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Discussion Starter #21
Also your other assessment is strange, as it's just a 1 year assessment (and therefore could be an outlier) and ignores the fact that teams bring people in as "primary DH" and pay them money for it. No one is going to confuse JD Martinez's primary role on the Red Sox with being Outfield instead of DH. Sure, technically he's listed there on sites that only list "Pitchers" "Infield" and "Outfield" for groupings, but he's not a starter out there.
It's beyond one year, and yes, no one is listed on the roster as DH. But that's not what I mean. People think a team's "Starting Lineup" plays 150 games. They really do not. You'd say JD Martinez primary role is DH, and that's true. But the Red Sox had the same defensive alignment including DH exactly 12 times last year. Martinez DH'd 107, and 9 other guys the other 55. He played 24 games in RF, and 13 games in LF. THAT'S what teams do now. They get 7 guys for 5 positions and rotate off days and DHs. The Yankees used 10 guys at DH, none more than 34 games.

Here's the number of DH's who qualified for the batting title by year:
2019: Cruz, K.Davis
2018: Cruz, K.Davis
2017: Cruz, Encarnacion, Morales and Pujols
2016: Ortiz, V.Martinez, Morales and Pujols
2015: Ortiz, Morales, Fielder, A-Rod, Butler, Gattis

In five seasons, we've gone from 6 to 2. Teams want flexibility to match up more now. Half of the 14 total players listed have retired, two were on the SAME TEAM last year, and while every year everyone gets a year older, pushing guys from from "Primarily Outfielder" to "Primarily DH," it doesn't alter the fact that the high priced "extra hitters" are involved in platoons; MLB is trending younger; and a DH for SP only list doesn't remove them from the game.

Nelson Cruz is the only player in baseball who ONLY was a DH last year. He can still DH for the SP and bat third for the first six innings (which isn't that different from NL baseball. Guys are replaced for defense late all the time; Jose Martinez finished 31 of 79 games started and Tommy Edman finished 52 of 82 games). But it makes every team in baseball decide if you'd rather have Nelson Cruz types hit in innings 1-6 and not be available late, or if you want to save Cruz for off the bench in a bigger spot.

And of course, it makes every team use their bench more. More opportunities per season for more players means more guys show their value and get contract offers. The average AL team only used a pinch hitter 77 times each last year. The NL 255 times. This would basically create 3000 more bench ABs per season. And it's FUN late in close games or extra innings.
 

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Here is your 8 division line up. Win your division and move on. Go Expos!

Boston
NYY
Montreal
Toronto

Cleveland
Pittsburgh
Cincinnati
Detroit

Washington
Baltimore
Philadelphia
NYM

Atlanta
St. Petersburg
Miami
Charlotte

Chicago
Chicago
Milwaukee
Minnesota

Dallas
Houston
Kansas City
St. Louis

San Diego
Los Angeles
San Francisco
Oakland

Arizona
Denver
Seattle
Anaheim
 

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Here is your 8 division line up. Win your division and move on. Go Expos!

Boston
NYY
Montreal
Toronto

Cleveland
Pittsburgh
Cincinnati
Detroit

Washington
Baltimore
Philadelphia
NYM

Atlanta
St. Petersburg
Miami
Charlotte

Chicago
Chicago
Milwaukee
Minnesota

Dallas
Houston
Kansas City
St. Louis

San Diego
Los Angeles
San Francisco
Oakland

Arizona
Denver
Seattle
Anaheim
Understandable division configurations. But, this also poops on the 120 years of NL and AL tradition, so I don’t like it.
 

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It's beyond one year, and yes, no one is listed on the roster as DH. But that's not what I mean. People think a team's "Starting Lineup" plays 150 games. They really do not. You'd say JD Martinez primary role is DH, and that's true. But the Red Sox had the same defensive alignment including DH exactly 12 times last year. Martinez DH'd 107, and 9 other guys the other 55. He played 24 games in RF, and 13 games in LF. THAT'S what teams do now. They get 7 guys for 5 positions and rotate off days and DHs. The Yankees used 10 guys at DH, none more than 34 games.

Here's the number of DH's who qualified for the batting title by year:
2019: Cruz, K.Davis
2018: Cruz, K.Davis
2017: Cruz, Encarnacion, Morales and Pujols
2016: Ortiz, V.Martinez, Morales and Pujols
2015: Ortiz, Morales, Fielder, A-Rod, Butler, Gattis

In five seasons, we've gone from 6 to 2. Teams want flexibility to match up more now. Half of the 14 total players listed have retired, two were on the SAME TEAM last year, and while every year everyone gets a year older, pushing guys from from "Primarily Outfielder" to "Primarily DH," it doesn't alter the fact that the high priced "extra hitters" are involved in platoons; MLB is trending younger; and a DH for SP only list doesn't remove them from the game.

Nelson Cruz is the only player in baseball who ONLY was a DH last year. He can still DH for the SP and bat third for the first six innings (which isn't that different from NL baseball. Guys are replaced for defense late all the time; Jose Martinez finished 31 of 79 games started and Tommy Edman finished 52 of 82 games). But it makes every team in baseball decide if you'd rather have Nelson Cruz types hit in innings 1-6 and not be available late, or if you want to save Cruz for off the bench in a bigger spot.

And of course, it makes every team use their bench more. More opportunities per season for more players means more guys show their value and get contract offers. The average AL team only used a pinch hitter 77 times each last year. The NL 255 times. This would basically create 3000 more bench ABs per season. And it's FUN late in close games or extra innings.
The fact of the matter is that those players are now being used as DH in those games in order to give them a day off from the field but keep their bat in the lineup. The limited use of guys like JD in outfield positions is because the team feels the reward of giving guys like Mookie a "day off" while keeping his bat active outweighs the risk of having JD's fielding out there. The DH position is about maximizing the power you have in the lineup and has nothing to do with defense - teams are just now taking a look at the statistics and realizing they can get away with shuffling the normal DH (who is usually a defensive liability) into the field by playing the oddss a bit better. There is literally no way the AL teams are going to vote to remove that bat from the lineup in favor of getting a SP in there, even if it involves only linking it to the SP position as you've mentioned. If this happened then the teams would be looking for more versatile fielders who can hit okay rather than people who can "screw up very little" in the field while doing damage in the lineup.

If you truly believe something like that will happen then you are a hopeless romantic of a fan dreaming of bygone days that would make your fanhood happier.
 

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I wonder if we could have a DS (designated shooter) in basketball, and like hockey changes lines on the fly, this guy would come on the court as the offense came down...and go off the court as the defense went back.
DH is a corruption of the game. Next thing you know, they'll try for more than one DH in a lineup. You got a bad hitter playing 3rd? No problem; just have 2 DH's.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
There is literally no way the AL teams are going to vote to remove that bat from the lineup in favor of getting a SP in there, even if it involves only linking it to the SP position as you've mentioned.
This makes no sense. For two reasons. Number one, there'd still be a DH. It would just be a different DH rule so the bench gets more PT. AL teams wouldn't be voting to go NL rules, that's NEVER happening. This is merely a compromise.

Number two, the idea that AL teams better off with the DH than without it is limited in scope because when people talk about it, they're comparing each team to THEMSELVES without a DH.

Here's what I mean: Minnesota led MLB in DH production. So they'd be worse if they couldn't hit their DH in the 6th inning or later, right? Naturally, not having Nelson Cruz after the 6th inning would be worse for them than hitting Cruz all game.

HOWEVER, compare that to where Minnesota would be in a league where 15 MORE TEAMS are shopping for DHs. It stands to reason that if the NL adopted the AL DH rule last offseason, Minnesota doesn't get Nelson Cruz to begin with. Minnesota is like 20th in revenue and every NL team with lefty corner OFs would love to have a guy who crushes lefties available to DH: the Cubs (who traded for Castellanos midseason), the Mets (who had Conforto/McNeil/Cano/Nimmo and traded for JD Davis to be a RH bat in LF/3B), the Dodgers who simply horde everyone who rakes, Philadelphia who was using Kingery in the OF).

The poorer AL teams would be far better off voting for something that limits the impact of the DH than drop from 15th to 25th in offense because the NL added the DH rule.
 

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This makes no sense. For two reasons. Number one, there'd still be a DH. It would just be a different DH rule so the bench gets more PT. AL teams wouldn't be voting to go NL rules, that's NEVER happening. This is merely a compromise.

Number two, the idea that AL teams better off with the DH than without it is limited in scope because when people talk about it, they're comparing each team to THEMSELVES without a DH.

Here's what I mean: Minnesota led MLB in DH production. So they'd be worse if they couldn't hit their DH in the 6th inning or later, right? Naturally, not having Nelson Cruz after the 6th inning would be worse for them than hitting Cruz all game.

HOWEVER, compare that to where Minnesota would be in a league where 15 MORE TEAMS are shopping for DHs. It stands to reason that if the NL adopted the AL DH rule last offseason, Minnesota doesn't get Nelson Cruz to begin with. Minnesota is like 20th in revenue and every NL team with lefty corner OFs would love to have a guy who crushes lefties available to DH: the Cubs (who traded for Castellanos midseason), the Mets (who had Conforto/McNeil/Cano/Nimmo and traded for JD Davis to be a RH bat in LF/3B), the Dodgers who simply horde everyone who rakes, Philadelphia who was using Kingery in the OF).

The poorer AL teams would be far better off voting for something that limits the impact of the DH than drop from 15th to 25th in offense because the NL added the DH rule.
I never said it would remove the DH entirely - I said the specific bat of the person who is the DH is important. In the games where JD is DH (I'm sticking with the Sox here because I'm from Boston and know them better than other teams, as an FYI), the Sox want him in the lineup the whole game. When he's not the DH, and it's Mookie instead, they want Mookie's bat in the whole game and also want him to not be in the field. In games where a starting pitcher lasts only 4-6 innings, there's a chance you would get 2 or only even 1 single at bat from that DH.

It doesn't matter if you're platooning or not. Your bench players are typically bench players for a reason. You're also ignoring the fact that if a small market team suddenly needs to compensate for their DH (who might not be the best already) going out earlier in games then they'll sacrificing their offense for that. There would also be nothing preventing the Sox, Yankees, Dodgers, etc. from just signing more people who could fill that role and take it away from the small market teams.


The AL limiting the scope of the DH is a pipe dream. It's part of the game and it's going to stay. The Players Association won't allow it to change, in fact they're pushing to get it fully implemented in the NL as it exists in the AL (MLB rule changes: The universal DH makes sense, and it's time for the National League to make the switch). Why? It allows pitchers to specialize as pitchers and not need to worry about batting and base running strategies. It also allows good batters to extend their careers when they might no longer have it in the field, or batters who have an injury history to not play in the field where they likely get most of their injuries.

Seriously, the only group of actual importance (fans sadly don't count here) that want the DH role limited or removed are NL club owners.
 

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I get in arguments with my friends who are NL fans all the time and they say the DH sucks. I say watching a pitcher hit is an insult to the game. They say there is no strategy which is crap. In the AL you actually have to manage your pitching staff, not just remove them in the 5th inning because their spot int he order is up or worse, watch them flail at 3 pitches and kill a rally.
 

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I’m a biased traditionalist, ‘03, and prefer the National League rules. I’m reminded of Hal Steinbrenner’s complaint a few years ago when one of the Yankee pitchers got injured running the bases, when he said that pitchers shouldn’t have to do that. I laugh every time I think of his complaint. But, I understand both sides of the DH argument.

Having said that, it seems to me that the NL rules require more management of the pitching staff than the AL. Next thing they’ll do is put in some artificial rule like mandating that a pitcher needs to stay in the game for a minimum of 3 batters or something like that.
 

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I’m a biased traditionalist, ‘03, and prefer the National League rules. I’m reminded of Hal Steinbrenner’s complaint a few years ago when one of the Yankee pitchers got injured running the bases, when he said that pitchers shouldn’t have to do that. I laugh every time I think of his complaint. But, I understand both sides of the DH argument.

Having said that, it seems to me that the NL rules require more management of the pitching staff than the AL. Next thing they’ll do is put in some artificial rule like mandating that a pitcher needs to stay in the game for a minimum of 3 batters or something like that.
Great minds can disagree. I think that if pitchers are not going to put in the time to be able to handle a bat and run the bases, then they should not be put in that position. The hitting among pitchers has plummeted over the years and its become a laughing stock. It used to be you could expect a pitcher to hit near .200 but now the bar is probably .125. To me that is ridiculous and a mockery. With the money being pumped into pitchers, why risk them? That is why I think the DH is coming to the NL soon.

Really both sets of rules require management of a staff but I cant stand watching games where a guy throws 4-5 shutout innings and then gets lifted for a PH. (see Rich HIll in the 2017 WS)
 

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Mike Hampton and Carlos Zambrano, where have you gone?
Meh. Exceptions to the rule, obviously, but even they were Punch-and-Judy hitters across the big picture. It is beyond archaic to maintain the NL system. Additionally, the DH rule is wildly popular among the players’ union because of its role in extending some careers.
 

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its too hard for the poor widdle pitchers to hit. lets change the rules
Seriously? That's such archaic belittlement of the actual scenario here. If you're an owner and have $12MM wrapped up for a guy that takes the mound every 5th game do you want to lose him for a significant portion because he's injured running bases, pulls an oblique swinging the bat, breaks a wrist due to HBP, or -insert any other reason here-? It's stupid. When baseball was founded, guys threw every 4 games and because of doubleheaders that often meant every 3 days. They also pitched longer into games. They had more AB, more experience, and some pitchers played other positions. For better or worse the modern game is what it is and having a DH should be part of that. The NL needs to get with the times.
 

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Seriously? That's such archaic belittlement of the actual scenario here. If you're an owner and have $12MM wrapped up for a guy that takes the mound every 5th game do you want to lose him for a significant portion because he's injured running bases, pulls an oblique swinging the bat, breaks a wrist due to HBP, or -insert any other reason here-? It's stupid. When baseball was founded, guys threw every 4 games and because of doubleheaders that often meant every 3 days. They also pitched longer into games. They had more AB, more experience, and some pitchers played other positions. For better or worse the modern game is what it is and having a DH should be part of that. The NL needs to get with the times.
I'm pretty sure at least one pitcher, Babe Ruth, played another position some time...
 

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Great minds can disagree. I think that if pitchers are not going to put in the time to be able to handle a bat and run the bases, then they should not be put in that position. The hitting among pitchers has plummeted over the years and its become a laughing stock. It used to be you could expect a pitcher to hit near .200 but now the bar is probably .125. To me that is ridiculous and a mockery. With the money being pumped into pitchers, why risk them? That is why I think the DH is coming to the NL soon.

Really both sets of rules require management of a staff but I cant stand watching games where a guy throws 4-5 shutout innings and then gets lifted for a PH. (see Rich HIll in the 2017 WS)
Like I said, I understand both sides, and don’t feel that strongly about it anymore. On one hand I get a chuckle out of calls to protect the pitchers from the harm they might do to themselves, but then, you are right. Most of them can be downright comical at the plate. Many can’t even make themselves useful and lay down a damn sacrifice bunt.

Having said that, I actually enjoy watching some of the Mets pitchers hit. deGrom (.200 with 2 HRs), Matz (.228, 1 HR) and Zack Wheeler, although he’s taking his .211 and 1 HR talents to Philadelphia, are at least respectable at the plate. Even Syndergaard, who hit a career worst .092 last year, actually handles the bat pretty well and hit a couple of HRs last year and 6 for his career.

But, I get it. They aren’t DH numbers.
 

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Seriously? That's such archaic belittlement of the actual scenario here. If you're an owner and have $12MM wrapped up for a guy that takes the mound every 5th game do you want to lose him for a significant portion because he's injured running bases, pulls an oblique swinging the bat, breaks a wrist due to HBP, or -insert any other reason here-? It's stupid. When baseball was founded, guys threw every 4 games and because of doubleheaders that often meant every 3 days. They also pitched longer into games. They had more AB, more experience, and some pitchers played other positions. For better or worse the modern game is what it is and having a DH should be part of that. The NL needs to get with the times.
"the times" yeah, the NL needs to baby these players to get with modern times

Kris Bryant got hurt because he slipped on a wet base. If you're the Cubs owner, that's a $16MM investment out for a significant portion of the season because of a wet base.

Obviously, the solution is to eliminate base running. He hits the ball and we automatically put him on 1st base - so that no one gets injured.
 
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