The NL Needs the DH, And May Finally Get It

Today we’re starting with a bunch of numbers. Ready? Duck! Last season, third basemen hit .260/.318/.420. They were good for a wOBA of .319 and a wRC+ of 101. Outfielders were slightly better. They hit .260/.325/.418, for a wOBA of .322 and a wRC+ of 103. First basemen were even better! They collectively hit .259/.336/.444, a .014 improvement in wOBA and 10-point jump in wRC+ over outfielders. Know who was even better? Pitchers! Just kidding, they were horrible!

Last season, pitchers hit .131/.158/.168. That’s a wOBA of Are You Kidding Me? and a wRC+ of Nope. It’s quite striking to look at the effectiveness of pitchers hitting compared to other positions. It’s a bit like taping your first grader’s artwork up next to a painting in the Louvre. One is the work of a world-renowned artist and the other is a nice try by someone who has no real business facing that kind of competition and quite possibly made an accident in their pants during production.

Pitchers have never been good hitters. This makes the tweet sent out by Derrick Goold of the St.Louis Post-Dispatch a few days ago good news. Goold quoted Cardinals GM John Mozeliak as saying there is “more momentum” to add the DH to the National League.

This almost makes too much sense. There are a few exceptions, of course, but pitching is too different a skill from batting, and thus too difficult to do well without devoting one’s entire energies to it. As a result, most pitchers are awful hitters and most plate appearances from pitchers result in easy outs. Pitchers strike out 38% of the time and walk less than 3%. That’s a ratio of Gah!:Ugh! Last season, pitchers hit 25 homers, which probably doesn’t sound that bad until I tell you that it took them 5,406 plate appearances to do it. How many homers do you think a goat would hit in 5,406 plate appearances? I imagine it would be within 25 of how many the pitchers hit, and pitchers, I remind you, have opposable thumbs.

Pitchers’ hitting stats are gallows-humor funny in the same sort of way that as watching Bartolo Colon hit makes you think, “Hey there’s a guy on TV who has the same hitting skills as I do buuurp.” It’s almost like putting a 43-year-old librarian at running back for the Patriots, or asking some moderately-in-shape weekend warrior bro to play point guard for the Cavs. It might work once or twice, but mostly it’s going to fail and be awful.

Perhaps the strangest thing of all is that baseball persists in allowing this to continue. It’s almost like a sport where eight of the nine spots in the batting order are occupied by professional hitters and the last one is used by any player at random plucked from a Class-A roster. We fans pay for the full nine, but we only get eight. Also, from the player’s perspective, it can’t be a fun time. You always hear the phrase “putting players in position to succeed” and forcing pitchers to would seem to qualify as the opposite of that. This is putting players in a position to fail and look silly doing so. I’m not in a position to do so, but I would love to see a poll of what National League pitchers really think about having to bat. I’m sure some enjoy it, but I’m equally sure some are as enthusiastic about doing it as I am about watching them do it.

If baseball decided to allow the DH in the National League, most of the 5,406 plate appearances that went to pitchers in 2015 would instead go to DHs. Given that many plate appearances, the average DH would hit 216 home runs — or, 191 more home runs than the pitchers do currently. That a lot of home runs to give away, especially for a sport in need of additional offense.

The funny thing is, this isn’t a new problem. It’s not like pitchers have ever been any good at hitting. Back in 2013, I compiled the OPSs that pitchers produced while hitting for every decade going back to 1913. The highest OPS that pitchers put up in those semi-randomly selected 11 seasons was .506, back in 1923. The .396 mark recorded by pitchers in 2003 represented their highest collective OPS since 1953. The sport can only put up with numbers like that for so long. And by “so long” I mean over a century.

But just as improvements to in-game umpiring and instant replay have come, so too will the DH to the National League. Perhaps the most clear way to see this is to look at it this way: imagine which is more likely to occur, the National League getting the DH or the American League giving it up entirely. And in case I’m not being entirely clear, the AL will get a second DH before it gives up the first one. The players wouldn’t allow it, and honestly, the league wouldn’t like it either. Homers bring the fans, and with the way strikeouts have gone up and up, and the game has tilted back towards the pitcher again, making a move to lessen offense is as unlikely as a move to increase offense is likely.

The DH has been around for over 40 years, but to some people it’s still an abomination. That’s fine to think that way. Football used to have 11 guys who played both offense and defense. It doesn’t now. Specialization leads to better play and better competition. That’s really the bottom line, and though we may fight it, whatever allows for improvement on the field will be the way the sport ultimately turns, whether it’s the forward pass in football, helmets in hockey, or the DH.

The current collective bargaining agreement between baseball and the players’ union expires after this 2016 season, so don’t expect anything to happen until then, but given all the above, maybe after over 100 years baseball has finally noticed pitchers can’t hit.



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Brent Henry
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Brent Henry
4 months 11 days ago

I’ve only read the first two paragraphs and I’m giggling like a school boy.

Richie
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Richie
4 months 11 days ago

Other than that, at least for his wife’s sake, I sure hope Matthew’s kids actually are potty-trained by the 1st grade.

Shirtless Bartolo Colon
Member
4 months 10 days ago

Manny Ramirez wasn’t potty trained until he made the majors, and he did just fine.

#BartoloSaysNoDH

Richie
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Richie
4 months 11 days ago

Heretic. Lucky for you I’m too lazy to collect firewood.

Hurtlocker
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Hurtlocker
4 months 10 days ago

Now go away or I will taunt you a second time

Richie
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Richie
4 months 11 days ago

15 more DHs will put a few extra $$$ into the players’ collective pocket. So the next CBA will be a good opportunity to DH up the NL in return for some small player-side concession.

John Galt
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John Galt
4 months 11 days ago

I’m not so sure that is the case. It could be argued that NL budgets will not change and, therefore, a portion of the budget would simply be reallocated to the DH’s.

BenRevereDoesSteroids
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BenRevereDoesSteroids
4 months 10 days ago

I’ve never understood why people think this. Adding the DH to the NL wouldn’t add to the number of above average hitters in the league. Its not like Chris Davis is going to get a 190 million dollar contact instead of a 160 million dollar one, or teams are going to give Kila Ka’aihue a 30 million dollar deal because there are 15 extra DHs. Especially with the luxury tax.

aguinness
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aguinness
4 months 10 days ago

So your contention is that while the supply of above average hitters in the league won’t change, but the number of suitors and the demand will rise, the cost of the supply will not change? What tenet of economics does this belong to?

Bounty
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Bounty
4 months 10 days ago

Except the NL already has 25 man rosters and would need to drop some other (likely) infielder if they want a “DH” therefore lowering demand for other infielders with better defense or speed than offense.

aguinness
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aguinness
4 months 10 days ago

Bounty: whatever the dynamics is with other roster spots, I think it’s safe to assume that more money would be spent on DHs, particularly the better ones. Take David Ortiz, for example. His contracts, in general, were fairly team friendly for the Red Sox. Surely over the past 15 years if the NL had the DH, there would have been many more suitors and he would have played the market and made more money.

Even taking into account the back of roster players (most likely veterans minimum or pre-arb players), there would be more money spent overall if the DH were added to the NL.

BenRevereDoesSteroids
Member
BenRevereDoesSteroids
4 months 10 days ago

I don’t know if it meets any tenets of economics, but it seems sensible from a business standpoint to me. There are several teams in the AL at any given time that don’t even bother having a dedicated DH, because it just isn’t even worth trying to find one. Unless you think that every team in the NL is going to be lining up to hand out their version of the Billy Butler contract, or they will be willing to pay 15 million dollars per win on a DH type player when they could be spending that money elsewhere.

Take the Pirates for example. They don’t even deem it necessary to pay the money to have an above average at 1B right now. Will adding a DH to their team really increase their urgency to pay for another above average hitter? If they are willing to hand out a 100 million dollar contract for a DH, why weren’t they will do do that for any other position?

aguinness
Member
aguinness
4 months 10 days ago

Ben: surely not every team will devote a large sum to a DH, but just as surely some will. I can easily see teams such as the Dodgers and Cubs at some point paying money for a DH. And there is no doubt that there will be teams that try to use the DH to their advantage.

And they don’t need to dole out $100 million contracts for DHs. As you note, Butler landed a nice contract from the A’s, so even if we assume that just two teams match Butler’s outlay, two others make big splashes at DH and two others use the DH to get a player they can rotate with another (at 1B, for instance), then that’s adding six fat deals right there. Not to mention that the price might increase since whatever teams take this approach are newly added to the AL teams already paying for DH.

troybruno
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Member
troybruno
4 months 10 days ago

I personally don’t buy the more $$ argument, but I concede it is tricky and there are a lot of variables to consider…

However, it does seem that anyone making the “more $$” argument is ALSO implicitly arguing that marginal run creation is definitively paid at a much higher FA rate than marginal run prevention. Yes, I am aware this is a common assertion / point of contention on the site’s comments.

The rosters are staying put at 25 and it makes logical sense that the NL DH replaces either a defensive bench player or bullpen arm (both run prevention.) Further, it seems logical that the market is at least efficient enough that if there were big run creation opportunities being wasted (FAs or minors) they would make it onto rosters over the existing marginal run prevention. So I think we can just broadly assume that the marginal value of the added DHs in run creation with a DH would be similar to the marginal value of run prevention in the world without a DH (broad assumption.)

Sooooo… to assert that this increases the total pool of $$ you’d have to also assert that the marginal run creation is paid at a much higher rate than the run prevention you are letting go… right?

PurpMtnMagesty
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PurpMtnMagesty
4 months 10 days ago

@aguinness, what tenent of economics does using the best DH of all time as a general example to project to all 32 teams come from? Without modifying the 25-man roster, all adding a DH will do is keep aging veteran power-types in the league while pushing athletic utility fielders out. Makes the rich players richer, and poor players poorer

dirtdog
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dirtdog
4 months 10 days ago

Correct me if Im wrong here, but dont most AL teams no longer employ a true DH in the sense of David Ortiz or Nelson Cruz and tend to have a utility player or aging “power bat off the bench” type fit that role on a roation. most NL teams already employ the best utility player and aging power bat off the bench type they can find. So while basic tenets of econ state the prices of such players will rise, its not like these types of players are so highly regarded or difficult to find that its going to drastically reconfigure how and NL team has to construct its payroll
also…booo no DH in the NL! keep the leagues different I like the dynamic it has in how a line up is constructed and how a manager has to use switches, double switches and handle a bull pen.

Bryon
Member
Bryon
4 months 10 days ago

It would absolutely increase payroll in the NL creating another everyday position. Some teams like KC, Boston, Det etc. in the AL have true designatd hitters playing the field only in special situations. Other teams platoon the DH with other position players. But either way it does create the incentive to hold at least 1 more average or above average hitter on the roster who will in all likelihood command more money than the least used journeymen reliever or utility infielder.

Metsox
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Metsox
4 months 11 days ago

“The sport can only put up with numbers like that for so long. And by “so long” I mean over a century.”

Good line

Blez007
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Member
4 months 11 days ago

This makes me sad. This odd wrinkle between the two leagues is a big part of what made me fall in love with baseball in the first place.

And there would be a big loss of many strategic elements of the game.

I love having the DH in the AL and keeping sluggers in the game when they are aging. And I love analyzing PHing decisions by managers in NL games.

Please, please, please, just leave this beautiful game the way it is.

Jimbo
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Member
Jimbo
4 months 11 days ago

Agreed. This article doesn’t even acknowledge the arguments against the DH, he just beats the MORE OFFENSE BETTER drum. As you mention, I enjoy the difference between leagues and the strategic element introduced. I also find watching pitchers hit entertaining and cool when they do succeed (or can find sustained success).

I really really hope this doesn’t move forward.

Dooduh
Member
Dooduh
4 months 10 days ago

Exactly. If it’s purely about “more offense” as the article implies, then let’s implement another DH for a 2nd spot in the order.

As others have said, whether you are pro-DH or anti-DH, there is something in the sport for you, and having that difference is part of the charm of the sport right now, similar to having 30 unique ballparks. It’s all part of what makes the sport so interesting.

jfree
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jfree
4 months 10 days ago

I’m OK with DH in the NL – as long as every time a pitcher switch is made a batter switch must be made too.

bostnboy3
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bostnboy3
4 months 11 days ago

The fact that the two leagues play by completely different rules is literally retarded. It would be like the AFC requiring Quarterbacks to also play linebacker.

Jimbo
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Member
Jimbo
4 months 11 days ago

“Completely different rules” = DH vs. no DH. It’s still baseball. In my opinion this difference alone isn’t really a huge deal. And look, at the very least the fact that they’re different is generating this discussion right now, which is interest and attention paid to the sport, which is a good thing.

bostnboy3
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bostnboy3
4 months 11 days ago

I don’t think the fangraphs demographic needs incentive to talk and think about baseball. We are all here in January after all.

Jimbo
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Member
Jimbo
4 months 11 days ago

This is also big topic of discussion outside the Fangraphs community. I meant that more broadly.

HappyFunBall
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HappyFunBall
4 months 10 days ago

By that logic you would be in favor of raising Adolph Hitler’s zombie corpse from the grave and installing him as commissioner of baseball because LOOK! IT’S GENERATING DISCUSSION!

The notion that arguing about entirely illogical rule constructs and results is somehow a good thing is supposed to be the peculiar purview of the college football fan. Let’s not do that here, m’kay?

*SMH*

Jimbo
Member
Member
Jimbo
4 months 10 days ago

No

Death to Flying Things
Member
Death to Flying Things
4 months 10 days ago

Wait half a sec. Picturing Johnny Manziel playing linebacker… Can we at least consider this?

John Elway
Member
4 months 10 days ago

Hay, line up JJ Watt at tight end and send him on his way. End up being Johnny Deflated Football.

Just neighing.

Nats Fan
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Nats Fan
4 months 10 days ago

you are retarded!

Baron Samedi
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Baron Samedi
4 months 11 days ago

You must be a hell of a checkers player.

Bigperm8645
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Bigperm8645
4 months 10 days ago

One example of recent change: Instant Replay. Did that ruin the game? No, it made it better and more correct.

And how does it ruin strategy? Do AL Managers not manage their teams? Can they not pinch hit for their hitters?

So so so so so sick of watching a pitcher bat. It takes me right out of the game, meaning I’ll change the channel and may or may not return to the game.

Hurtlocker
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Hurtlocker
4 months 10 days ago

I also agree, no DH in the NL. The more offense argument is just getting old. It doesn’t matter that the pitchers can’t hit, it’s part of baseball strategy.

Tom Dooley
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Tom Dooley
4 months 10 days ago

As if the “it’s strategic” argument is novel.

The vast majority of pinch-hitting decisions involve no controversial decisions at all. They’re obvious moves made obviously. And they’re made about untalented players, which is antithetical to everything that is entertaining about baseball.

Pirate Luke
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Pirate Luke
4 months 10 days ago

There is no such thing as an untalented MLB ball player. Less talented than their counterparts sure, but untalented…that’s a farce.

realitypolice
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realitypolice
4 months 11 days ago

On behalf of all fans of teams deploying Matt Kemp as an outfielder on a contract that extends beyond 2016, oh dear god, please make this happen.

ballsteidhe
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ballsteidhe
4 months 10 days ago

Kemp? Come on…we can take him.
We all know Hanley is the real dealbreaker here.

Fernando
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Fernando
4 months 10 days ago

So…Preller made a bad choice to take on Kemp’s contract, fully aware that he is a terrible fielder, so now we should change the rules to bail him out?

burgh_fan
Member
burgh_fan
4 months 11 days ago

This article is basically everything I hate about the DH debate. It is framed as an article that is supposed to support the use of a DH but it makes zero attempt to support that position and instead the entirety of it is spent saying why pitchers shouldn’t hit.

How does the fact pitchers are bad at hitting and probably shouldn’t do it (something I entirely support) mean there should be a DH (something I don’t support)? What am I missing that makes that conclusion so apparent to everyone?

HappyFunBall
Member
HappyFunBall
4 months 11 days ago

You mean other than “let’s replace the guys that can’t hit with guys who can”?

I suppose there may very well be less obvious remedies that seek to preserve the strategic element of the double switch, or the “it’s mind-bogglingly stupid and that’s why I love it” nature of different rules for different leagues … but yeah, the DH seems like a pretty obvious first conclusion

Dooduh
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Dooduh
4 months 10 days ago

You haven’t made the case that “more offense” is better.

Jason B
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Jason B
4 months 10 days ago

In that case why not bat nine pitchers? Pitchers duels aplenty! ERA records tumbling! 0-0 scores until the 17th!

Tom Dooley
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Tom Dooley
4 months 10 days ago

That’s because it’s self-evident. Baseball is about great players playing greatly.

The preference for lower run-scoring environments is predicated on great pitching and defense overcoming the greatness of hitters. It’s a showcase of one amazing skill overpowering another amazing skill.

Pitchers aren’t amazingly skilled hitters. They suck. They are overwhelmed even by bad pitchers.

chuckb
Member
chuckb
4 months 10 days ago

It’s not even necessarily about more offense. It’s about forcing someone who is completely inept at a task to perform that task. Why don’t we mandate that a position player pitch for an inning? Because they suck and would be terrible at it.

When I watch a baseball game, or any sporting event for that matter, I want to see skilled athletes doing things ordinary people can’t do. There’s a reason we pay upwards of $75 or $100 to go to concerts and nothing to watch people sing karaoke. Baseball is just more entertaining when there aren’t automatic outs every 3rd inning. And, frankly, that makes it more challenging for the pitching and defense as well.

Dooduh
Member
Dooduh
4 months 10 days ago

TomDooley, I say this at the risk of sounding dismissive, but there is a lot more to the game than the over-simplification you portray.

Many people find it an essential part of the game that NL managers must make a cost-benefit analysis whenever their pitcher’s spot in the order approaches. And when deciding to PH for the pitcher, whether or not to keep the PHer in the game or risk burning him. To many, that is an essential part of the game and why AL baseball bores a lot of people.

We know that pitchers are by and large weak spots in the order and accept that as part of the game. None of which is to mention how fun it is and the competitive advantage that comes from teams that have SPs who can handle the bat!

And also of the fun machinations that occur whenever AL teams visit NL parks and vice versa! That’s a fun twist in the game that it didn’t even have before inter-league play began.

WinOneForBobKipper
Member
WinOneForBobKipper
4 months 10 days ago

But where does that logic end? Why not let teams play their best 9 hitters and their best 9 fielders, with unlimited pinch runners. Let’s replace the guys that can’t field with the guys who can, and the guys who can’t run with the guys who can.

Famous Mortimer
Member
Member
4 months 10 days ago

A million times this. Why stop at the DH? Designated fielders! Designated base-runners!

Anonymous
Member
Anonymous
4 months 10 days ago

I use this exact argument to infuriate my friends. I recognize the logical fallacy, but it’s still so awesome to trot out the phrase ‘designated fielder’.

No one wants to see pitchers hit? That’s interesting because no one wants to see a skinny little glove-first shortstop hit either.

Tom Dooley
Member
Tom Dooley
4 months 10 days ago

It ends at pitchers. Hope this helps.

WinOneForBobKipper
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WinOneForBobKipper
4 months 10 days ago

Tom Dooley, why does it end at pitchers? What infuriates me about the pro-DH crowd is that they act as though their personal preference (a perfectly reasonable one) is some obvious, irrefutable truth. If the principle behind it is “pitchers are bad at hitting so they shouldn’t have to hit”, then why shouldn’t that extend to people who are bad at running or fielding? You don’t like watching pitchers hit, I like the tradition and strategy of having pitchers in the lineup. Both are fine preferences, but there’s no point that wins the argument.

chuckb
Member
chuckb
4 months 10 days ago

If we’re just going to trot out logical fallacies, why not just require the team to play the entire game with the same 9 they started the game with?

And, it’s silly to get infuriated by this. There are reasonable opinions on both sides. If you get infuriated by this, you should step away. It’s really not as important as you’re making it.

Petey Bienel
Member
Petey Bienel
4 months 10 days ago

how about a neutral decision rule to establish a limit? Something like a DH for any position where the difference between position’s average OPS and the next lowest OPS is more than 10x the difference between the next pair of positions?

Pitchers simply are different from all other offensive players. The gap between SS and CF, or SS and C, is trivial when compared to the pitcher – SS (CF, C) difference. That’s why it isn’t a slippery slope argument. It is less absurd to treat different things differently than it is to treat them the same.

jruby
Member
Member
jruby
4 months 11 days ago

Well… umm… ok, I’ll just go ahead and ask it:

What are you proposing then? An 8-man line-up? An extra position player?

The positions “pitchers shouldn’t hit” and “there shouldn’t be a DH” seem mutually exclusive, unless I’m missing something.

alkalinesolo
Member
alkalinesolo
4 months 10 days ago

“Pitchers shouldn’t hit” therefore, it’s up to the manager to lessen the impact of a pitcher hitting as much as possible. Put a guy in the 8 hole that doesn’t take many walks, bunt with your pitcher when the time calls for it, pinch hit if you want. Make your pitcher take every pitch and hope he gets lucky with a walk, or let him swing away and maybe he gets lucky and drives one to the gap.

That is a lot more interesting than “oh here comes a guy batting .220 because we didn’t want someone batting .100 up there”

Pirate Luke
Member
Pirate Luke
4 months 10 days ago

Fransico Liriano had a 5 start stretch last year where he drove in 7 runs. It was awesome. Exciting. Something else to talk about over the course of 162 games.

Baron Samedi
Member
Baron Samedi
4 months 11 days ago

YOU LITERALLY ANSWER YOUR OWN QUESTION IN YOUR SECOND SENTENCE, SIR

drewcorb
Member
drewcorb
4 months 10 days ago

I think he’s suggesting that the article is incomplete. The article clearly states why pitchers shouldn’t hit, but doesn’t actually analyze if the DH is a quality alternative. The substitution rules that are associated with the DH are kind of weird and that is one thing that I don’t like about it. Even if the author doesn’t think any of the arguments against the DH are convincing, I think he makes the article less persuasive by neglecting them completely (at least in my opinion).

jdbolick
Member
Member
4 months 11 days ago

Neither league needs a D.H. Both should shrink to a lineup featuring the eight position players.

Riggs Stephenson
Member
Riggs Stephenson
4 months 11 days ago

This article establishes that pitchers are not good at hitting. That is something everyone who has watched baseball at least once already knows. Yet it fails to address any of the arguments for pitchers hitting (none of which are that pitchers are good at hitting), such as lineup strategy, the benefits of the differences between leagues, etc.

burts_beads
Member
Member
burts_beads
4 months 11 days ago

Some players really suck at fielding, so bad that they’re only allowed to hit. So that’s ok though?

Bigperm8645
Member
Bigperm8645
4 months 10 days ago

Everybody knows about this “line-up strategy” without the DH. It’s the classic anti-DH argument. I ask, do AL Managers not do anything? They just set a lineup and that’s it? I don’t find it impressive at all a Pitcher batting, no matter the “strategy” behind it.

With inter-league, what(except for the DH) is the difference between the leagues? Who is just a National League fan?

Pitchers suck at hitting. It’s embarrassing to watch. It’s no fun as a spectator. So let’s keep it, eh?

TKDC
Member
Member
TKDC
4 months 10 days ago

You would seem like a lot less of a smarmy ass if you limited your rhetorical questions to 1-2 per post, wouldn’t you?

Mr. Jones
Member
4 months 10 days ago

This whole argument about the “added strategy” for managers in the NL is completely overblown. I’d argue that the AL manager’s decision on when to pull his pitcher is much more difficult, since he always has to find that sweet spot between effectiveness and ineffectiveness with his pitcher, whereas in the NL this decision is often times avoided entirely by the simplicity of the decision to pinch hit for the pitcher. Adding an easy decision (which it is, likely 90+% of the time) doesn’t make things more difficult overall for the NL manager, it makes them easier.

Fernando
Member
Fernando
4 months 10 days ago

Mr. Jones, that is a load of nonsense. In the AL a manager only has one factor to consider (does my pitcher still have it?), whereas in the NL there are multiple factors that are often times conflicting. (I.e., my pitcher’s doing great but we need a run and his spot is up.)

Pirate Luke
Member
Pirate Luke
4 months 10 days ago

Fransico Liriano had a 5 start stretch last year where he drove in 7 runs. It was awesome. Exciting. Something else to talk about over the course of 162 games.

I reply failed above.

Pirate Luke
Member
Pirate Luke
4 months 10 days ago

Mr. Jones, a load of nonsense indeed. An AL manager never has to get out of his comfort zone and leave a scuffling guy out there to get the third out because he’s due up next inning and will be pinch hit for.

Pirate Luke
Member
Pirate Luke
4 months 10 days ago

AL manager in a 15 inning game, “I’ve got 3/4’s of the bench left”

NL manager in a 15 inning game, “Why the hell is my catcher playing third base?”

Mr. Jones
Member
4 months 10 days ago

Thanks for the asinine “points,” Luke. I think you furthered my argument.

Pirate Luke
Member
Pirate Luke
4 months 10 days ago

Your point being that an al manager considering one singular factor makes his job more difficult than his NL counterpart needing to consider multiple factors when making the same decision. Yeaaaah, I proved your awesome point. Whatever you need to tell yourself man.

Mr. Jones
Member
4 months 10 days ago

I’m not sure you get it. Adding factors doesn’t have to make a decision more difficult. In a lot of cases, like this one, the extra factors make the decision easier.

Pirate Luke
Member
Pirate Luke
4 months 10 days ago

I’m not sure you’ve ever watched NL baseball. Sure the additional factors sometimes lead to only obvious decisions to be made (SP through 7, 100+ pitches, due to leadoff) but, it’s far from typical. Often there is the case of the SP due up after 6 and 90 pitches, in a close game…do you bat him so he can go out for the 7th also, PH to boost offense and turn to the bullpen, etc. etc. etc.

These decisions add to the enjoyment of being a fan. You get to second guess the manager and debate with other fans what he should have done. Local talk radio the day after a cruising SP gets pulled for a PH after 90 pitches only to have the bullpen blow his lead is great. Just for the range of opinions and debate that it inspires.

It’s way more nuanced and at times more difficult than pulling the SP when it effects nothing else at all other than going from the SP to the bullpen.

Mr. Jones
Member
4 months 9 days ago

There’s no talking sense into someone like you. I tried. If you actually read my post, I never said the AL manager’s job is more difficult, just that the decision of when to pull his pitcher is. In truth, being a manager is much more about actually managing the people (players) on the team than in-game strategy, which in baseball is mostly straightforward. I don’t care about your local talk shows and the opinions of idiots who don’t know the numbers second-guessing these moves. That’s completely irrelevant to the point I’m making and just shows that you’re a biased NL fan that doesn’t want to let go of the NL’s antiquated rules.

Pirate Luke
Member
Pirate Luke
4 months 9 days ago

Classic sign of a weak argument, move the goal posts on what you said and\or misrepresent replies made to your argument. You did say an AL Managers job in regards to pitching changes IS more difficult. I only replied to regarding the specific AL\NL managers when it comes to “pitching changes” but, now you claim that I arguing that NL managers “entire” job is harder. Not what I said.

I totally agree that in truth the biggest part of a managers job is managing people. But we weren’t talking about that now were we.

I’m pretty sure that MLB and their teams are pretty darn concerned about the “opinion of idiots” considering these people are also known as fans. You know, the people that follow the game and keep the pockets of those in the game lined with fat stacks of cash.

Lastly, you didn’t “try” to do anything. You said the same thing over and over again and decided that anything to the contrary was “asinine”.

You’re right, I’m a biased NL fan. Also, totally irrelevant to the differences in strategy between league managers in regards to pitching changes.

The Bucs played an interleague game last year or the year before where the opponent had a 3 man bench. Because in the AL, you don’t need a bench other than for days off for guys. NL ball, the bench can be a pretty big factor. Not everyday of course but, there is always that potential.

TKDC
Member
Member
TKDC
4 months 10 days ago

To me, it might be a different story if pitchers were universally just as awful at hitting. The 43-year-old librarian playing running back is a horrible analogy. Literally every one of them would fail just as miserably. The spread in talent among pitchers is vast.

Tom Dooley
Member
Tom Dooley
4 months 10 days ago

such as lineup strategy, the benefits of the differences between leagues, etc.

One of the arguments against the DH *depends* on the existence of the DH? That’s clever.

chuckb
Member
chuckb
4 months 10 days ago

The “strategy” argument really means, “more bunting.” What’s good about this? Bunting is almost always a bad strategy unless your hitter is terrible. Maybe a manager will, every now and then, get really inventive and try a hit and run — again, almost always, a bad strategy.

I fail to see any benefits to having different rules between leagues. Some have noted that it’s unique and I guess they like that. Ok. It certainly makes the World Series worse. It is unique, however. That doesn’t make it better, in my view.

majnun
Member
majnun
4 months 11 days ago

I say let designated hitters bat for all positions. All glove shortstops are no fun to watch either. Let a hitter hit instead! Same with defensive center fielders. Catchers too. Get the best framer you can get and let a Real Hitter hit.

Yeehah! Wooo! Dingers! Maybe the designated hitters can have substitutes when there is a platoon disadvantage as well.

Or maybe we can just have the same designated hitter bat for every position. Then the managers wouldn’t have to make any decisions at all!

Big Daddy V
Member
Big Daddy V
4 months 11 days ago

I go to a game to watch the players, not the managers.

Dreamin
Member
Dreamin
4 months 11 days ago

This argument always sounds like the people screaming “WHAT’S NEXT, MEN MARRYING DOGS?” during conversations on gay marriage.

Baron Samedi
Member
Baron Samedi
4 months 10 days ago

B-BUT IF THEY TAKE AWAY MY GUNS WHAT WILL I DO WHEN THE KING OF ENGLAND COMES TO APPROPRIATE MY TEEAAAA!?!?!?

Luy
Member
Luy
4 months 10 days ago

It may sound that way to you, with a pro-DH opinion. But is it actually the same thing?

Seeing someone say one defensive player doesn’t have to hit, why wouldn’t you allow this for all defensive players…seems like – to coin a phrase – a rather logical slope. Not a slippery one.

And it’s not a all similar to ‘well now that you’ve let two humans marry, logically you have to let humans and dogs marry’.

In the marriage debate one could argue the all-DH argument is most akin to the every human can marry argument. Because both are the arguments that treat everyone the exact same way.

Dreamin
Member
Dreamin
4 months 10 days ago

Your first fallacy is assuming I have a pro-DH opinion, which I don’t.

By calling a pitcher ‘one defensive player’ you’re completely minimizing that pitcher’s entire responsibility, essentially saying his pitching value is defensively equal to the defensive value of all 8 other players, which is silly and patently untrue. The pitcher is the foundation of the defense, by which everything else revolves.

The best defensive team in baseball this year (by BR standards) was the DBacks, who gained roughly 7.5 fielding WAR as a team with defense. The best pitching team in baseball this year was the Cardinals, who gained 30 WAR. These two forms of WAR are (theoretically) completely independent, and all of this WAR is accumulated solely on the defensive side of the ball and should be credited accordingly. Since the 7.5 fielding WAR averages out amongst the 9 defenders, each defensive position on the field accounts for less than 1 WAR across the entire season, give or take for your strong positions. This is roughly 3% what you’re getting defensively across the season from the pitchers alone, which is nowhere remotely close to having the same defensive responsibility. Stop trying to say the pitcher’s defensive value is just ‘one defensive player.’ He is the king of the defense, and all the other positions are his jesters. They are not equal, so stop trying to say they are.

Anonymous
Member
Anonymous
4 months 10 days ago

I’m still unclear as to why men are not allowed to marry dogs. Who are they hurting?

dl80
Member
dl80
4 months 10 days ago

The dog’s bitch.

teakayfortoowon
Member
teakayfortoowon
4 months 11 days ago

This is starting to sound a lot like Cricket.

Baron Samedi
Member
Baron Samedi
4 months 10 days ago

Fangraphs commenters are getting dumber and more reductive by the day.

Baron Samedi
Member
Baron Samedi
4 months 10 days ago

To be clear, I can’t believe how many upvotes this shrill, illogical tantrum has received. You should all be ashamed.

Fernando
Member
Fernando
4 months 10 days ago

Translation: More people agreed with his comment than mine! WAAAAAHHH!!!

Tom Dooley
Member
Tom Dooley
4 months 10 days ago

That wasn’t the translation, but your comment was perfectly illustrative of what he actually meant about dumb commentary. So…I guess you nailed it.

Fernando
Member
Fernando
4 months 10 days ago

It’s sad you felt the need to create a new account to support the one so thoroughly trashed, Baron… I mean Tom!

Baron Samedi
Member
Baron Samedi
4 months 8 days ago

Welcome to Fangraphs, Fernando.

Runaway Toaster
Member
Member
Runaway Toaster
4 months 10 days ago

How come players only get to specialize in their position? Every player should have to pitch, catch, and play every other position in the field!

YEAH! Complete baseball players! So much strategy! When does the manager pitch his player who is terrible at it? Where in the opposing lineup do you put your huge slugger at catcher?

STRATEGY! WOO!!! QUADRUPLE Swaps!

Slippery slope! HOORAY!

Fernando
Member
Fernando
4 months 10 days ago

Many people are bashing this comment, but it raises a valid objection – namely, if the goal is to increase offense by replacing the at-bats of players who aren’t good hitters, then why draw an arbitrary line that stops with pitchers? Why not have an offensive team and defensive team, like football?

The fact that every response to this is a snarky eye-roller instead of a real argument tells me the other side doesn’t actually have a valid answer.

Art Vandelay
Member
Member
Art Vandelay
4 months 10 days ago

It’s not an arbitrary line. Pitchers at the moment are historically bad, just complete black holes, and the difference between them and the worst hitters in an AL lineup is huge. The argument is hard to respond against because it has no basis in fact, it’s just a slippery slope argument. It’s as bad an argument for the NL as the anti-strategy/more dingers argument is for the AL. This is a super touchy issue (obviously) and neither side has arguments that are very good.

Fernando
Member
Fernando
4 months 10 days ago

But for someone whose main goal is to increase offense, wouldn’t it be consistent to advocate a DH style replacement for every bad hitter? Because it sounds consistent to me, and that’s what we’re reacting to.

You can say pitchers are historically bad, but what happens ten years down the road when pitchers no longer bat, and now everyone is looking at those weak-hitting middle infielders laying along the low end of the bell curve? Wouldn’t all the same arguments we constantly hear about the pitcher apply to them? So I don’t think it’s crazy to ask why one and not the other.

And, if you cannot provide a legitimate distinction, then it is in fact arbitrary.

Art Vandelay
Member
Member
Art Vandelay
4 months 10 days ago

What I’m saying is that the worst hitting middle infielders will never be anywhere close to as bad as pitchers. I see what you’re trying to say, but Pete Kozma is a terrible hitter, NL pitchers are complete statistical outliers, they’re barely on the bell curve. There is a very definitive line between the vast majority of pitchers and the worst glove-first players, and it’s far greater than the space between those players and actual productive hitters.

Fernando
Member
Fernando
4 months 9 days ago

They might be worse, but I still don’t think that answers anything. I agree there is a clear line between weak position players and pitchers, but it is still an arbitrary decision to select that line as the cutoff point even though both groups fall under the “bad hitter” umbrella. In another comment you said you could tolerate bad hitters as long as they weren’t totally inept the way pitchers are (paraphrasing). While that makes sense to me, I’m not sure how many people would really stop there, especially with the established foundation of eliminating any position that doesn’t live up to our standards. Honestly, I don’t think people on the pro-DH side have any reasons to object to eliminating all bad hitters other than tradition, which is really what the anti-DH crowd is arguing from in the first place.

Tom Dooley
Member
Tom Dooley
4 months 10 days ago

namely, if the goal is to increase offense by replacing the at-bats of players who aren’t good hitters, then why draw an arbitrary line that stops with pitchers?

You misidentified the premise for the argument and ranaway with your misinterpretation. (The royal You.)

The premise is not “increase offense”. The premise is something like “eliminate incompetence”. Incompetent baseball benefits no one. It makes baseball worse.

Scanning the numbers, incompetence is very rare in baseball. (Which is the exact reason anyone likes it. No one wants to watch bad players play badly.) Even defensive specialists have a *significantly* higher level of performance than pitchers. They pull their weight.

Pitchers (as hitters) are uniquely incompetent. It is not arbitrary whatsoever to address this without advocating for the other nonsense proposed.

Fernando
Member
Fernando
4 months 10 days ago

Tom Dooley said: You misidentified the premise of the argument and ranaway with your misinterpretation. (The royal You.) The premise is not “increase offense”.

Matthew Kory said: If baseball decided to allow the DH in the National League, most of the 5,406 plate appearances that went to pitchers in 2015 would instead go to DHs. Given that many plate appearances, the average DH would hit 216 home runs – or, 191 more home runs than pitchers do currently. That’s a lot of home runs to give away, ESPECIALLY FOR A SPORT IN NEED OF ADDITIONAL OFFENSE.

So…who misidentified the argument again, Mr. Snarkypants?

chuckb
Member
chuckb
4 months 10 days ago
Fernando
Member
Fernando
4 months 10 days ago

Incorrect. The slippery slope fallacy is when a person asserts event B will follow event A WITHOUT making any argument to connect the two events. Since I am giving an argument, namely – the logical consistency between wanting to eliminate weak hitters such as pitchers and the fact that many middle infielders are likewise poor hitters, then I can’t be making this fallacy. You might not agree with my argument, but you would be better suited responding to it rather dismissing it with an appeal to “logic rules” that you don’t actually understand.

Baron Samedi
Member
Baron Samedi
4 months 8 days ago

no.

also, you’re wrong.

JDX
Member
JDX
4 months 11 days ago

All the “strategic” argument guys need to stop. Stop deluding yourselves.

Is a runner on with less than 2 outs? Bunt.

Are the bases empty? Don’t bunt.

Is the game close and the pitcher is near his pitch limit? Pinch Hit with a guy who is the opposite handedness of the current pitcher

It’s fine if you guys like pitchers hitting, but stop using the strategy argument. The rules are written in stone at this point.

Riggs Stephenson
Member
Riggs Stephenson
4 months 11 days ago

That’s an simplification, and it’s not always black and white like that.

What if you need runs, have runners in scoring position in the 6th inning, but your ace is on deck and could easily go a couple more innings. What if you have an inconsistent bullpen.

That’s one example where different managers will make different decisions. Not set in stone.

Even the simple question of where to bat the pitcher. The nine spot may be said to be set in stone, but Joe Maddon would say eight and he wasn’t the only manager to do so last season.

bostnboy3
Member
bostnboy3
4 months 11 days ago

The difference between batting a pitcher 8th or 9th is worth about 3 runs per season. So pretty meaningless and honestly just comes down to personal style

Jimbo
Member
Member
Jimbo
4 months 10 days ago

That is just one minor example that is worth 1/3 of a win. I do not think that is meaningless, particularly since it’s so easy to implement. Why wouldn’t you take advantage? All of these decisions combined probably add up to something quite meaningful.

Deelron
Member
Deelron
4 months 10 days ago

It’s slightly more meaningful then nothing, which is the proposed alternative.

redsoxu571
Member
redsoxu571
4 months 10 days ago

His examples weren’t ideal and his point was oversimplified, but at the core he is 100% correct.

You can present counterpoints of interesting NL strategy, but they are in the minority, by far. Most moves made in NL ball are by rote.

It is also ignored that the AL has some of its own strategy. Namely the SEASON-LONG strategy of bullpen use, which becomes much more important when your SPs have to work harder to get the same number of outs as their NL counterparts, and much more pure, when your pitching change decisions are based entirely on the merits of the pitching options involved.

The two rule-sets are different, but it isn’t a matter of one lacking strategy and one having it. And having more moved to consider isn’t always BETTER. Having to take an ace who is spinning a gem out early because his offense just happens to flame out on a given day? Not a plus for pitching fans. Pitching around the worst regular hitter in a lineup? A bastardization of the game. Quantity doesn’t guarantee quality.

P.S. The debate of where to bat the pitcher isn’t NL exclusive either. It derives from stat models saying that teams should bat their worst hitters 8th instead of 9th, ASSUMING they are smart enough to simultaneously have some of their top hitters in the top 2 of their batting order.

For an AL example, for much of the middle of last season Blake Swihart was by far the worst hitter in Boston’s lineup. Boston bat him 8th though, setting up someone better to get rallies going in front of Betts, who was one of the best hitters in the lineup.

bostnboy3
Member
bostnboy3
4 months 11 days ago

Thank you. It’s less strategy and more just following a cookbook. The double switch is about as complex as strategy gets, and that’s about as basic of a strategy as we have in sports. If you want to watch managers execute complex game plans, watch the NFL or NBA. Stop pretending baseball roster moves are difficult.

trenkes
Member
trenkes
4 months 11 days ago

Yep. It’s a series of more or less mindless, uninteresting forced moves. It’s a lot more interesting to make decisions about marginal hitters, rather than hopeless hitters.

Luy
Member
Luy
4 months 11 days ago

The biggest strategic element to my mind is the timing on changing pitchers.
No the double switch isn’t tricky. But where AL managers can just change a pitcher whenever they want. An NL manager has to weigh pulling a pitcher whenever with the ability to have a better hitter pinch hit in the pitcher’s spot.

Example:
6th inning. Pitcher set to face the 8-9 for the second time and the 1 hitter for the third. Pitcher at about 90 pitches.
In the AL, you do whatever you want.
In the NL, if the pitcher is due up next inning you do whatever you want. If he’s due up 6th…you have a little thinking to do.

This is an aspect of strategy that I rarely see brought up. It’s always bunting and double switches. But the existence of DH impacts pitcher deployment.

bostnboy3
Member
bostnboy3
4 months 10 days ago

Problem is that we have numbers that can tell you the optimal thing to do in every situation. It’s a pure science at this point. That takes away all the fun of watching for the sake of strategy in my opinion. A computer would be a better manager than any human.

Football and basketball are fun to watch for the strategic elements because it’s an art.

Deelron
Member
Deelron
4 months 10 days ago

Numbers don’t tell me how a player is feeling today, of if he says he can go but I can judge that he really can or not. The numbers cannot make a judgment on a daily basis about an individual player, merely what a player is likely to do given their aggregate results.

Luy
Member
Luy
4 months 10 days ago

I’m confused.
You are simultaneously arguing that the claims of strategy are over-stated, and that computers would do a significantly job of strategy.
Which is it?
Either the strategic element in the NL is meaningful, or computers couldn’t meaningfully do it better. You can’t really argue both things at the same time.

chuckb
Member
chuckb
4 months 10 days ago

This is less true than ever in the age of pitching specialization. It’s fairly easy to remove your starter, bring in a reliever for 1 hitter, and then pinch hit for him at the end of the inning.

Even if it weren’t less true, it’s much less compelling than having 2 automatic outs every game for each team.

sakiehl
Member
sakiehl
4 months 10 days ago

And yet managers still screw it up.

Graves
Member
Graves
4 months 11 days ago

By your logic, there are tons of players that “have no business” hitting. Pete Kozma comes to mind, but there are many players, mostly middle infielders, that are absolutely awful at hitting. There is no correlation to pitching and hitting, what is the correlation to hitting and playing defense? Should there be unlimited Pinch runners, or a Designated Runner for every player? Why not just have 9 DH’s so the game can get better by being more specialized? You can’t just tunnel vision on the fact that pitchers are generally bad at hitting.

Art Vandelay
Member
Member
Art Vandelay
4 months 10 days ago

Pete Kozma in 2013, when he was the worst everyday player in baseball:
.217/.275/.273

NL pitchers last year:
.131/.158/.168

That’s an OPS difference of .222, which is the difference between Andrew McCutchen and Elvis Andrus last year (rank 15 vs. rank 127)

Fernando
Member
Fernando
4 months 10 days ago

Essentially you’re arguing that Kozma and players of his ilk aren’t THAT terrible, but that misses the point that they still aren’t GOOD at hitting. So why advocate replacing some categories of players but not others, even though we agree they all stink?

Art Vandelay
Member
Member
Art Vandelay
4 months 10 days ago

I’m pointing out that the difference between Pete Kozma – terrible hitter and NL pitchers – unconscionable black holes is bigger than you’re giving it credit for. Even the worst regular hitter in the league was much, much better than NL pitchers as a whole. Being a bad hitter is tolerable. Being an instant out is not so much.

(I’m a proponent to leave things the way they are, FWIW)

dl80
Member
dl80
4 months 10 days ago

But Kozma doesn’t hit (as in, be allowed to hit). He’s got 137 PA over the last two years. 448 of his 689 career PA were in 2013.

Tom Dooley
Member
Tom Dooley
4 months 10 days ago

Essentially you’re arguing that Kozma and players of his ilk aren’t THAT terrible, but that misses the point that they still aren’t GOOD at hitting. So why advocate replacing some categories of players but not others, even though we agree they all stink?

You have completely misunderstood the position you’re arguing against – and you’re getting short with other people about a mistake *you* made.

The position is not “increase offense at any cost”. The position is “minimize incompetence”. The lines for incompetence in baseball are not arbitrary; we can measure and quantify it very well.

TKDC
Member
Member
TKDC
4 months 10 days ago

The best argument is the designated runner one. David Ortiz is worse at running the bases than anyone this side of Jon Lester is at hitting.

chuckb
Member
chuckb
4 months 10 days ago

Pete Kozma does have no place hitting in the big leagues.

Last year he had 111 plate appearances. Cardinals’ pitchers had 353.

awalnoha
Member
awalnoha
4 months 11 days ago

By this logic then we should have 9 defensive specialist in the game and then 9 good hitters and make there be 9 DHs. The non-DH point is to get the best all around players to build your team. Except for a few DHs most are not even fantastic hitters. they are just better than the pitchers. I don’t see the wRC+ or triple slash line for the DHs, only HRs.

Lets get rid of the pitchers all together and make the position players pitch. That would increase offense too. This article really does not make a good argument for DH in the NL. Only that some people (not all) prefer to see more HRs.

Yanks123
Member
Yanks123
4 months 10 days ago

No it’s simply removing the extremes that provide absolutely nothing to the game other than giving the manager a decision to make like once a game not to mention complicates every interleague and world series matchup.

Bounty
Member
Bounty
4 months 10 days ago

Fancy, maybe we could do a roster of like 9 players total. If someone needs to go in as a relief pitcher, they’ll need to come in out of left field, and then the starting pitcher has to go out to cover that guy’s spot. Real old school. Really increase offense.

pitnick
Member
pitnick
4 months 11 days ago

Shrinking the league to 2 teams would also improve the quality of play.

Shauncore
Member
Shauncore
4 months 11 days ago

To put it visually…

evil kevin towers
Member
evil kevin towers
4 months 11 days ago

guaranteed replies

Jaack
Member
4 months 11 days ago

The majority of people who watch NL baseball are fans of NL teams.

The majority of NL fans do not want the DH.

Personally, I enjoy the rhythm that the pitcher’s spot give to the batting order. Pitchers hitting also serve as a good reminder to who good at hitting a baseball even the worst offensive players are. Other fans have other reasons for enjoying pitchers hitting. But I would guess that a super-majority of NL fans are against the DH. Why force it on them?

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
4 months 10 days ago

The majority of people who watch NL baseball are fans of NL teams.

Though this suggests, rightly I think, that they are fans of the teams, and would therefore continue to watch with a DH. They aren’t generally fans of “NL Baseball” first and foremost.

Jaack
Member
4 months 10 days ago

That may be so, but the same is true likewise for the AL. Most AL fans like the DH, so there’s no reason to take it away from them.

It’s like if you paint your bedroom blue, but your dumb sister-in-law, who is hardly ever in that room anyway, insists you paint it yellow. And if your significant other gives in and paints the room yellow, you most likely aren’t going to move out and leave them, but that doesn’t mean its stupid that someone who is never in the room is making the decisions that you have to deal with day in and day out.

Bounty
Member
Bounty
4 months 10 days ago

That sounds really specific. Tell your sister-in-law I said hi, and to stop demanding that rooms be painted yellow.

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
4 months 10 days ago

But all the same, once you get used to yellow you realize that it’s actually a happier color, and in your memory, you feel better now than you did when it was blue, to continue this analogy beyond its expiration date.

Jaack
Member
4 months 10 days ago

Of course some people might grow to enjoy the DH or yellow paint, but if you were to switch the circumstances around (me forcing my sister-in-law to paint her room blue or the AL dropping the DH) it would be equally true that some people would come to appriciate there new circumstances.

But at its root the difference between DH and no DH is basically the same as the difference between blue and yellow. Have you ever tried to change someone’s favorite color? Because that’s what people who demand the NL add the DH sound like to me.

rjbiii
Member
rjbiii
4 months 11 days ago

Is there any evidence that homers bring fans? Looking at s chart of baseball attendance record over on Wikipedia I see attendance skyrocketing even as run scoring is going down an ballparks are being built with fewer but more premium seats than the ones they replaced.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_League_Baseball_attendance_records

Comparing 2015 attendance in the AL to that in the. NL it appears that the NL had about 4m more bums on seats than the AL (about 39m vs 35m).

Seems a dubious claim to me.

Personally I enjoyed watching both the AL and the NL. Having lived in two markets with both league really available (NYC and DC) I’ve regularly attended games in both leagues and can say categorically that the existence or otherwise of a DH has never once entered into the calculation of what game to attend and ticket to buy. I have never once felt cheated by watching a pitcher bat.

Agree entirely with the poster above, however. There’s something in this difference between the two league that increases my enjoyment of the game overall. It’s fun to see the marginal difference in how the game is played between the two leagues. I say preserve it or merge the leagues and allow for greater local competition and rivalry.

Art Vandelay
Member
Member
Art Vandelay
4 months 10 days ago

To be fair, the AL has a few teams really dragging down the league average (TB, CHW, CLE, OAK).

jwpepa
Member
jwpepa
4 months 11 days ago

Yeah, well, ya’ know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.

awalnoha
Member
awalnoha
4 months 11 days ago

A lotta ins, a lotta outs, a lotta what-have-yous

dl80
Member
dl80
4 months 10 days ago

Vladimir Illyich Lenin!

TomG
Member
TomG
4 months 10 days ago

Mr. Treehorn treats pitchers like hitters, man.

motia86
Member
motia86
4 months 11 days ago

My argument for the DH is that there’s a DH at every level of baseball starting with high school, maybe earlier. The low level minor leagues all use DH’s. Upper level minor leagues only use the DH when there’s two NL affiliates that are playing. When are pitchers supposed to learn how to hit professional pitching?

Anonymous
Member
Anonymous
4 months 10 days ago

Good point. Someone wanna co-sign my petition to ban the DH from lower levels of play?

Connor
Member
Member
Connor
4 months 11 days ago

Please explain why, based on your logic, Ehire Adrianza should hit and Madison Bumgarner should not.

realitypolice
Member
realitypolice
4 months 11 days ago

His logic would probably be that a manager with the DH in the NL would, on rare occasions, use a DH to replace an awful hitting position player and let a (relatively) great hitting pitcher bat.

Nivra
Member
Nivra
4 months 10 days ago

So on days when Ehire and MadBum are both starters, Bochy can DH for Ehire instead of MadBum?

Nivra
Member
Nivra
4 months 10 days ago

This would actually create incentive for the amazingly awesome fielder who can’t hit at all to be in the game. There are awesome defensive specialists who can’t get to 60/70% of league average hitting in the minors who eventually drop out of the game.

Art Vandelay
Member
Member
Art Vandelay
4 months 10 days ago

Nope. A manager can select a DH for the pitcher or none at all.

“A hitter may be designated to bat for the starting pitcher and all subsequent pitchers in any game without otherwise affecting the status of the pitcher(s) in the game. A Designated Hitter for the pitcher must be selected prior to the game and must be included in the lineup cards presented to the Umpire-in-Chief.

The Designated Hitter named in the starting lineup must come to bat at least one time, unless the opposing club changes pitchers. It is not mandatory that a club designate a hitter for the pitcher, but failure to do so prior to the game precludes the use of a Designated Hitter for that game.”

chuckb
Member
chuckb
4 months 10 days ago
bbdawgrex
Member
bbdawgrex
4 months 11 days ago

All of the major arguments in this debate are purely aesthetic – We like more homers. No we like more strategy. Etc. In situations like this with very little actually at stake besides personal aesthetic preferences, I PERSONALLY am in the camp of leaving things the way they are and honoring tradition. It’s also fine to prefer a faster rate of change. But what’s not OK is just to pound your chest about your personal preferences in a debate that you know is relatively equally-divided and has no serious & material evidence backing either side.

Art Vandelay
Member
Member
Art Vandelay
4 months 10 days ago

preach

Yanks123
Member
Yanks123
4 months 10 days ago

Decreasing pitcher injuries alone (ex. Wainwright, Wang) is enough reason to adopt it for me. Plus if I’m an AL team with a great DH or an NL team with poor DH options the World Series is going to be unfair. It’s not their fault the leagues have different rules and force them to have different roster constructions.

bbdawgrex
Member
bbdawgrex
4 months 10 days ago

Yea this is the best material argument I’ve seen as a basis for either side. However, if you’re going the injury prevention route, I’ve yet to be convinced that its really material. Are you just saving maybe one simple running injury a year, and then not going to care about pitchers running on defense too, to cover first or field a bunt? I mean, there’s a non-zero injury risk in walking up the dugout stairs.

All that said, if I saw a strong argument about how many injuries it would prevent and that it would actually be a relevant number, that’s probably the one argument that could sway me.

Grant
Member
Member
Grant
4 months 11 days ago

COMPRIMISE!

Strategy is enticing in every sport at the manager/coach level. That’s what makes NL baseball fun for me.

AL and NL should both adopt a rule to have the DH account for the SP, and the first pitching change. Then all pitching changes after that requires a new pinch hitter.

SO primary DH gets about 3 ABs on average, late inning drama forces the managers to decide to go to a deeper bench bat or a different RP.

Probably speeds the game up with less pitching changes too. I don’t see why either league has an issue with that.

burritooverdose
Member
burritooverdose
4 months 10 days ago

I actually kinda like this rule but i feel like people still wouldn’t accept it.

jrl133
Member
jrl133
4 months 11 days ago

anyone know the numbers on average runs scored during Interleague Play when NL teams get a DH in an AL park and AL teams lose the DH in NL parks as compared to each playing in their own League?

seems to me the DH for the NL team in an AL park isn’t necessarily a hitter at the level of the AL DH…seems most of the time he’s a hitter with off-handedness to the SP and appears lower third of the lineup rather than last (or 8th)

and I know I’ve seen AL teams struggle with who NOT to play in NL parks…they must lose something offensively since the AL DH is often defensively challenged

I have no data to support this, but the absence of an NL DH could allow NL teams to carry another pitcher on the roster…and in the AL teams would carry one less

hopbitters
Member
hopbitters
4 months 11 days ago

You can argue for/against the DH until you’re blue(r) in the face, but I suspect the actual decision will ultimately come down to the teams not wanting to see their increasingly large investments in pitching get hurt doing something that could be done better by someone else that costs much less and is easily replaced.

1337ball
Member
1337ball
4 months 11 days ago

Why don’t we have DH’s for all players that can’t hit. There are plenty of defense first players out there that could become everyday players and plenty of old, defensive liabilities we can overpay to swing 4x a game. Then we could all pay $1000 a ticket to go watch watch a lot of runs scored.

1. Pitchers are baseball player too. Last time I checked, hitting is part of what baseball players do. I’ve never coached a kid who said they wanted to be a DH when they grew up.

2. Why do AL managers make so much? Why have an AL manager? I could write a computer program to manage an AL game. That might be one of the few easier jobs than being a weatherman in Las Vegas.

Luy
Member
Luy
4 months 11 days ago

As a fan of an NL team, I’m deeply ambivalent.

I like the symmetry of all players playing on both sides. I don’t like the DH.
I also don’t like the competitive disadvantage my team faces when they play an AL team – a team constructed to carry an extra quality bat. In an NL park neither pitcher can hit. In and AL park David Ortiz or Mark Trumbo bats, while my fav team runs out a glove first 4th OF.

Baron Samedi
Member
Baron Samedi
4 months 10 days ago

Well, first of all, the (I presume Cardinals) are not “your” team.

TKDC
Member
Member
TKDC
4 months 10 days ago

And second of all, your comments are a steaming pile of garbage.

Baron Samedi
Member
Baron Samedi
4 months 8 days ago

It must be scary being an old, white man in a rapidly changing world!

There, there.

There, there.

Baron Samedi
Member
Baron Samedi
4 months 11 days ago

TESTIFY!

AND NO I WILL NOT GET OFF YOUR LAWN

Baron Samedi
Member
Baron Samedi
4 months 10 days ago

People who will miss the DH when it is inevitably disposed of are probably the same sort of people who have a lingering fondness for slavery.

formerly matt w
Member
formerly matt w
4 months 10 days ago

I’m not fond of the DH either, but that’s a bit strong.

Shirtless Bartolo Colon
Member
4 months 10 days ago

Hey there’s a guy on Fangraphs who has the same writing skills as my dog does buuurp.

Brian P. Mangan
Member
Brian P. Mangan
4 months 10 days ago

Thank you for this comment. I wasn’t sure from the comments above whether or not you were trolling and should be ignored, but this has removed all doubt.

Baron Samedi
Member
Baron Samedi
4 months 8 days ago

Thank you, Handsome Brian P. Man Gan.

chuckb
Member
chuckb
4 months 10 days ago

And the most idiotic comment award goes to…

I thought you had some competition until I read this.

Baron Samedi
Member
Baron Samedi
4 months 8 days ago

I’m not going to apologize for being better than you.

Baron Samedi
Member
Baron Samedi
4 months 8 days ago

Also, I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume you are all white.

Baron Samedi
Member
Baron Samedi
4 months 8 days ago

*Dumb, old, white men.

Matt
Member
Matt
4 months 10 days ago

Yes, let’s keeping having this great baseball action and strategy:

http://www.sbnation.com/2011/8/15/2364354/santiago-casilla-batting-video-jose-ceda-giants-marlins

formerly matt w
Member
formerly matt w
4 months 10 days ago

But that was awesome, and if pitcher plate appearances regularly produced that level of awesomeness, there would be no argument for the DH.

The relevant question is how many futile pitcher plate appearances were worth it just to get that awesomeness? A thousand? A million?

alkalinesolo
Member
alkalinesolo
4 months 10 days ago

It’s not about having the best players do what they are best at 100% of the time. If that was the case all you’d have to do is find a video of Manny Ramirez and everyone would be clamoring for Designated Left Fielders.

alkalinesolo
Member
alkalinesolo
4 months 10 days ago

It’s obviously true that pitchers are generally worse batters…no one has ever disputed that and using it as the crux of an argument is as straw-man as it gets.

Even though they generally suck at hitting, it’s absolutely not useless when a pitcher hits – it adds a huge element of strategy that resonates down the batting order. The benches become more important, the bullpen becomes more important, having a pitcher who can lay down a bunt becomes important. The 8th hitter is no longer the 8th best hitter in the lineup, instead it’s a player who can swing the bat and sometimes hit bad pitches instead of taking a walk to bring up the pitcher.

Without the DH there will be more offense and higher scores, which might be what the MLB wants. It’s what the NFL and NBA wanted. It’s not what I want though, and I think most fans of the NL feel the same. It’s just not the same game when you add a DH, and it goes WAY beyond “lol pitchers suck at batting”

Matt
Member
Matt
4 months 10 days ago

Sure, but when a strategy entails instructing a player to not even make an effort at whatever endeavor it is they are attempting, that’s where you lose me. And the video I shared isn’t a one off – pitchers often don’t swing at pitches for fear of grounding into a double play – they are better off just taking the out than risking the DP.

Speaking of strawmen/slippery slopes – no Manny was not as bad at LF as pitchers are at hitting. Hitting a baseball is much more difficult than running after and catching a fly ball. Also, nobody is calling for DH’s at every position – only the position that disproportionately is represented by terrible hitters.I understand that’s the logical extension, but one can be fore the DH without suggesting we go to the most extreme extension of that line of thinking.

To me, it’s not about wanting more/less scoring – I actually prefer a low scoring game. I just happen to find it utterly boring to watch a pitcher attempt to hit a baseball. The added strategy it brings to the game is simply not worth it to me.

david k
Member
david k
4 months 9 days ago

If nobody was watching the game when it happened, did it really count (see the gif that shows an empty stadium)

russellsagehen
Member
russellsagehen
4 months 10 days ago

Let the pitchers hit! It’s the way the game started. It’s a far more interesting game for real baseball fans.
Oh, yea, and then there are guys like Madison Bumgarner, and don’t forget one of the greatest sluggers of all time, Babe Ruth.
It keeps pitchers from being prema donnas. They’ll be less likely to beam hitters for fun, like Ventura on the Royals, if they themselves have to step into the box and hit.

Baron Samedi
Member
Baron Samedi
4 months 10 days ago

This is the level of reasoning I imagine most Trump supporters possess.

Matt
Member
Matt
4 months 10 days ago

LOL he even said ‘beam hitters’ instead of bean.

Alice Cooper
Member
Alice Cooper
4 months 10 days ago

In lieu of a flag button, I’m commenting here in hope that some kind of comment moderator sees the comments made by “Baron Samedi” in this post that are political in nature. Get rid of them, please. I didn’t come here to wade through political diatribe. I come here to read about baseball.

TKDC
Member
Member
TKDC
4 months 10 days ago

And while they are at it, if they could just get rid of all of Baron Samedi’s comments that would probably be the way to go.

Baron Samedi
Member
Baron Samedi
4 months 8 days ago

I’m sorry I hurt your feelings.

chuckb
Member
chuckb
4 months 10 days ago

https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/ad-hominem

Fans who prefer the DH aren’t “real baseball fans.” Got it. Thanks for letting me know.

Also, the term you’re searching for is “prima donna,” not “prema donna.” And, as far as I know, the only people who ever get “beamed” are Captain Kirk and Spock.

donstage
Member
donstage
4 months 10 days ago

The Designated Hitter is a market inefficiency. AL teams spend more ($115,339,908 vs. $112,541,864 per team, 2013-2015) and win more (489-415 in interleague, 2013-2015), yet those pesky fans like the NL more (32,257 vs 28,521 avg attendance, 2013-2015)

Source: Baseball Reference

bostnboy3
Member
bostnboy3
4 months 10 days ago

Attendance not scaled based on market size, team success or ballpark size. Meaningless comparison. Big market White Sox have sucked recently, while small market Royals have been great. These things influence attendance numbers. The Red Sox could also sell out a much bigger stadium if they could fit more seats on that city block.

A slightly better comparison would be total team revenue, not just ticket sales.

Cheeseball
Member
Member
Cheeseball
4 months 10 days ago

What this argument really raises is baseball doesn’t have completely separate teams on offence and defence (as Mr. Kory points out is done in the NFL). Why restrict roster sizes anyhow? Baseball could have every defensive position manned by a no-bat defensive specialist, and every batter in the line up a professional pure hitter. Every game. That would be more specialized! No more watching Bartolo Colon bat. No more watching Michael Morse field. No more players playing out of position. No more position players pitching. Just a bunch of young acrobats leaping around catching line drives, and lumbering hulks swinging the lumber. That would have a certain beauty to it.

But I’ll pass, thanks. By making players play on both sides of the ball, baseball puts constraints on player selection and related constraints on team construction. Baseball is built to require compromises, a balancing of the desirable and undesirable that requires constant vigilance to maintain. The whole culture around the game, including this great website, has grown out of those pressures and constraints. It ain’t broke.

Shirtless Bartolo Colon
Member
4 months 10 days ago

No DH! More Cheeseball!!!

Noah Baron
Member
Noah Baron
4 months 10 days ago

This argument is a perfect example of the slippery slope fallacy.

Nobody, and I mean nobody, has suggested creating “designated fielders” and you imply. The reason the DH has become popular throughout all levels of baseball – not just in America – is because pitchers simply do not practice hitting, because pitching itself is a completely different art. It’s like making your soccer goalie kick penalty kicks.

In addition, the pitcher’s presence in the lineup allows for the opposing team’s pitcher to avoid challenging hitters towards the bottom of the order because they know that the pitcher is (almost always) an automatic out.

And that doesn’t even bring up injuries, as letting pitchers bat results in dozens of injuries every year simply due to a lack of experience.

Quite simply, these developments are not good for major league baseball, no matter which perspective you look at them from.

That’s why the DH is ultimately inevitable. Almost everyone benefits.

Cheeseball
Member
Member
Cheeseball
4 months 10 days ago

Actually, my comment is an example of the valid logical argument, reductio ad absurdum, which shows “a statement is false by showing that a false, untenable, or absurd result follows from its acceptance” (Wikipedia’s definition). I’ve argued that, if we were to grant Mr. Kory’s premise that baseball would be better if the tasks in it were always performed by the players best at those tasks, it would lead us to the absurd consequence that, as in the example he himself refers to, baseball would be better with separate players on offence and defence. That consequence is absurd, therefore Mr. Kory’s premise is false, and his conclusion unfounded.

A slippery slope argument would be “You can’t let MLB have DHs for NL pitchers, because if they did that, the next thing they’d do would get DHs for all positions.” Again from Wikipedia “a slippery slope is a logical device in which a person asserts that some event must inevitably follow from another without any rational argument or demonstrable mechanism for the inevitability of the event in question”.

See the difference?

I really wish that before people labelled things, they’d at least make sure they knew what the labels meant.

Cheeseball
Member
Member
Cheeseball
4 months 10 days ago

Incidentally, mischaracterizing an argument and then critiquing the mischaracterization is the ‘straw man’ argument. However, as a gentleman or lady of the internet, I’m sure you’re above that, and it’s a simple misunderstanding.

Sultan of Say
Member
Sultan of Say
4 months 9 days ago

Very well put.

I’m a proponent of simplicity: all players who play offense also play defense.

If we must allow specialized positions like pitchers (defense only) and DH’s (offense only), I would actually prefer all positions specialized.

So I say this not as a slippery slope argument but as a suggestion: why not have specialized players wherever needed?

output gap
Member
Member
output gap
4 months 10 days ago

Regardless of all of the reactionary yelling against change because… we don’t like change, this is an economic issue. The AL adopted the DH because baseball needed more offense. The NL is going to adopt the DH because they have a disadvantage in interleague play and because pitchers are extremely expensive now and are put at injury risk by hitting, which is something that add no value doing.

It shouldn’t be surprising that the source of the DH comments is Mozeliak, GM of the Cardinals, who just saw his ace pitcher tear his Achilles running to first base. When every mediocre starter costs $15m a year, the risk of that guy hurting himself while hitting becomes an unpalatable risk for ownership to swallow.

Deelron
Member
Deelron
4 months 10 days ago

If that’s the concern then we need a fence in front of the pitcher and a guy with glove there so we don’t have another Hudson or McCarthy injury, I mean we don’t want to risk them getting hurt trying to field the ball or just standing by there either, they’re too expensive!

Meddler
Member
Meddler
4 months 10 days ago

This risk is way, way less costly than paying another full time position player instead of a bench player. The financial incentive for the DH is pretty squarely on the players’ side, not the owners.

output gap
Member
Member
output gap
4 months 10 days ago

You are presuming that the DH is going to be David Ortiz and Alex Rodriguez types on huge contracts. I will concede that that has been the case recently, but that is more of a byproduct of the AL teams being able to justify larger contracts for aging players given their capacity to utilize them as DH compared to NL teams who can’t afford to have the $25m per year pinch hitter Alex Rodriguez.

There’s nothing in the CBA that says the DH needs to be a lumbering, no defense slugger. Certainly, there will be plenty of them. But it could be just as easily used to add roster flexibility and allow teams to carry more than 8 quality position players and find at bats for all of them. We could be talking about pre-arb 24 year olds just as easily as we are talking about 40 year old DH only players. The DH can also allow an increase in rest days. It definitively will reduce non-pitching injuries for pitchers.

The players win, the owners win and the only group that loses are these people who are ideologically opposed to the NL being the only pro baseball league in the world to have pitchers bat.

output gap
Member
Member
output gap
4 months 10 days ago

Ideologically opposed to the NL ceasing to be the only pro baseball league in the world to have pitchers bat**

Luy
Member
Luy
4 months 10 days ago

It is disingenuous to claim stances against the DH are merely old-man grumbling about change.
On the plus side, it does make it easier for you to dismiss anyone who disagrees with you.

Paul G.
Member
Paul G.
4 months 10 days ago

Pitchers have never been good hitters.

I have to dispute this. They have not been good hitters for a long time and pitchers have been progressively worse and worse over the decades, but when the National League was founded pitchers were pretty good hitters, relatively. Even as time went on and pitchers in general were bad hitters, there was usually a cohort of good hitting hurlers. The great Red Sox teams of of the mid to late 1910s had very good hitting pitching staffs to the point that their pitchers were better hitters than their position players some seasons. This may have swayed a pennant or two in their favor because of it.

Lightning in the nine-hole

Personally, I prefer the pinch hitting and double switches over multiple pitching changes per inning. My sense is you get more off the latter with the designated hitter.

Meddler
Member
Meddler
4 months 10 days ago

My argument against the DH is pretty similar to your argument for the DH, though a more nuanced than just preferring less to more total offense. I prefer the tempo of the NL style game. I like the way the game ebbs, where there’s a maximal anxiety point in the middle of the lineup juxtaposed against the extreme opposite at the bottom. You don’t get this in AL games, where there’s more constant threat of action, with no down beat.

Admittedly, this is more just an aesthetic preference than anything about strategy or tradition, but I’ve found it to be much more enjoyable watching games that have this affective contrast rather than just more total offense. And I certainly understand some of the economic incentives (especially on the player side) for the DH.

gibby32
Member
gibby32
4 months 10 days ago

The NL should adopt the DH rule. But it should be coupled with another change for both leagues. A team should not lose the DH if the DH takes the field. Currently, any team can flip any two position players at any time. Why shouldn’t teams be able to flip the DH and a position player? This rule change should please everyone. Purists from the NL should like the fact this this change would facilitate the kind of double switches now common in the NL In addition, it would mean that both leagues would be changing something, instead of being viewed as an NL capitulation. It also would increase strategic decisions akin to those currently used in the NL.

the flu
Member
Member
the flu
4 months 10 days ago

So now that we’ve got this new system for logging in to comment, where do I send the petition to have Baron Samedi banned?

kuri3460
Member
kuri3460
4 months 10 days ago

Say what you will about glove-first players who don’t hit well, or bat-first players who are poor fielders, but the simple fact is that pitchers OPSed .326 last year, which is a level of ineptitude so severe that it makes Jose Molina look like Barry Bonds at the plate and Manny Ramirez look like Ozzie Smith on the field. And the thing is, since pitchers rarely hit in college, the minors, or even spring training anymore, of course they’re going to stink as hitters! When a rookie starting pitcher debuts for an NL team and comes to the plate for the first time, there’s a good chance that it’s his first “real” at bat since high school, when he was facing pitchers whose breaking balls probably didn’t break the speed limit.

Don’t forget the injury risk either. Pitchers don’t swing the bat or run the bases often enough to be physically well-conditioned to do these activities, and so they don’t give it a full effort, which is antithetical to the pro-strategy crowd. Do you think Clayton Kershaw is going to run aggressively to first when the catcher drops the third strike? Do you think David Price is going to try and leg out a double when hits the ball over the head of the left fielder? I don’t. And I if I was their GM, I’d tell them not to.

Sultan of Say
Member
Sultan of Say
4 months 9 days ago

Good hitting pitchers could someday become the new market inefficiency! Why would we want to take away that opportunity by implementing the DH?

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
4 months 10 days ago

The people who talk about pitchers batting like it introduces any non-trivial strategy to the game… I mean c’mon, that is all entirely negligible. Having to decide when to pinch-hit for the pitcher is merely action mistaken for strategy.

No, why we want to keep pitchers hitting is 100% fueled by this (click):
Bartolo is us, we are Bartolo

It is inherently funny, pitchers hitting. Humor is a person doing something for which they are not prepared, pushing ahead bullishly while the game is rigged against them, trying where to even try is an insult to the opponent.

Baseball will have a DH one day, and the game, as a game will be better for it, but the game as a spectacle will be worse.

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
4 months 10 days ago

Wow, should have read the article before reflexively jumping on the comment tidal wave it generated.

Shirtless Bartolo Colon
Member
4 months 10 days ago

Bartolo is you, you are Bartolo

Easyenough
Member
Member
Easyenough
4 months 10 days ago

I always like the pitcher batting because I thought it meant that after a HBP (hit by pitch) the other pitcher could retaliate and that might suppress HBPs.

In 2015, in 21,694.1 AL innings there were 820 hit by pitches for a rate of once every 26.5 innings. In the AL, in 21,713.1 innings there were 782 HBP for a rate of once every 27.8 innings.

Anyone want to do the last 20 years and figure out how to pull out intentional HBP and see if the rate difference means something?

I’m busy sharpening my snow shovel.

TKDC
Member
Member
TKDC
4 months 10 days ago

I did it. I’ll give you the results if you promise to also shovel my walkway.

Shirtless Bartolo Colon
Member
4 months 10 days ago

I’ll give you the results for a case of Presidente.

Yanks123
Member
Yanks123
4 months 10 days ago

Definitely a fan of the DH. Fewer pitcher injuries, more jobs for DH types, more offense, watching actual hitters instead of suffering through pitcher at bats and watching great SPs pitch more not worrying about being replaced by a middle reliever. And please don’t compare pitchers hitting to the other positions. The gap is huge. Teams don’t use a typical back up SS to DH.

alkalinesolo
Member
alkalinesolo
4 months 10 days ago

It’s obviously true that pitchers are generally worse batters…no one has ever disputed that and using it as the crux of an argument is as straw-man as it gets.

Even though they generally suck at hitting, it’s absolutely not useless when a pitcher hits – it adds a huge element of strategy that resonates down the batting order. The benches become more important, the bullpen becomes more important, having a pitcher who can lay down a bunt becomes important. The 8th hitter is no longer the 8th best hitter in the lineup, instead it’s a player who can swing the bat and sometimes hit bad pitches instead of taking a walk to bring up the pitcher.

Without the DH there will be more offense and higher scores, which might be what the MLB wants. It’s what the NFL and NBA wanted. It’s not what I want though, and I think most fans of the NL feel the same. It’s just not the same game when you add a DH, and it goes WAY beyond “lol pitchers suck at batting”

redsoxu571
Member
redsoxu571
4 months 10 days ago

How is it straw man? The author of this article makes the clear comparison to football, noting that specialization instead of forced well-roundedness has made that game better. You can of course choose to continue to value strategy over play, but you are WILLINGLY valuing strategy over the quality of the play on the field. Reminding us of just how much having pitchers hit reduces the quality of play forces us to question how much of a plus the strategic elements really are, and THAT is indeed the most valid and worthwhile debate to have.

As for the resonating effects of pitchers batting, as an AL fan who really appreciates when the lesser hitters at the bottom of the order put together a beautiful rally, I have to admit that a sharp pain resonates down my spine any time I see the same hitters doing the same thing in an NL park, only to have it short-circuited when my team’s worst hitter gets the Barry Bonds treatment so that the pitcher can kill the whole thing.

Schide
Member
Schide
4 months 10 days ago

No thanks.

BenRevereDoesSteroids
Member
BenRevereDoesSteroids
4 months 10 days ago

If you like the DH follow an AL team, and if you like pitchers hitting follow an NL team. There you go.

Paul22
Member
Paul22
4 months 10 days ago

The World Series and interleague play make it impossible to avoid the absurdity of the pitcher hitting.

Luy
Member
Luy
4 months 10 days ago

Or the absurdity of 1 position being played by 2 players while the other 8 are each played by only 1, depending on your feelings on the issue.

BenRevereDoesSteroids
Member
BenRevereDoesSteroids
4 months 10 days ago

Hope your favorite team doesn’t make it to the WS.

Nats Fan
Member
Nats Fan
4 months 10 days ago

Maybe I am odd, but the AL style of baseball has always been boring to me. Moves by AL managers are infrequent and obvious. Once each player establishes his role about a week into the season the AL manager can dial in in game strategy for the rest of the season. NL managers have to manage because they have no choice. So this article kind of bums me out and a NL DH will probably cost me as a fan.

Nats Fan
Member
Nats Fan
4 months 10 days ago

I guess I am odd reading about half of the comments above. To me a 1-0 game is far more enjoyable than a 10-9 game. I like pitching dominance punctuated by the occasional hit. The games are shorter and far more intense as every at bat really means something. DHs are dull, dull, dull, dull, DULL! To me baseball has been more fun since the steroid era is over than they were during the steroid era.

Paul22
Member
Paul22
4 months 10 days ago

You must love it when a dominant Kershaw get PH in the 6th inning because his team is down 1-0. LOL. Or better yet, your ace starter making 20 million a year is out for the season because he blows out his achilles swinging the bat.

Anonymous
Member
Anonymous
4 months 10 days ago

Neither of those things happens.

redsoxu571
Member
redsoxu571
4 months 10 days ago

I respect both types of game, but your distortion of NL and AL ball is rather awful.

NL ball does not equate to 1-0 games, and AL ball is not filled with 10-9 games. And to counter your attitude on what is enjoyable, I will present that a shutout by an AL pitcher is more impressive, and therefore more enjoyable, than a shutout by an AL pitcher (just as a big XBH by an NL pitcher is crazy enjoyable, though it happens at far too reduced a frequency).

There is simply nothing duller than a low-scoring affair being spun by two pitchers who aren’t even pitching all that well, but have prevented runs thanks in large part to sequencing. And having pitchers bat makes success-through-frequency FAR more common in the NL…meaning that the NL sees far more of the indisputably most dull types of baseball games.

Stuafoo
Member
Member
Stuafoo
4 months 10 days ago

All the arguments for or against have merit, whether it be tradition (because you’re used to it), home runs (because you like dingers), or whatever else (because you like having an opinion). Subjectivity has value because diversity has value, but in this case it really only serves to dilute the central issue. And that central issue is that we have a sport where not everybody plays by the same rules. Here, we can at least extend the question outside the contex of baseball. How many other sports have one half of their teams play under a significantly different rule? The DH isn’t going away in the AL, so the NL needs to catch up. People were up in arms when the DH was added to the AL, and now we have people up in arms defending it, which just goes to show how fickle subjectivity can be over time. If we really want to have this debate we need to go back to the origins of the DH…but that would require a time machine, so let’s just get over it and start talking about robot umpires.

dizmo
Member
dizmo
4 months 10 days ago

Please no. Pitchers hitting is beside the point for me. I just really don’t like the thought of someone in the lineup who doesn’t need to field a position.

Paul22
Member
Paul22
4 months 10 days ago

I guess starting pitchers have become so expensive that even NL teams recognize the folly of having them risk injury hitting and running the bases. The DH will increase NL teams payroll costs, at least those who are trying to win, which is a paltry few. It will also perhaps take off some of the pressure that MLBPA tries to exert to get rosters expanded.

However, I am puzzled give the drastic difference between DH production and pitchers hitting production, that NL starters could have an ERA only 0.1 lower than the AL? Whats up with that? In fact, over the last 5 years the difference is only 0.2 (5%), and K’s are only 0.2 (3%) higher. This is a much lower spread than from 2001-2005 when ERA differed by 0.4 (9%) and K’s by 0.6 (10%)

Anon
Member
Anon
4 months 10 days ago

I’m definitely up in the air on it – I can see both sides of the argument. However I haven’t seen one fact about pitchers hitting that has always personally bugged me – intentionally walking the light hitting #8 hitter to get to the pitcher. If watching pitchers flail bugs you, then it should bug you even more to watch capable major league pitchers pitch around or intentionally walk some weak hitting C or SS stuck in the 8 hole to get to the pitcher. The #8 spot regularly leads the NL in IBB even though the hitters are demonstrably worse than any other slot in the order. . .except #9 of course.

Matt
Member
Matt
4 months 10 days ago

Agreed. More IBB’s be part of a ‘strategy’ can hardly be construed as increasing the appeal of the game.

alkalinesolo
Member
alkalinesolo
4 months 10 days ago

Maybe not to you, but it increases the appeal of the game to me. Furthermore, what if you have a runner on 2nd with the 8th batter up in the 6th inning? Do you intentionally walk the 8th place hitter with the chance that the other team might pinch hit for their pitcher? Maybe he’s been throwing a gem so far but it getting a little high in pitch count, so if you intentionally walk the 8th place hitter it will give the other team a little more incentive to pull him…or they might leave him in to bat and you basically kill a rally for free just because the other team needed to leave their pitcher in the game.

Matt
Member
Matt
4 months 10 days ago

I understand where you’re coming from, but personally, I’d rather just watch professional hitters face off against professional pitchers – rather than a chess match because one of the players is so weak at the particular skill that he’s being asked to do. I get why the chess match appeals to some, but it simply doesn’t appeal to me. To each their own.

xeifrank
Member
4 months 10 days ago

Following this logic, let’s make it like football where we have a dedicated offense and defense. Of course, that would not be fun – and neither would the DH in the NL.
vr, Xei

mr.met89
Member
4 months 10 days ago

“We fans pay for the full nine, but we only get eight.” Right, that 9th player is really unimportant to the game!

skexy
Member
skexy
4 months 10 days ago

“Well, I believe in the soul, the cock, the pussy, the small of a woman’s back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days.”

Matt
Member
Matt
4 months 10 days ago

Crash is right on all counts, with the exception of his position on the DH. ;)

Serbian to Vietnamese to French and back
Member
Serbian to Vietnamese to French and back
4 months 10 days ago

Well, I believe in the soul, fuck, cunt, Little G women resuspended Kribi ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, shit estimate high. Lee Harvey Oswald believe that this gesture. I think it should be a constitutional amendment to ban mass and scorer is appointed. I believe Sweet up, soft-core pornography, opening presents Christmas morning, and was born on Christmas Eve, and I believe, kiss slow, deep, soft and wet three days time.

gdonahue
Member
gdonahue
4 months 10 days ago

I would like to see the Designated Pitcher-Fielder adopted. After all, why should we pay to see a pitcher field their position? Upon release, the pitchers could jump down onto a teeter-totter in a small hole in front of the mound and the Designated Pitcher-Fielder would pop into action. We wouldn’t be subjected to any more unsightly Pitcher-Fielding and it would cut down on pitchers injuries..maybe.

I’m working on a Designated Hitter-runner proposal, too. After all, why would we want to pay to see a Designated Hitter run? Upon contact, the Designated Hitter-runner would replace the unsightliness of the Designated Hitter running. What are we paying to see? It would cut down on Designated Hitter injuries, too, but it’s a little tricky with the whole batter box thing…

redsoxu571
Member
redsoxu571
4 months 10 days ago

Well considering that the best fielders at the mound position happen to be pitchers, your first point is rather a lost one.

As for the DH-runner, you jest, but that has been seriously proposed at times in baseball history, so methinks the joke is really on you.

Bucco's Cove
Member
4 months 10 days ago

This article is garbage. Literally all he’s saying is “MORE OFFENSE BETTER” without acknowledging anything about the positives of having strategy in the NL for substitutions, pinch hitting, bunting, etc. It doesn’t matter that pitchers can’t hit, more offense doesn’t make things more exciting. If it did, there would be 9 Designated hitters, 9 designated fielders, and a few designated runners on each team. Just put everyone in for what they’re best at, eh?

Noah Baron
Member
Noah Baron
4 months 10 days ago

I think you could have been a bit more sympathetic to the other side of the argument, but generally I agree. The reason the DH has become popular throughout various levels of baseball all around the world is because pitchers simply do not practice hitting, because pitching itself is a completely different art. It’s like making your soccer goalie kick penalty kicks.

In addition, the pitcher’s presence in the lineup allows for the opposing team’s pitcher to avoid challenging hitters towards the bottom of the order because they know that the pitcher is (almost always) an automatic out.

And that doesn’t even bring up injuries, as letting pitchers bat results in dozens of injuries every year simply due to a lack of experience.

Quite simply, these developments are not good for major league baseball, no matter which perspective you look at them from. That’s why the DH is ultimately inevitable. Almost everyone benefits.

Noah Baron
Member
Noah Baron
4 months 10 days ago

I’d be lying if I said that I wouldn’t miss watching Bartolo Colon bat, or watching Noah Syndergaard hit a 430 foot home run. Pitchers hitting really does occasionally create unforgettable moments, and you can even argue that it adds additional managing strategy.

But, when the DH does inevitably move to the National League, I definitely won’t miss watching the other team’s pitcher intentionally walking the #8 hitter with a man in scoring position only to strike out the pitcher with ease.

I won’t miss Terry Collins pinch hitting for Matt Harvey with only 88 pitches in the 5th inning because there are two men in scoring position in a tight game.

I won’t miss watching my team’s pitchers get tattooed by AL DHs in inter-league games while our DH spot is filled by Kirk Nieuwenhuis.

For you traditionalists: trust me, you’ll get used to it. You got used to the American League DH, after all.

dl80
Member
dl80
4 months 10 days ago

Good thing Collins always takes Harvey out early.

Anonymous
Member
Anonymous
4 months 10 days ago

Most Fangraphs readers have only ever known the DH in the American League. There was no adjustment that needed to be made.

Anonymous
Member
Anonymous
4 months 10 days ago

No one is going to read this comment. If you’ve gotten this far, you are my hero.

AngelsLakersFan
Member
AngelsLakersFan
4 months 10 days ago

I think it was TangoTiger who proposed the single substitution rule as an alternative to the DH. The idea is that managers would be allowed to choose one player to return to the game following a substitution. Currently if you pinch hit for the pitcher you lose the pitcher and then in the bottom half of the inning you lose the hitter. With this rule you could bring the pitcher back out to pitch the next inning, or alternatively you could save your hitter to allow him to pinch hit for a different pitcher later on.

With that rule change you could let your pitcher bat once, then the second time he comes up around the 5th or 6th inning you can decide to stick with your pitcher and burn a second or third tier hitter as a pinch hitter. Alternatively, if you want to pull your pitcher you can go with a more traditional DH who you could keep in the game until you start running out of bullpen arms.

This opens up a lot of new strategic elements without taking pitcher hitting out of the game completely. It increases offense in the NL, gives both leagues the same set of rules and increases the potential utility of a team’s bench.

TKDC
Member
Member
TKDC
4 months 10 days ago

I think this is cool. The problem is it eliminates 15 starting positions, so the union would never go for it.

dl80
Member
dl80
4 months 10 days ago

Regardless of the actual argument for or against the DH, here’s why it’s probably coming eventually: 1) owners seem to pay more, per win, for pitching than hitting. 2) when pitchers get hurt, it’s often for a long period of time. 3) owners think (rightly or not) that hitting increases pitcher injuries. 4) owners want to protect their investments. 5) owners believe (rightly, I think) that most fans won’t stop attending/watching/following if the DH is added in the NL.

I think you’d see more fans leave if the DH went away in the AL than it being added in the NL, though I have no real proof.

tz
Member
tz
4 months 10 days ago

Fun fact of the day:

In the Finnish version of baseball called pesäpallo, the offensive team gets to use 3 designated hitters, known in pesäpallo as “jokers”:

http://www.pesis.fi/pesapalloliitto/international_site/introduction/

free-range turducken
Member
free-range turducken
4 months 10 days ago

That’s gotta be the most messed-up, awesome thing I’ve ever seen.

stuck in a slump
Member
stuck in a slump
4 months 10 days ago

I would love it if the NL had 26 man rosters and a DH tied specifically to the SP. If the SP has to come out, the DH is removed and it’s the same version of the NL game that we’ve been watching all along. It continues to keep the strategy in whether or not to change your pitcher, but instead it’ll be about removing a better hitter for bench pieces to get a better pitcher than it would be about injecting better offense for one at bat at the expense of your SP.

aaronsteindler
Member
aaronsteindler
4 months 10 days ago

Who says that the pitcher has to be the only player subbed for the DH? Couldn’t the Giants choose to let Bumgarner hit and take away the AB’s from Pagan for a day?

EroticWaffles
Member
Member
EroticWaffles
4 months 10 days ago

DH is only for pitchers according to rule 5.11

Buck Farmer
Member
Buck Farmer
4 months 10 days ago

I may be alone in this, but does anyone else just want the rules to stay the same? I don’t understand why people think it’s such a huge problem having different rules in different leagues. It’s one of the many weird little quirks that makes baseball fun. Would you make every ballpark have exactly the same dimensions? These strange little quirks, in my opinion, are the essence of baseball. The absurd, the fact that over a 162 game season anything can happen, this is what baseball is all about.

redsoxu571
Member
redsoxu571
4 months 10 days ago

Yup, right here.

Give me my AL DH or give me death, but I’m entirely cool (even find it desirable) with the NL continuing to not adopt it.

obsessivegiantscompulsive
Member
4 months 10 days ago

Baloney! And I have no problem with change or strategy or whatnot, I love the changes for the playoffs, the changes in the divisions, the changes in how the bullpen is used.

I don’t like the asymmetry of the pitcher being DHed. If you bring up football, football went all the way, an entirely offensive team and an entirely defensive team. So baseball could go with an all-field team and an all-hit team. Current players would never go for that, though, as it would reduce their contract values (eventually). Another way to go might be the above suggestion of just not batting the pitcher’s spot, I would be OK with that innovation.

Also, I think the reason pitcher’s don’t hit better is because teams have been lazy about making them practice. The Giants have gone through period where the pitchers make it a competition to hit better. Livan did it in the early 2000’s, and lately Sir Bam Bam made it a team wide competition including pitchers.

I think Bumgarner shows the potential for what could happen if more pitchers took hitting seriously. When my son was in PONY League, the best hitters on his teams were the pitchers. Pitchers can’t throw all day, but can spend time in the batting cages and having live pitching. And it is a matter of training and purpose, when Ted Williams managed in the 1960’s, he improved the batting lines of the hitters, improving the offense a lot (unfortunately for his managerial career, he was not as interested in pitching). Such a focus by teams and their pitchers would yield a much better show on the part of pitchers. If you don’t believe that, ask any Giants fan about a Bumgarner AB.

Now, not all of them are going to hit that well. That’s also true about CF and SS too.

It’s also an area where teams could get free wins just by focusing on it. If a pitcher can turn himself from an average hitting pitcher to about replacement level hitter, like a Neifi, he would change one loss into a win in games that he starts. If you take an average team and average pitcher, it would bump him team from a 16-16 record in his starts to 17-15. An 81-81 team would change to a 86-76 team. I’m surprised more teams don’t do this in the NL right now.

The talk about pitchers injuring themselves running and batting? Tough. You can’t protect them. They will run when exercising, they will run when there is a squib in front and running to first. If that is a reason to stop batting, then why not have a “no field/you’re out” zone where if a pitcher fields the ball, the batter’s out? Heck, if it hits the pitcher, he’s out.

It’s just plain laziness and a waste of potentially good assets. No to the DH.

stuck in a slump
Member
stuck in a slump
4 months 10 days ago

This is possibly the most asymmetrical idea I’ve seen yet.

redsoxu571
Member
redsoxu571
4 months 10 days ago

Football didn’t go all the way. There have been players in recent history who still play at times on both sides of the ball. The main reason that NFL players don’t play both ways isn’t because they aren’t skilled enough to play on both sides of the ball (there is little doubt that JJ Watt would be a Pro Bowler at at least one offensive position if he played offense instead), but rather because football is a stamina game, and so it’s better for players to play on just one side and stay fresher.

Funny that you should bring this up. By parallel, there is no doubt that football would be FAR more strategic if players were required to play on both sides of the ball. Conversely, with a limited number of players who are capable of being among the best in the world at a position on both sides (even assume stamina isn’t an issue with this), it is certain that the quality of play would be inferior under this rule-set too.

So, the question comes down to asking whether you prefer a higher quality of play, or more tactical and strategic questions regarding roster use. By football’s nature, the gap clearly favors allowing one-way players in the sport, but baseball’s difference is much less stark, and so the validity of the DH isn’t questioned by demanding that its idea be taken to the fullest extent possible.

Sultan of Say
Member
Sultan of Say
4 months 9 days ago

In what world would the optimal solution be that only the QB doesn’t have to play both offense and defense because he chooses to specialize in offense?

This is how I see the DH in baseball.

Someone please tell me why this analogy doesn’t apply?

Sn0wman
Member
Sn0wman
4 months 10 days ago

After 40 years as a fan, it’s entirely possible that will be the point at which baseball finally loses me. I’ve just never been able to stand the utter boredom of watching DH-ball. Unfortunately, it seems I’m in an increasingly small majority on that count, so even if not in the next CBA, it’s still a battle that will be lost sooner rather than later.

redsoxu571
Member
redsoxu571
4 months 10 days ago

There is a lost component in this discussion. It is becoming more and more clear that the AL dominance of the NL in interleague play has been, in part, due to the difference in league rules. In the mid-2000s, when the dominance was at its height, there was a reasonable assertion that the difference was due to talent being concentrated more in the somewhat-better-off-financially AL.

However, talent has migrated less so far in this decade, and the finances of the two league are now much more even, and yet the AL continues to consistently win more against the NL. So part of the discussion has to include that NL teams appear to be handicapped by the rules difference.

This is more extreme, but you could also make the argument that the reason the AL is winning is because mastery of DH ball leads to a better team than mastery of non-DH ball…which suggests that the quality of the team, and therefore the baseball in general, is higher with a DH than without. That claim is far less certain, but it is interesting to chew on.

TKDC
Member
Member
TKDC
4 months 9 days ago

The problem with this is that there is no logical reason that the advantage of a DHed team playing a non-DHed team with a DH is any greater than the opposite. For NL teams in AL parks, they must play a guy who is not a regular starter. But having one less starter allows them to spread their resources to other parts of the team. On the other hand, AL teams in NL parks lose a starting player.

I guess you could argue that the “DH penalty” is greater for players that are not used to DHing. I wonder if that’s true? It seems a lot of NL teams rest older players by giving them a “day off” at DH when in AL parks.

It may simply be an effect of the best strategy (looking at an 162 game season) is that NL teams don’t end up putting their best foot forward in interleague games.

On the other hand, maybe the AL teams are just better? I tried (and failed) to find home/road splits for interleague. That would be helpful information.

obsessivegiantscompulsive
Member
4 months 9 days ago

TKDC: I did not think of the payroll effect regarding spreading their resources to other parts of the team. Good point.

So I went to baseball-reference.com and added up the estimated payrolls for all the teams in AL and NL.

In NL, it totalled $1,771.8M
In AL, it totalled $2,016.5M

The AL spends $244.7M more overall than the NL for payroll. Or the average AL team spends $16.3M more than the average NL team on payroll. That will buy each AL team a pretty good DH most of the time.

So good point, but the AL team can spend just as much on the rest of the team as an NL team, then got another $16.3M to spend on the DH or other roster positions.

obsessivegiantscompulsive
Member
4 months 9 days ago

I have always thought that it was obvious why AL teams tend to beat NL teams: the DH disadvantage.

In an AL park:
For AL teams, many have a hitter being paid $10-20M to be their DH. For NL teams, they have a bench replacement level hitter being their DH, or taking the place of the regular playing instead at DH.

However, in an NL park:
For AL teams, their pitchers suck as hitters because they get little practice. In 2015: .124/.153/.152/.305
For NL teams, their pitchers suck as hitters because few get pushed to practice their hitting much. In 2015: .133/.160/.171/.331

So there is barely any difference in their hitting.

Dominikk85
Member
Dominikk85
4 months 9 days ago

Why not allow a designated hitter for every spot? There are plenty of blocked first basemen and Corner outfielders in AAA who hit better than many MLB infielders. You could also allow flying exchanges like in hockey. I’m actually not kidding, I think watching Albert pujols or Miguel Cabrera hobbling around the bases is not needed.

Let hitters hit and guys like andrelton Simmons and bills Hamilton field and run.

jarubin3
Member
jarubin3
4 months 9 days ago

The only real point in this article is that offense is down and it would boost offense. Another good point is that it creates an unnecessary injury risk to pitchers. There are other good reasons out there, but I won’t make them out in a comment.

I think you are missing a lot of stuff that fans care about. And by fans, I mean non-fangraph devotee fans. Yes, we exist. No, we are not all stupid superstitious morons.

1. People enjoy watching pitchers hit. It’s fun. Who doesn’t love a Greinke batflip? Bartolo’s helmet shooting off? Jose Fernandez provoking a bench-clearing brawl? It’s just a weird part of the game that doesn’t make much sense, but rather is a historical oddity. In such a regularized era, why not leave a quirk alone. I mean, this is a game where there isn’t even a standardized field size.

2. Lots of folks are still very league specific. I have followed exclusively NL teams my entire life, because my teams are NL teams. I still barely know AL ball, even in this day and age. I’m not alone. Lots of fans have grown up without the DH. That’s a bigger change than you’d think. Giving the NL a DH is not so much normalizing an antiquated part of the game to us so much as tearing down a whole wing of the building.

3. So what if offense is down? It was up quite a bit this year. It will come back. There are other, less drastic ways to boost offense that would apply evenly. Ever heard of cutting down the zone?

4. Games are too long. Won’t adding a DH make games longer?

5. Pitchers batting are not beautiful. How about a lumbering DH?

Anonymous
Member
Anonymous
4 months 9 days ago

I enjoy watching pitchers hit as well, but the time argument is a wash.

Pinch hitting / pitcher changes take up way more time than a DH plate appearance. NL DH would speed up the games, if anything.

Shirtless George Brett
Member
Shirtless George Brett
4 months 9 days ago

I find the DH to be an odd reaction in general. Changing the core rules of a sport to avoid a relatively minor aspect is a pretty crazy overreaction IMHO.

Its a bit like the NFL outlawing running plays because running the ball is less exciting then throwing it. Its probably true but is it really worth that massive of a shift in the way the game is played?

Anonymous
Member
Anonymous
4 months 9 days ago

It’s getting there. Not by banning them, but by making the rules heavily favor passing to the point where it’s inefficient to run the ball.

In the Pats – Chiefs game, no one called a running play until 7:30 left in the first quarter. There were no punts up to that point.

Nivra
Member
Nivra
4 months 9 days ago

Home runs? you want Home Runs?!?

From Grant Brisbee:

Last year, Giants pitchers hit more home runs than:

Phillies center fielders
Mariners shortstops
Rockies second basemen
Braves second basemen
Brewers second basemen
Red Sox shortstops
Tigers center fielders
Twins catchers
Red Sox catchers
Phillies shortstops
Rangers shortstops
Pirates catchers
Indians center fielders
Brewers shortstops
Phillies second basemen
Royals second basemen
Angels second basemen
White Sox second basemen
Marlins shortstops
Rangers center fielders
A’s second basemen
Reds center fielders
Cardinals catchers
Royals right fielders
Braves shortstops
A’s center fielders
Reds catchers
Marlins second basemen
Angels shortstops
Tigers shortstops
Royals shortstops

Baron Samedi
Member
Baron Samedi
4 months 8 days ago

Ctrl+F “Blue Jays”

0 results.

Dominikk85
Member
Dominikk85
4 months 9 days ago

I would actually like the DH but Keep in mind that the DH only increases scoring by about 0.25 runs (look AL vs NL scoring). since half of MLB already has the DH getting the universal DH would only increase MLB scoring by a Little more than 0.1 runs. that is not nothing but it isn’t a huge boost for offense.

Still I don’t Need to see pitchers bat (I also don’t Need watching Vmart or Molina run the bases but there is no easy way to eliminate that).

anubis_lab
Member
anubis_lab
4 months 9 days ago

I still do not understand the argument for the DH.

1) That pitchers are bad hitters? That’s part of the charm in my opinion. Not a detractor.

2) That there will be more money for players? That’s not really true–the money is redistributed not added. Adding a DH redistributes money to DH’s at the expense of an extra relief pitcher or backup catcher on the roster. So it’s good for agents and maybe DH’s but it sucks for the little guy who’s barely hanging on to the big-league roster. So the player’s union is going to be hurting their rank and file members to benefit their bigger names and their agents. If you want more money raise the minimum salary or increase the roster size.

3) That the DH is more popular because it drives up runs? So that means that AL teams are more popular than NL teams? Really? I think that’s a wash. Show me the statistics on that. That would imply that Houston is more popular now that it’s in the AL and that Milwaukee is less popular in the NL. Is that true? That would also imply that every double-market the NL team is less popular. Maybe NY, but what about LA, Chicago, Wash-Balt?

I don’t understand where the momentum for this switch is coming from. I’m going to have to start selling t-shirts that say “let the pitchers hit” or “Designate this”.

Embiggens Papiamentu
Member
4 months 9 days ago

On a completely different subject:

Since they’ve closed off comments for the final NotGraphs article, I figure I’d post this and that the replies to this comment would be a good place to pick up where we left off after comment #588:

http://www.fangraphs.com/not/notgraphs-a-valedictory-statement/#comment-327547

Baron Samedi
Member
Baron Samedi
4 months 8 days ago

Way to achieve FG’s monthly comment quota in a single post, Mr. Kory.

astrostl
Member
astrostl
4 months 7 days ago

I’d love to see the DH come to the NL. Maybe a couple years into Leake’s contract, though? :P

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