Should the National League have a DH? Does it make me 104-years-old to think the designated hitter is some radical invention? It’s not how I feel. Honestly, I’m not quite sure what my thoughts are on it. I like both styles of the game. The New York Mets can give us a much better regular lineup with the DH. However, the strategy involved in a game with a pitcher hitting does hold my attention in the late innings.
Whenever this long-lasting debate comes up, I see both sides of the argument. No single player represents it better than Jacob deGrom. A pitcher who can hit quite brilliantly, he has made the case this year both for and against adding it back to the NL permanently.
It’s not a fact that deGrom got hurt swinging a bat. A conspiracy theory, scapegoat, and speculative thought that has raced through the minds of many, I think we can all at least agree that a slightly injured pitcher hitting will not allow him to heal up as quickly as possible.
Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom is an exciting hitter, but at what cost?
Given the simple choice of seeing deGrom hit or keeping him healthy, it’s an absolute no-brainer: let him swing away! This man is a professional athlete. He should be able to handle it. Is he not a man?
I’m kidding, of course. I don’t think any athlete should put themselves in unnecessary danger just to keep with tradition. Rules in other sports have been changed to protect the health of players. Now, more than ever, baseball players are sidelined with ailments we never quite understood could affect their game negatively. I remember the first time I heard a pitcher was removed because of a broken fingernail. I had to question what I was watching and whether there was enough testosterone in this game for me.
The best argument for the DH is that it can prevent pitchers from getting injured. Hitting once every fifth day and often only given the chance to swing away once or twice when they do, it’s not an ability most are accustomed to. It would be like asking a Mets blogger to socialize face-to-face. We just don’t do that anymore.
Against the DH, we can look at strategy and those rare moments when a pitcher does hit well. deGrom’s 2021 season has been unworldly. A part of it has been how clutch he is at the plate. I’ll admit, those moments are fun. What’s not fun is seeing him exit early with an injury.
I do think the DH is headed to the NL. The “but the owners don’t want to pay an extra hitter” debate can be quickly pushed aside with the counter of, “well, don’t you want to keep the pitchers you invested in healthy?”
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We already know how much the Mets will benefit from having the extra position player in the lineup. And hey, if they really feel the need to, maybe deGrom can DH or pinch-hit.