After all of the recent discussions, the MLB needs to make a change. They need to implement a league-wide DH (designated hitter). Since 1973, the American League has had a designated hitter. Yet, the National League never decided to adopt it. This has caused much debate over the years. With this hiatus, it’s time for the MLB to see the problem with this and have the National League adopt the DH. Multiple reasons support this possible rule change. These include:
- Most pitchers don’t practice hitting
- Pitchers traditionally have low averages and are near to an automatic out
- People don’t enjoy watching pitchers hit
- Hitting puts the pitchers at risk
Pitchers don’t practice hitting. Yes, everyone hit when they were in middle school and below. But most pitchers haven’t even hit in hock school. Since pitchers don’t hit in college, they haven’t had an actual at-bat since middle school, and then when they go to the MLB, they would like to focus on what they are being paid for, pitching. This leads to my second point, pitchers have low averages and are close to an automatic out. Since pitchers don’t practice hitting they are going to have low averages and low on-base percentages.
Whenever they come up to bat, they are likely out, which negatively affects their team. Who wants to watch someone with an average below .200 and sometimes below .100? I know I do not want to watch that. Finally, the biggest negative that comes with pitchers hitting is the risk of injury. Not only could they get hit with a baseball, but they could also get injured while running the bases. They could get stepped on, hyperextend something, etc. For instance, Jacob deGrom hyperextended his elbow on an awkward swing.
In 2015, Adam Wainwright tore his Achilles while running out of the batter’s box. In 2016, Steven Wright dives back into second base, hurts his shoulder, and is out for the rest of the season. It’s bad enough that pitchers have arm injuries, but now they have to worry about getting hurt while batting. Yes, there are still players like Bumgarner and Greinke but a large percentage of pitchers are not very good hitters. It’s time, long past time, actually, for the universal DH to be adopted.