it cool that a two-way player has entered MLB? Sure. Is it mind-blowing? No. He really can’t play another position. I honestly do not understand the hype when the majority of it is based on his hitting anyway. Regardless of what I think, Ohanti will be the only pitcher that will be allowed to hit if/when there is the universal DH.
Happy 80th Birthday to former big leaguer and Windsor, Ont., native John Upham! 50 years before Shohei Ohtani debuted with the Angels, Upham was a two-way player for the Chicago Cubs. In 1967 and 1968, he made seven pitching appearances and played four games in the OF. pic.twitter.com/Uuz2NTWXP8 — Kevin Glew (@coopincanada) December 29, 2021
I think the universal DH should happen but pitchers who want to hit during their starts should be given the option. Yes, it doesn’t make sense offensive wise but they probably won’t hit in every start. If a team decides to have their pitcher in the lineup, the opposing team isn’t required to do the same. The National League’s “thing” is to have the pitchers hit and act like a “double switch” is complicated. Give them the option to still try to look smart. You will see it won’t be used as often but they know they have the option to play that card. If anything, it can allow the days of every starter batting to fade away slowly rather than cold turkey.
One last thing: the expanded playoffs SHOULD NOT, by any means, be attached to having the universal DH.