It’s time to add the Designated Hitter in the National League. Yup I just said it. Baseball conservatives, start your shunning, because here we go!
Just recently, Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright has sustained a serious Achilles injury, while batting in the 5th inning. Nope, he wasn't on the pitcher’s mound, where PITCHERS pitch, but in the batter’s box, where BATTERS bat. It’s simple, pitchers shouldn't bat and batters shouldn't pitch. Wainwright is probably done for the season, but no official word has reported yet. Now, why does this matter to you? Because you like Adam Wainwright? Who doesn't!? C’mon his twitter handle is @UncleCharlie50. It doesn't get any better than that. Anyways, this injury is important because it could happen to anybody, especially pitchers, who try to do something they are not used to doing. Pitchers are supposed to pitch, not bat (Sorry Madison Bumgarner).
Max Scherzer has commented about this situation, “I wouldn't be opposed,” he said. “If you look at it from the macro side, who’d people rather see hit – Big Papi or me? Both leagues need to be on the same set of rules. We keep searching for offense. This would be the easiest way to add offense.” Scherzer is 100% right. Baseball needs offense. The easiest way to do that would be adding a Designated Hitter in the National League. Wake up Rob Manfred! Make sure Adding a DH in the NL is right below Put Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame on your to-do list.
Just think of the kids. The future generations. Yea, those guys who will eventually carry on the baseball popularity, those kids. They want to see their favorite player come up to bat and hit a home run! But if they see the pitcher come up and strike out trying to bunt, those same kids will be crying. To summarize my metaphor, baseball needs to standardize the DH in order to raise popularity.
Sorry baseball conservatives, change is good. In 2015, Rob Manfred changed baseball by adding a clock in between innings, and other rules that have been designed to cut out wasted time. And whattya know!? It worked. He’s 1-1 so far in his career as MLB Commissioner, that’s not bad, right?
Take the 2014 Giants as an example. In order to keep Michael Morse’s powerful bat in the lineup, they had to put him in left field. But he was a defensive liability in the outfield, among others like the Diamondbacks’ Mark Trumbo. The Giants had the unfair disadvantage of a weaker defense, just so they could have a big bat in their lineup. Gregor Blanco, strong defensively but weak offensively, was Morse’s counterpart in left field. Adding a DH in the National League would keep it fair during inter-league play, provide an opportunity to have a powerful bat in the lineup all the time, and keep the defense strong so they could win the game. Many teams have this same problem today, like the Cardinals with Matt Adams, the Phillies with Ryan Howard, and also could have been used with ex-Padre Carlos Quentin. The DH would help give guys a rest, and would ultimately prolong careers in the National League.
Baseball needs to adapt, or it will die. Adding the DH would be the most monumental, but also the most successful. It could be incorporated in Fall League, Spring Training, or Minor League games for testing, just like the pitch clock. And trust me, it will work. NL pitchers could focus all their attention on pitching, while also preventing injuries that could be sustained while batting (see Adam Wainwright). It would definitely add offense, that’s always a plus. Pitchers couldn't escape to the NL to boost their stats (see Scherzer, Lester…). Pitchers would come down to earth with their out-of-this-world performances (see Clayton Kershaw), not like I don’t like watching them dominate. Baseball is bound to change, so why hold it back?