(BaseballStL) -- Close your eyes, National League fans. The designated hitter is inevitably coming now that there is an even amount of teams in each league. It hasn’t been agreed to (yet), but that day may be coming soon.
With the Houston Astros joining the American League West, there will be at least one interleague game being played at all times this season. It is no longer a one-time spectacle, but rather an everyday occurrence.
It’s no secret that AL teams are built with offense more in mind. An NL team is likely inserting a utility player, signed with the intent to be a pinch hitter, into the lineup with the DH while the AL team gets to insert a player it specifically signed as a DH.
The AL can do so much more with their lineup than the NL teams. It’s a reason why the AL has dominated the NL by going 1,120-895 since 2005.
There are countless reasons why the DH creates an unfair playing level so it’s time we all start playing by the same rules.
There is no way the DH goes away with players like Albert Pujols and Mark Teixeira signed to monster deals. The AL teams sign longterm deals with aging stars because these players will still be able to provide some value as a DH.
For example, St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran will not play every game this season. The team will need to conserve his health by giving him an off-day every so often from playing the field. If he was with an AL team, Beltran would be able to contribute more often as a DH because he wouldn’t be running around shagging fly balls on a nightly basis. It extends his career.
The DH-rule hasn’t been adopted into the NL...yet.
Some NL teams will still struggle against the AL once the DH-rule is in effect because their roster isn’t built for the position. These NL teams will need to increase their payroll to sign a DH to their team as well (which won’t happen for some teams).
The Cardinals would have no problem adopting the DH into their lineup. There are already solid options for the Cardinals to use at DH for this year.
Similar to the series finale against the Diamondbacks, the Cardinals could take Beltran out of right field and use him as a DH with Allen Craig in right field and Matt Adams at first base. David Freese could be used as a DH for a game every so often to conserve his health when he returns. Likewise with Matt Holliday.
Those options aren’t too shabby for an NL team.
It’s just sickening to think that there’s a strong possibility pitchers may never have to bat again.