As a fan of a National League team, I have grown extremely tired of seeing pitchers going up to bat just to be an automatic out. Sure, you have your guys like Adam Wainwright and Madison Bumgarner. However, for every one of those you have a Bartolo Colon who is absolutely useless at the plate. Sure, you can just make the pitcher bunt everytime he is at the plate. That is only effective when there are runners on base to move over however. It is beyond frustrating when your team has RISP and Matt Garza walks up to the plate with absolutely no ability to make contact with a baseball. Major League Baseball should end the ridiculous split DH rule and bring it over to the National League as well.
All 30 teams are apart of the MLB and are split up in half by the American League and National League. The American League implemented the DH rule in 1973 while the National League did not, and still has not to this day. The American Leagues’ batting average is always higher than the National Leagues’. It has evened out over the past few seasons, but the National League has not had a higher average than the American League since 1972, the year before the DH rule was implemented. So why is the MLB putting National League teams at such a disadvantage?
I get that pitchers are athletes and should be able to at least be competent with a bat in their hands. The fact of the matter is that most of them aren’t and they are typically a free out in the lineup. Also, as a Brewer fan, I saw Chase Anderson miss a huge chunk of the season due to getting hurt swinging a bat while he was having a career season. Jimmy Nelson also hurt himself on the basepath, ending his season as our ace pitcher. As a fan of any team, doesn’t it just piss you off that your pitcher got hurt while batting or baserunning? The Brewers could have made the playoffs with full seasons out of those guys, but they ultimately missed by one game.
Removing pitchers from the batting order does take out some of the offensive strategy that is needed to play in the National League. The use of pinch hitters would go down significantly, as there is typically little need to swap guys in unless due to injury or to offset a matchup. I would say that this is the main reason the DH rule has not been introduced to the NL yet. People do enjoy this aspect of the game and there are many players who are brought in to simply pinch hit, as they excel at it. It would also take out the excitement of a random pitcher crushing a bomb. You can obviously still use a pitcher as a DH however, just as the Giants did with Bumgarner.
To counter that, I would personally find it more entertaining to see David Ortiz walk up to the plate and jack a homerun rather than see a pitcher either strike out or lay down a bunt. It also gives teams an opportunity to use an extra guy who clearly has talent, but just isn’t seeing enough at-bats. Teams shouldn’t be wasting a player who can hit in favor of a pitcher who more than likely doesn’t even want to be up at the plate.