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Monday, November 01, 2021

Did we just see the last MLB game without a DH?

As things currently stand, there are plenty of reasons to believe that Game 5 of this season’s World Series will go down as the final game in which pitchers have to hit in National League parks.

That is because MLB’s collective bargaining agreement officially expires after this season, opening the door for the implementation of the universal DH as the league and players association sort through a number of contentious topics.

The possibility of adding the DH to the NL has been circling for years, and it’s not hard to see why. Expanding the DH figures to increase offense and vastly decrease the game’s least compelling plate appearances, which sounds appealing to MLB. It also figures to decrease pitcher injuries and increase interest in aging sluggers with little defensive value, which sounds appealing to the MLBPA.

MLB already gave the rule a try with the pandemic-altered 2020 season before going back to the old rules this season, and MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has said any change would come during this offseason’s CBA negotiations at the earliest.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 01, 2021 at 01:34 PM | 50 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: designated hitter

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   1. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: November 01, 2021 at 02:18 PM (#6050537)
That would be too bad, especially since the game featured a dramatic hit from a pitcher, an American League pitcher, no less.
   2. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: November 01, 2021 at 03:13 PM (#6050544)
I hope so.
   3. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 01, 2021 at 03:15 PM (#6050545)
By definition, once the DH becomes universal, they stop playing baseball, so the question should be "Did we just see the last MLB game?"
   4. BDC Posted: November 01, 2021 at 03:35 PM (#6050547)
Expanding the DH figures to increase offense and vastly decrease the game’s least compelling plate appearances, which sounds appealing to MLB
This appeals to me too, and has long been the main reason I like the DH rule.

It also figures to decrease pitcher injuries
Is there any factual support for this? AL pitchers seem to get hurt all the time. Injuries to pitchers while batting or running bases happen, I guess, but are rare. Fair enough, this will reduce them to zero.

and increase interest in aging sluggers with little defensive value
Who are these guys? At the moment Nelson Cruz, and Miguel Cabrera. All the other guys listed as regular DHs in B-Ref this year are a lot younger and, if they can really hit, could play in the NL; you'd find room for them at 1B or in LF. As we often note, a lot of clubs don't even use a regular DH, they rotate guys with more versatility through the position.

This argument was made back in 1973, it was like, "Isn't this wonderful? You'll get to see Harmon Killebrew for another few years!" except Harmon Killebrew couldn't hit by that point any more and as a DH he was useless.
   5. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: November 01, 2021 at 03:37 PM (#6050548)
Universal DH means even less need for bench PH, which means they'll probably use any roster wiggle room on another RP. Maybe I should be against it.


   6. and Posted: November 01, 2021 at 03:49 PM (#6050549)
BLB, yes, of course. Do people really think universal DH will bring back the utility man? It's one more (or, more likely, a series of) LOOGY.

   7. Walt Davis Posted: November 01, 2021 at 04:01 PM (#6050552)
Well, MLB had a roster rule limiting the number of pitchers on the roster. It went out the window with covid but easy enough to bring it back. And of course there are no LOOGYs anymore (and haven't been for a while).

Universal DH means even less need for bench PH

While there's obviously less PHing in the AL, there's no evidence for substantially less bench use. As we've noted, most teams rotate guys through the DH slot, always have, because of the need for a sufficiently flexible bench to cover all the positions and because only about half the players are actually good/durable enough to start nearly every day. In fact, 2021 saw the fewest batters reach a qualified season ... probably ever (on a per team basis), certainly in the 2000s. Teams are using their bench more than ever. (Note 2020 with the NL DH had the same rate as 2021 but given limited training, expanded rosters, covid cases, etc. it's not a fair comp. Covid cases might also be why 2021 was so low.)

In the NL, it will mean some lumbering 1B/LF will shift to DH, in most cases to be replaced in the field by some rotation of guys (probably including these new DHs).
   8. DL from MN Posted: November 01, 2021 at 04:55 PM (#6050566)
and increase interest in aging sluggers with little defensive value

Who are these guys?


Andrew McCutchen, Joey Votto, Miguel Sano, Mitch Haniger, Jorge Soler
   9. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: November 01, 2021 at 05:16 PM (#6050568)
It's not just the lumbering sluggers who'd benefit from the DH slot, it's also the injury-prone types like Edgar or Molitor.
   10. SoSH U at work Posted: November 01, 2021 at 05:30 PM (#6050572)

It's not just the lumbering sluggers who'd benefit from the DH slot, it's also the injury-prone types like Edgar or Molitor.


Perhaps, but in the old days guys like that would have simply been put at first and they probably would have been just fine.
   11. sanny manguillen Posted: November 01, 2021 at 06:24 PM (#6050587)
The pitchers dropped to .110 this year. Pull the plug.
   12. Ron J Posted: November 01, 2021 at 06:33 PM (#6050590)
#10. Mantle retired (in part -- no certainty he'd have played if guaranteed he wouldn't have been asked to play first) rather play another year at first. It was harder on his body than playing left.

Different player have different injury issues, but as we age many of us have increasing problems with stretching and that's required to be adequate at first.
   13. SoSH U at work Posted: November 01, 2021 at 07:06 PM (#6050601)
Well, it doesn’t appear he mentioned that as a reason when he retired.

First really isn’t that taxing, certainly not compared to the requirements on offense. The injury risks get slotted at DH not necessarily because they have to, but because someone has to (see every road WS game the Sox played on the road in 2013. Ortiz was there).
   14. BDC Posted: November 01, 2021 at 07:13 PM (#6050603)
Andrew McCutchen, Joey Votto, Miguel Sano, Mitch Haniger, Jorge Soler

I may just be using the wrong definition of "aging": the last three don't seem particularly old to me by baseball standards, and by the time they're, say, 35, they may have stopped hitting and not be signable as DHs.

Votto is old for a ballplayer, in any era, but he is a great hitter and still holding his own at first base; he could play under old NL rules till he gave out altogether. It is possible that full-time DH'ing would keep him in the lineup more, so, fair enough.

McCutchen is the intriguing case. He has kept himself in the league with his bat, at a much lower level than in his prime, but he's 35 now and he batted .222 this year (OPS+ of 109). He looks to me similar to Killebrew. If you owed him a lot of money (as the Tigers do Cabrera), you might try him at DH, what's the harm. But I wonder if the Phillies would pick up his 2022 option just to use him at DH. He would cost them $12M. That seems to me a tough call (not obviously absurd but not an obvious bargain either).

   15. KronicFatigue Posted: November 01, 2021 at 07:44 PM (#6050608)
and vastly decrease the game’s least compelling plate appearances


The thing is, knowing that an "almost automatic" out is coming up can INCREASE the excitement of an inning. 2 outs, nobody on, and the 8th hitter is up. In the AL, it doesn't really matter if he gets a bloop single or draws a walk. In the NL, it's exciting for fans of the offensive team "woo hoo, we turned the lineup over" and disappointing for fans of the defensive team "damn it, would have been nice for the pitcher to lead off next inning".

When runners are getting on base ahead of the pitcher, there's that urgency of scoring before the automatic out. I also think bunting is dramatic especially when pitchers aren't very good at it. Finally, double switches are awesome.

An entire lineup batting .110 would be awful. But ONE spot that only comes up 2-3 a game feels like it adds something.
   16. sanny manguillen Posted: November 01, 2021 at 08:57 PM (#6050629)
Scherzer has been one of the better hitting pitchers of recent years (.180 as a Nat), but somehow managed to go 0 for 59 this season.
   17. Jay Z Posted: November 01, 2021 at 10:13 PM (#6050641)
#10. Mantle retired (in part -- no certainty he'd have played if guaranteed he wouldn't have been asked to play first) rather play another year at first. It was harder on his body than playing left.


? The 144 games he played in 1967 and 1968 were his most since 1961. 1B helped Mantle stay on the field more.
   18. villageidiom Posted: November 01, 2021 at 11:47 PM (#6050650)
Did we just see the last MLB game without a DH?
Did I miss the announcement of Shohei Ohtani's retirement?
   19. The Duke Posted: November 02, 2021 at 12:14 AM (#6050653)
I hate the DH and I blame it’s introduction On the collapse of pitchers who can hit. However, we are way past the point where having pitchers hit makes sense now. Scherzer, who is a good hitter, went 0-2021. Wainwright used to hit really well but he could hardly foul the ball back this year. The high octane pitching environment has impacted all hitters but its crushed pitchers who bat.

So, it’s time to go to the DH. I like the Stark variation of losing your DH if you pull your starter. It would be a huge penalty to pull a starter and would likely force things back to longer outings. Maybe they could take a halfway house and say you lose your DH after two pitching changes.
   20. Cooper Nielson Posted: November 02, 2021 at 04:42 AM (#6050657)
I like the Stark variation of losing your DH if you pull your starter. It would be a huge penalty to pull a starter and would likely force things back to longer outings. Maybe they could take a halfway house and say you lose your DH after two pitching changes.

How about every time you replace the pitcher, you also have to replace the DH (or opt to have the pitcher bat)? In other words, each pitcher can have his own personal designated hitter, who stays in the game as long as the pitcher does.

This could encourage longer starts, but also longer relief appearances (and fewer pitching changes).
   21. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: November 02, 2021 at 08:31 AM (#6050665)
I favor a universal DH (although I really like the Stark idea of keeping your DH as long as your starting pitcher is in the game), because the pros outweigh the cons.

However, one negative impact of a universal DH is that games will get a little bit longer in the NL, because DH ABs tend to be longer than ABs by pitchers; also, because DHs are obviously much more likely to get on base, that leads to more offense - which is fun, but also lengthens the games over watching a pitcher often basically keep their bat on the shoulder and watch three strikes go by.
   22. Traderdave Posted: November 02, 2021 at 09:04 AM (#6050669)
The thing is, knowing that an "almost automatic" out is coming up can INCREASE the excitement of an inning. 2 outs, nobody on, and the 8th hitter is up. In the AL, it doesn't really matter if he gets a bloop single or draws a walk. In the NL, it's exciting for fans of the offensive team "woo hoo, we turned the lineup over" and disappointing for fans of the defensive team "damn it, would have been nice for the pitcher to lead off next inning".

When runners are getting on base ahead of the pitcher, there's that urgency of scoring before the automatic out. I also think bunting is dramatic especially when pitchers aren't very good at it. Finally, double switches are awesome.

An entire lineup batting .110 would be awful. But ONE spot that only comes up 2-3 a game feels like it adds something.


This.


And also this:

Pitchers are not an automatic out. They are a *highly likely* out, obviously, but the occasional hit -- and even better, a homer or RBI - from an assumed zero is fun, and lack of this element truly waters down the game in the AL.



   23. SoSH U at work Posted: November 02, 2021 at 09:09 AM (#6050671)
As always, while I would prefer a universal no-DH to a universal DH, what I really think is best for the sport is one of each. Most of the explanations for adopting the universal DH don't add up, and it definitely makes the game less appealing for fans who prefer no DH.
   24. Gazizza, my Dilznoofuses! Posted: November 02, 2021 at 09:19 AM (#6050672)
By definition, once the DH becomes universal, they stop playing baseball, so the question should be "Did we just see the last MLB game?"


I forget where I read this: The rule book states that baseball is a game played with nine players. The Designated Hitter is a tenth player. Therefore, the American League plays softball.
   25. Nasty Nate Posted: November 02, 2021 at 09:34 AM (#6050675)
I forget where I read this: The rule book states that baseball is a game played with nine players. The Designated Hitter is a tenth player. Therefore, the American League plays softball.
You might want to check the softball rule book...
   26. Jay Seaver Posted: November 02, 2021 at 09:41 AM (#6050676)
what I really think is best for the sport is one of each. Most of the explanations for adopting the universal DH don't add up, and it definitely makes the game less appealing for fans who prefer no DH.


Honestly, find more ways to differentiate between the leagues. The go-to argument for standardizing is just "you've got to have the same rules", but why? You've got the two brands, use 'em differently.
   27. Traderdave Posted: November 02, 2021 at 09:44 AM (#6050677)
Except since Selig, there really aren't two brands anymore.
   28. salvomania Posted: November 02, 2021 at 09:52 AM (#6050678)
I also like that the added strategic components of having a pitcher hit.
---pulling a starter mid-inning can affect your lineup for the next half inning, and can lead to double-switching, which will almost disappear.
---do you try to squeeze one more out out of a starter who's set to bat the next inning, so you can pinch hit for him rather than having to use a reliever to get just one out but who you'd then have to pinch hit for (or double switch)?

From the opponents point of view:
---2nd and 3rd, two outs, do you walk the terrible .200-hitting No. 8 hitter to get to the even more terrible-hitting pitcher? Do you force the other manager to make the decision whether or not to pinch hit?

These are actual in-game strategic situations that arise all the time in the NL, that will disappear with the DH. A strategic component of the game will be eliminated.

The psychological component is fun, too:
---when the No. 8 hitter is walked to get to the pitcher, and the pitcher doesn't make an out, is CRUSHING to the other team.
---a pitcher leading off that gets on base has flipped the script: rather than beginning the inning with an "automatic out" and only needing to get two real hitters out, all of a sudden there's a man on and nobody out for the top of the lineup.
---do you pinch hit for your starter who's throwing well in a tie game and is on-deck with a man on and two out?

I agree with the poster above that said an entire lineup of .110 hitters would be no fun to watch, but having this spot come up 2-3 (at most) times a game per team, often with strategic implications, can lead to interesting situations and unexpected results that are a part of the appeal of the game.

I'll miss the pitchers hitting.
   29. Ron J Posted: November 02, 2021 at 09:57 AM (#6050679)
#17 Yeah he was able to play. The old hurt versus injured thing.
   30. DCA Posted: November 02, 2021 at 09:59 AM (#6050680)
I favor a universal DH (although I really like the Stark idea of keeping your DH as long as your starting pitcher is in the game), because the pros outweigh the cons.

I'm with this. I will say that my first instinct is to hate the Stark idea on principle, but every consequence of it that I can think of would be a good thing, so I'm on board.
   31. God can’t be all that impressed with Charles S. Posted: November 02, 2021 at 10:00 AM (#6050681)
This is a bad development. Pitchers hitting is more enjoyable for me. Sure they might hit only .110, but each pitcher hit is at least three times as exciting as a regular hit, so it's as if they hit .330. Without pitchers hitting, the sacrifice bunt will virtually disappear. We've long known that this was only a productive play with the pitcher batting, but I still like watching a well-executed sacrifice bunt. I also like watching a well-defended sacrifice attempt. We might never again see Anthony Rizzo donning a 2nd baseman's glove, charging three-quarters of the way to the plate, grabbing the ball and making a perfect left-handed throw to third base to nail the lead runner. That's a shame.

Baseball will continue to be the best sport ever created, and I will still watch every day, but it will be just a bit less wonderful than it was before.
   32. Howie Menckel Posted: November 02, 2021 at 10:26 AM (#6050684)
well, we had a good run.

and not having to be lectured anymore by the pro-DH crowd that insists that everyone has to play the game "their way" is a consolation. they win the battle - but lose their chance to keep hectoring.
   33. Nasty Nate Posted: November 02, 2021 at 10:46 AM (#6050690)
but lose their chance to keep hectoring.
Nothing will ever stop you in that regard though!
   34. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 02, 2021 at 12:23 PM (#6050708)
I always liked the idea of one league with the DH and one league without it, though if something had to give I'm glad it's in the AL direction.

I favor a universal DH (although I really like the Stark idea of keeping your DH as long as your starting pitcher is in the game), because the pros outweigh the cons.

I also like that idea. I'm all in favor of anything that slows down the trend of pulling starters in the 4th / 5th / 6th innings.
   35. Tony S Posted: November 02, 2021 at 01:07 PM (#6050720)
Honestly, find more ways to differentiate between the leagues. The go-to argument for standardizing is just "you've got to have the same rules", but why? You've got the two brands, use 'em differently.


I agree with the sentiment, but that ship sailed a long time ago.

But turning the leagues into conferences has made the game's popularity and TV ratings go through the roof!
   36. Tony S Posted: November 02, 2021 at 01:18 PM (#6050723)

While this is personal, one of the most appealing things about classic baseball was its elegance, its order, its neatness. Nine players on offense, same nine on defense. Only champions play in the postseason. Pennant races, with their twists, turns, and angles. Each of the two leagues had its own identity, its history, its practices -- which greatly added to the intrigue of the All-Star Game and the World Series. No replay; what you see is what you get. All of the activity in a baseball season happens within the same calendar year. (That last one remains, and will be very hard to screw up.)

Baseball gets more NFLized every year. If this actually were increasing the fan base, I could at least see an economic justification for all the gadgets and gimmicks. But...the evidence that it's doing so is mixed at best.
   37. Jay Seaver Posted: November 02, 2021 at 03:03 PM (#6050737)
35 - It seems kind of sad to me that nobody in MLB thinks that giving the leagues their distinct identities would give them the opportunity to sell twice as much merchandise because people might have favorite AL and NL teams. Why, there would be entirely new angles to threatening relocation if you could plausibly come up with a reason to move an NL team to Boston or Detroit or an AL team to Philly or St. Louis!

I realize that "the ship has sailed", but it's kind of the same sort of argument as "you've got to have the same rules" - it's the easy way to go and seems self-evident when you say it, but making an effort to re-establish the AL and NL as different brands of baseball (say, with the next round of expansion that puts an even number of teams in both leagues) could pay dividends, though it requires a level of creativity and boldness that MLB doesn't particularly possess right now.

I also like that the added strategic components of having a pitcher hit.


I know it sounds like a ridiculous thing to say, but when I'm watching the game, especially when I'm at the park, I kind of want less strategy and more of the best players playing baseball - put the action between the lines rather than in the dugout! Quite the opposite from being excited by the machinations that may be exciting as the bottom of a National League order comes up, it all too often seems like a predictable brick wall which stops things dead.

As I joked with the guy in the next seat when I went to a road game in Washington, you can't really convince me that watching pitchers hit is more fun than having David Ortiz on your team, but I'm glad both brands of baseball exist. I'll mourn the loss of variety more than I will the actual specifics of the non-DH game, though.
   38. and Posted: November 02, 2021 at 03:29 PM (#6050742)
The inevitable end of "see the best players" is contraction, and severe contraction of teams in MLB.
   39. Jay Seaver Posted: November 02, 2021 at 03:37 PM (#6050744)
38 - I really didn't mean it on that sort of macro level. I just mean that I get more enjoyment out of seeing people who are good at a thing doing it well than hoping that people who are not good at a thing maybe get lucky.
   40. Traderdave Posted: November 02, 2021 at 03:39 PM (#6050745)
How long before a DH for light hitting glove men gets pitched for "I want to see the best hitters hitting" reasons?
   41. Rally Posted: November 02, 2021 at 03:40 PM (#6050746)
As I joked with the guy in the next seat when I went to a road game in Washington, you can't really convince me that watching pitchers hit is more fun than having David Ortiz on your team


True, but there’s only one David Ortiz. If he’s on your team and I’ve got someone like Mitch Moreland, then I’d much rather enjoy watching the pitchers hit.
   42. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: November 02, 2021 at 03:52 PM (#6050748)
I also like that idea. I'm all in favor of anything that slows down the trend of pulling starters in the 4th / 5th / 6th innings.


It might also really put a dent in the idea of using openers for short bursts, which while not abhorrent to me, seems to be gimmicky and erodes some of the natural structure of the game. But each league having different rules is something I'll miss when it changes.
   43. base ball chick Posted: November 02, 2021 at 04:07 PM (#6050753)
Traderdave Posted: November 02, 2021 at 03:39 PM (#6050745)

How long before a DH for light hitting glove men gets pitched for "I want to see the best hitters hitting" reasons?


- ah bin sayin this for as along as people been pimping the DH. which i hate

and the DHs are NOT david ortiz/don baylor no mo. they are the 4th OF of 4 and the 4th IF of 4 and the general all around backup. with VERY few exceptions. and yes, ortiz could have most definitely kept on playing 1B. he wasn't a lead balloon out there

more marwin gonzalez and less zack greinke

sigh

i absolutely hate this - no more than twice through the lineup shttt. i like the - the DH can only be there for the original pitcher - idea. Guys are getting pulled at 50-70 pitches when there is no reason to seeing as how they are doing fine. i'm ALL for limiting the # of pitchers on a roster and having a minimum 15 day DL for them if they are "hurt" during a game so as the taxi squad guy comes in for them. the 10 day list is just ridiculous. And if sent down they should have to stay down for 3 weeks, too. the churn stuff is just boring baseball. oh yeah - i want pitch clocks too. and batters given strikes for stepping out to adjust their cup or whatevs
   44. Tom Nawrocki Posted: November 02, 2021 at 04:18 PM (#6050756)
It's really fun when you have a pitcher who can hit on your team, like Jacob deGrom or German Marquez. It's worth sitting through three or four starters flailing away to get to that one guy who might put some runs on the board.
   45. Jay Seaver Posted: November 02, 2021 at 04:22 PM (#6050758)
How long before a DH for light hitting glove men gets pitched for "I want to see the best hitters hitting" reasons?

I kind of feel like 40 years of not sliding down that slope may indicate that it's not that slippery after all.

Indeed, there are probably a lot more catchers and middle infielders who can hit than there were before the DH rule; the pitcher is really the only position that is consistently enough of an offensive black hole that it skews the balance of the game, the very occasional Shohei Ohtani notwithstanding. As much as perfect symmetry would be ideal, one can argue that it's a more enjoyable game with that symmetry tweaked.

True, but there’s only one David Ortiz.

Hey, you count Edgar, there's at least two! And maybe more if teams start treating it as a real position rather than just what you do with a failed fielder, much like they'll currently develop relievers as folks who are good in short bursts rather than occasionally getting lucky with pitchers who failed as starters.

Anyway, my point isn't that AL ball is inherently superior to NL ball, but that they're both interesting, valid variations and we should have both (possibly striving to make them somewhat more different).
   46. DL from MN Posted: November 02, 2021 at 04:48 PM (#6050764)
keeping your DH as long as your starting pitcher is in the game


If that's the rule expect the DH to bat leadoff or #2 in the order at the lowest.
   47. BDC Posted: November 02, 2021 at 05:39 PM (#6050783)
I kind of feel like 40 years of not sliding down that slope may indicate that it's not that slippery after all.

Indeed, there are probably a lot more catchers and middle infielders who can hit than there were before the DH rule; the pitcher is really the only position that is consistently enough of an offensive black hole that it skews the balance of the game


That certainly seems correct to me.

One could instead phrase a "second DH" rule as being able to substitute for any position that day, not strictly SS or C. But unless rosters were greatly expanded, I don't think teams would carry two guys who can't play defense, as well as one guy who can only play defense. Few enough teams use a dedicated only-DH guy as it is.

So if you're going to carry a couple of DHs who can also play defensive positions, the rule starts to get meaningless. You might just carry on with the status quo.
   48. Walt Davis Posted: November 02, 2021 at 06:05 PM (#6050786)
The Stark idea is one of the dumbest things anybody has ever proposed. And anybody who thinks it will make one bit of difference as to how pitchers are used is nuts. Maybe, maybe, you get rid of bullpen games. And all we get as a "reward" is the same set of shitty PHs that we're currently getting. And, in the end, who cares who pitches the 6th inning?

I thought you guys wanted more Ohtani, not less.

Perhaps, but in the old days guys like that would have simply been put at first and they probably would have been just fine.

It's true they'd have been stuck at 1B, it is unlikely the case that they would have been as durable playing the field as they were as DHs. (Note Molitor started about 40 per year at 1B and even still 15 till the end.) Molitor is 6th in post-expansion PAs aged 32+, averaging 633 per year through 41; Edgar is 11th averaging 600; Ortiz averaged about 570. Molitor's age 32-41 total would put him 32nd on the age 22-31 leaderboard, a bit more than Frank Robinson. Molitor and Edgar in particular went from fragile to super-durable -- it seems likely their teams knew what they were doing by playing them at DH, especially given both were solid defenders when healthy to that point. (Ortiz was never particularly fragile that I recall.) Molitor was an FA 4 times, I wonder if he got any NL interest at all.

It's probably not a huge impact and of course there are lots of sluggers who stayed durable in the field at least into their late 30s. It probably adds 10-15 starts a year, adds a full-ish season at the end, avoids maybe 0.5 injured seasons on average ... although at that age, a major injury at 36 might be the end.
   49. SoSH U at work Posted: November 02, 2021 at 06:24 PM (#6050790)
It's true they'd have been stuck at 1B, it is unlikely the case that they would have been as durable playing the field as they were as DHs. (Note Molitor started about 40 per year at 1B and even still 15 till the end.)


So he wouldn't have been as durable even though he was already doing it a lot?

Of course, adding any other responsibility to hitting increases the chances of injury. But first really isn't a position that leads to a lot of injuries (frankly, I'm not sure anything but the two middle infield positions and, obviously, catcher are going to lead to much in the way of injury). Players are far more likely to get hurt hitting and running the bases than they are standing at first or one of the corners and catching the ball.

Ortiz was never particularly fragile that I recall.


Ortiz was perceived as an injury risk, probably due to his size, more than actually being one.

Of course, we also don't really know what players are truly injury prone. It's very difficult to distinguish between the guy who is prone to injury and the guy who has happened to get injured a few times, and may never get hurt again.
   50. The Duke Posted: November 02, 2021 at 07:14 PM (#6050793)
The Stark idea (and I don’t know if it was actually his idea but I’m going with that ) works on many fronts. It means the AL will start using more of its bench because no one would let a reliever hit in most circumstances. It incentivizes teams to leave starter in and keeps late inning strategery in play. I assume it also limits the desire to have a full time DH in the Harmon killebrew mode because they only get a couple of at bats.

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