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Is The Designated Hitter Coming Soon To The NL?


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30 replies to this topic

#16 NormB

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 12:20 PM

I tend to think that there is a fair amount of strategy involved in picking the right relief pitcher/pinch-hitter for a match up. Especially when you think of the game situation, defensive substitutions, players you have left in the bullpen/bench. I mean, it isn't rocket science, but it is one of the more strategic moments in any game. Think about it, what is the biggest impact that a manager can have on a game? I think it is clearly filling out the lineup card. He has to choose which players he wants going that day, and in what order, based on the matchup. With pinch-hitters involved, it basically gives the manager an opportunity to make an in-game adjustment to that lineup, most likely at a critical part of a game. That is an entire component that would be lost if you instituted the DH.

Well let's think about it.
If its the 9th inning and you're winning, you bring in Marmol.
If its the 8th inning and you're winning, you bring in Wood.
If its the 7th inning and you're winning, you bring in your 7th inning man (currently Samardzija?)
BUT, if there is a tough lefty, or couple lefties, you bring in a LOOGY.
You basically rank the bullpen and bring them in, in order, saving Marmol for the 9th.
(I'm not saying I agree with this, this is just how managers manage)
If you're pinch hitting for your pitcher, you bring in an opposite handed bat of the pitcher, so you have a choice of 2 people; one will most likely have pop and one will most likely be speed/defense. Not a tough choice again.
Then with RP's up to bat, you ALWAYS pinch hit for them.
-
I just don't see any strategy here to make it more entertaining than watching 3 wasted at bats by the pitcher instead of 3 at bats by a real hitter. And it makes the job of pitching more difficult to boot. SP's are pretty much given 3 free outs...
"Don't worry getting that #8 guy, the pitcher is next"
Doesn't seem like a strategy that improves the game.

#17 FFP

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 01:47 PM

NormB, thanks for some thoughtful responses.

I see some 3-plus hour games with Red Sox/Yankees. I think that is partly due to the potent offenses (isn't that what takes the most time? scoring runs rather than making outs); partly due to both teams taking their sweet time between pitches; and batters' high p/pa (Red Sox average over 4).
By the way I think plate patience is a team strategy the Cubs will use much more in the future: more p/pa to wear down starters (Nomar hated it when he was with Boston).

Also, I'm sure relief choices as you describe are merely broad strokes. Hard to argue with them in general. But, there have to be some nuances beyond deploying a loogy. And no love for a double switch?

#18 King Jeff

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 01:56 PM

The Red Sox/Yankees games are so long because both teams are full of hitters who take loads of pitches. Get used to it, because those are the kinds of teams that Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are going to build.

On topic, I don't like the DH rule, but I think it's an unfair advantage for the AL to have all year, with the NL not having it. So, I might be able to accept it, which probably means I've accepted it as already happening when the Emperor was given more power and control, an extension.

#19 NormB

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 02:46 PM

NormB, thanks for some thoughtful responses.

I see some 3-plus hour games with Red Sox/Yankees. I think that is partly due to the potent offenses (isn't that what takes the most time? scoring runs rather than making outs); partly due to both teams taking their sweet time between pitches; and batters high p/pa (Red Sox average over 4).
By the way I think plate patience is a team strategy the Cubs will use much more in the future: more p/pa to wear down starters (Nomar hated it when he was with Boston).

Also, I'm sure relief choices as you describe are merely broad strokes. Hard to argue with them in general. But, there have to be some nuances beyond deploying a loogy. And no love for a double switch?

Nah, no love for the double switch either. What are you doing there? You are replacing a SP (one of your best players) with a RP (not one of your best players) and a position starter with a bench guy. Downgrading in two spots.
Give me starting pitchers vs. DH's instead of relief pitchers vs pinch hitters.

#20 fromthemitten

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 08:45 PM

Double switches are woefully underused. It gets a defensive liability off the field without hurting his feelings with the excuse that you want the pitcher to go for longer than an inning.

I like the 8 batters in a lineup idea. The "it will give players more at-bats and skew records" argument is a strawman to me. They didn't play 162 games a season until 1962, which makes Maris' 61 HRs even more impressive to me since it happened the year before. I agree that the MLBPA would oppose it due to the loss of jobs, but they could find a compromise in expanding the rosters or something like that.

I also like the idea of a Dejesus/Jackson/Byrd outfield with Soriano as the DH. That would have to rate as one of the better defensive outfields in the NL.

#21 dabynsky

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 05:07 PM

Double switches are woefully underused. It gets a defensive liability off the field without hurting his feelings with the excuse that you want the pitcher to go for longer than an inning.

I like the 8 batters in a lineup idea. The "it will give players more at-bats and skew records" argument is a strawman to me. They didn't play 162 games a season until 1962, which makes Maris' 61 HRs even more impressive to me since it happened the year before. I agree that the MLBPA would oppose it due to the loss of jobs, but they could find a compromise in expanding the rosters or something like that.

I also like the idea of a Dejesus/Jackson/Byrd outfield with Soriano as the DH. That would have to rate as one of the better defensive outfields in the NL.

They played 162 games in 1961. That is why the commissioner Ford Frick tried to have an asterik put by Maris's record.

#22 fromthemitten

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 06:14 PM

You're right, I forgot the AL did it a year before the NL

#23 Luke

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 04:43 PM

I'd rather see the DH disappear altogether, but I don't see that happening. NL is more likely to get it than the AL is to lose it.

Regardless of that, I would like to see rosters expand. I'd like to go to 26 right now, and I'm not so sure that 28 wouldn't be better still.

#24 TWC

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 05:15 PM

I'd rather see the DH disappear altogether, but I don't see that happening. NL is more likely to get it than the AL is to lose it.

Regardless of that, I would like to see rosters expand. I'd like to go to 26 right now, and I'm not so sure that 28 wouldn't be better still.

I know what you mean, but starting next year, aren't there going to be part-time 26-man rosters, for doubleheaders? At least it's a step in the right direction.

For some reason I'm convinced that rosters used to be only 24 though ... have I been living my life in error?

#25 Luke

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 07:35 PM

You are right on all counts. There will be a 26th man for double headers only next season, so that a team doesn't have to wreck their starting rotation or give up a bullpen arm for a week just to have two legit starting pitchers in a double header.

And there were a few years in the 1980s when the owners decided to go to a 24 man roster until September to save money. That scheme went out the windows with one of the CBAs.

#26 TWC

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 09:28 PM

The fact that rosters indeed used to be set at 24 makes me feel slightly less insane. Slightly. Thanks for that, Luke.

#27 FFP

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 06:39 AM

expanded roster next year=2013? Right?

I'm not a fan of the DH or interleague play, but;

Given that many posters here would like to see DH in the NL (or concede that it is coming regardless of what baseball hearts want), would they want to see, sooner--in the interim, a flip in the "home park rules" for interleague play? These interleague series aren't "World's".

These games could be played so that fans in the park can see the other team and their stars. (I doubt Chicago fans will see much David Ortiz this June for example.) It might be fun to watch the home team have 9 hitters in the line-up. Even though the roster wouldn't be designed for it, this year by June the Cubs, for example may have a DH candidate or two they would showcase. And in AL parks it would be fun for fans (and some managers, I think) try to remember some of the nuances of traditional play.

#28 SirCub

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 07:28 AM

expanded roster next year=2013? Right?

I'm not a fan of the DH or interleague play, but;

Given that many posters here would like to see DH in the NL (or concede that it is coming regardless of what baseball hearts want), would they want to see, sooner--in the interim, a flip in the "home park rules" for interleague play? These interleague series aren't "World's".

These games could be played so that fans in the park can see the other team and their stars. (I doubt Chicago fans will see much David Ortiz this June for example.) It might be fun to watch the home team have 9 hitters in the line-up. Even though the roster wouldn't be designed for it, this year by June the Cubs, for example may have a DH candidate or two they would showcase. And in AL parks it would be fun for fans (and some managers, I think) try to remember some of the nuances of traditional play.

This is a good point. I think Cubs fans would want to see Ortiz, and they would better appreciate a Bryan Lahair or somebody like that getting a chance to showcase their stuff (probably more so than AL fans would, not knowing or caring about the Cubs roster).

#29 Brett

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 01:38 PM


expanded roster next year=2013? Right?

I'm not a fan of the DH or interleague play, but;

Given that many posters here would like to see DH in the NL (or concede that it is coming regardless of what baseball hearts want), would they want to see, sooner--in the interim, a flip in the "home park rules" for interleague play? These interleague series aren't "World's".

These games could be played so that fans in the park can see the other team and their stars. (I doubt Chicago fans will see much David Ortiz this June for example.) It might be fun to watch the home team have 9 hitters in the line-up. Even though the roster wouldn't be designed for it, this year by June the Cubs, for example may have a DH candidate or two they would showcase. And in AL parks it would be fun for fans (and some managers, I think) try to remember some of the nuances of traditional play.

This is a good point. I think Cubs fans would want to see Ortiz, and they would better appreciate a Bryan Lahair or somebody like that getting a chance to showcase their stuff (probably more so than AL fans would, not knowing or caring about the Cubs roster).

NL teams would be at a pretty big disadvantage, not having had a chance to construct their roster to include a non-position bopper.

#30 Sam

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 04:53 PM



expanded roster next year=2013? Right?

I'm not a fan of the DH or interleague play, but;

Given that many posters here would like to see DH in the NL (or concede that it is coming regardless of what baseball hearts want), would they want to see, sooner--in the interim, a flip in the "home park rules" for interleague play? These interleague series aren't "World's".

These games could be played so that fans in the park can see the other team and their stars. (I doubt Chicago fans will see much David Ortiz this June for example.) It might be fun to watch the home team have 9 hitters in the line-up. Even though the roster wouldn't be designed for it, this year by June the Cubs, for example may have a DH candidate or two they would showcase. And in AL parks it would be fun for fans (and some managers, I think) try to remember some of the nuances of traditional play.

This is a good point. I think Cubs fans would want to see Ortiz, and they would better appreciate a Bryan Lahair or somebody like that getting a chance to showcase their stuff (probably more so than AL fans would, not knowing or caring about the Cubs roster).

NL teams would be at a pretty big disadvantage, not having had a chance to construct their roster to include a non-position bopper.

But on the bright side we could DH Soriano
"Some may never live, but the crazy never die."- Hunter S. Thompson




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