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Will the DH come to the NL in 2012?

May 21, 2010, 10:26 AM EDT

That’s the prediction of Al Yellon of Bleed Cubbie Blue, who looked on aghast as Ubaldo Jimenez cramped up while running the bases in against the Astros last night:

There are millions of dollars invested in pitchers like this,
including Jimenez, who is signed through 2012 with a couple of
relatively inexpensive (for today’s market) club options for 2013 and
2014. And teams don’t want investments like this injured while doing
something that isn’t their primary responsibility — batting or running
the bases.

This is why the designated hitter is, I believe, almost certain to
come to the National League, probably by 2012. It will undoubtedly be a
bargaining chip in the next labor negotiation — the current agreement
expires on December 11, 2011.

I’ve seen this line of reasoning before, but even if I think the DH is going to come to the NL eventually — which I do — it won’t be because of some pitcher injury. It will be because the owners want to get a big financial concession from the players in collective bargaining and, in exchange, they throw the DH — usually a highly-paid roster slot — out there in trade.

I don’t see anything like that on the horizon in 2012.  The primary issues will be the international draft and draft pick slotting, and I don’t think that the players currently hate those things so much that the owners will have to give them the DH in exchange.

As for the pitcher injuries, jeez, man up, get more potassium and have someone massage that crap out after the game.

  1. Fast Eddy - May 21, 2010 at 1:39 PM

    I never said they will do it, but just that they should do it.

  2. 5iveoclock - May 21, 2010 at 2:04 PM

    I can understand not wanting the DH, but is it really something that would reach the level of disgust? As much as we all love the game, it’s just baseball — a fun diversion from things that are truly worthy of disgust.

  3. Jimmy Marlins Fan - May 21, 2010 at 2:06 PM

    please just kill the DH…baseball is a timeless game but doesnt need to be around 4 hours per game
    if you can use a glove, then you dont deserve to bat IMO
    my little cousin is in the pittsburgh organization and through high school, he was a great hitter…but he makes his money pitching…if the pitchers had the chance to hit more in the minors, they would be all the better at helping themselves out in the majors

  4. Daniel - May 21, 2010 at 2:06 PM

    I really don’t understand the people who still think that pitchers should hit. It is not interesting in any fashion to watch a guy put up a .125/.150/.150 line. Automatic outs add nothing to the game, except as a novelty when a terrible hitting pitcher closes his eyes and manages to hit a double over the outfielders’ heads.
    If pitchers were viable hitters in any sense, it would be good. But pitchers are putting up an OPS of .376. That means an automatic sacrifice bunt, pinch hitter, or out. How is that entertaining? Give me another hitter up there, so I can watch a matchup between pitcher/defense and someone who might actually make solid contact.

  5. Luis - May 21, 2010 at 2:07 PM

    Italicized disgust at the prospect of the DH hardly seems a proportionate emotional response, rendering a charge of melodrama pretty damn appropriate. Professor.

  6. baseball god - May 21, 2010 at 2:13 PM

    All you haters and “old school” baseball fans would change your mind in a second once your star ace pitcher fractures their foot running to 1st base on useless sac bunt play.
    There’s a reason why pitchers are called “PITCHERS.” They pitch the ball and that’s the only thing they should be doing. Adding the DH to both leagues is the only fair and wise thing to do.

  7. Daniel - May 21, 2010 at 2:16 PM

    “Degenerated thugfest”? Such hyperbole and disdain for watching people who are really good at something (hitters) try (and actually succeed sometimes!) to accomplish their goals against other people who are really good at something else (pitchers). Man, I love watching pitchers take two fastballs right down the pipe and then feebly whiff at a mediocre breaking pitch! Such variety and caprice!
    If coaches thought it was important enough to develop pitchers’ hitting techniques, I’d be all for it. But they’re not. It’s like throwing the second baseman in relief for an inning, just for variety. Sure, he’ll fail most of the time, but who knows what zany things might happen!

  8. Jonny5 - May 21, 2010 at 3:09 PM

    Yes, so catchers should only catch, fielders only field balls. That makes no sense. How about this. They’re all called baseball players ,so let them all play ball for gods sake. Man you don’t know what your missing when the guy before the pitcher gets intentionally walked (to get to the “easy out”), then the pitcher stands in and gets walked unintentionally. Or the pitcher hits a double and scores the guy who was walked before him. Stuff like that makes the game so much more worth it. It’s the intangibles that do it for me. I’ll never forget when CC sabathia (brewers) faced Myers, who had a couple hits btw, who stood in there and actually got walked, Just for Shane victorino to come in and hit a grand slam. Stuff like that is priceless. And Joe Blanton hitting a home run in the WS.. What? you can’t want stuff like that to go away. BTW Blanton had more hits than Carlos Pena and Longoria did in that WS.

  9. Alex - May 21, 2010 at 3:26 PM

    Ron, you have exposed your simplemindedness. Some of us enjoy the strategy involved in working around a weakness in the team, and having to figure out when to double switch, etc. You can go enjoy your “see ball, hit ball” inanity of Yankees/Red Sox, but let me enjoy my game. It’s clear you don’t enjoy the pure beauty of the game the way it’s supposed to be played.

  10. Fast Eddy - May 21, 2010 at 5:17 PM

    bg.. Please stay in the A-L. Many pitchers are good hitters too. Some like Zambrano are used as pinch hitters. Should they not be allowed to pinch hit because they are PITCHERS? Your argument makes no sense, as other position players hit, and so should pitchers. Learn more about the game before you comment.

  11. scatterbrian - May 21, 2010 at 5:42 PM

    Obviously you meant “if you *can’t* use a glove, then you dont deserve to bat”
    Why isn’t the opposite valid, where if you can’t use a bat, then you don’t deserve to pitch?

  12. scatterbrian - May 21, 2010 at 5:55 PM

    Pitchers are used as pinch-hitters because teams insist on carrying 13 pitchers. They aren’t in there because they are good, it’s because managers are given fewer pinch-hitters.
    Further, with teams carrying 13 pitchers, managers really aren’t grappling with the decision of whether or not to leave in his starter. In most cases, they go to the bullpen. I’ve been looking specifically at this aspect for the last few years, and unless they are true ace pitchers, most of the time they’re getting pulled for one of the 8 arms available. Anti-DH people will cling to the idea of this strategy to the bitter end, when in reality it just isn’t that relevant anymore.

  13. Im Out - May 21, 2010 at 8:21 PM

    Baseball is like chess. There is so much thinking that goes into every action. The DH dumbs down the sport. No more double switches. What about in a close game and the pitcher spot comes up to bat. If your pitcher is throwing a good game, its a very difficult decision to make. DH maybe a caveman invented it. All you do is grunt and swing.

  14. Will - May 24, 2010 at 2:40 PM

    As much as I hate to agree with Old Gator, I agree with Old Gator. The first NL game with a DH is the last game I watch. No more tickets, no more highly profitable beer, no more merchandise.
    If we have the DH because our delicate little flowers can’t possibly be expected to have an effective at bat, or run the bases, why not take it to the logical extent that Jonny5 mentions. Field offensive and defensive teams. Who wants to see David Ortiz play first? Or run the bases, for that matter? Let’s have fielders that only specialize in making the great plays. Let’s have designated runners, scrawny little wiry guys that can sprint like the dickens. Let’s have real designated hitters who do nothing but club the stuffing out of the ball!

  15. MVD - May 26, 2010 at 4:13 AM

    Unless the DH position experiences a resurgence soon, I dont see how it will be an effective bargaining chip, or beneficial to all 30 teams. Look how many AL teams are not even employing a full-time DH. Look how many DH-potential players, ie Gary Sheffield, Carlos Delgado, Jermaine Dye, are still unemployed. Look how many NL pitchers are hitting better than some AL DH squads. Is the position even improving offense in the AL anymore? It may be just as likely that the experiment is concluded a failure.

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