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Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw Wants the DH to Stay Around in the National League

As much as he likes hitting, Kersh prefers to leave it to the experts.



From an outside view, the Dodgers don’t appear to have benefited much from the universal designated hitter. Their DH’s combined for 8 home runs and a slash line of .273/.354/.432 which isn’t bad, but it’s also not something that jumps out at you. 

The real benefit to the Dodgers is that the DH allowed them flexibility. The ability to move guys around and give them days off of their feet while also keeping their bats in the lineup proved invaluable through the 60-game season. 

Now that we’re through the short pandemic season, we might be seeing some more changes coming. MLB has already told teams that there is a good chance the NL will NOT have the designated hitter in 2021. The Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw is a decent hitter as far as pitchers go, but even he would prefer to keep the DH around. Kersh talked about it recently with the SportsNet LA crew

I actually got kind of used to the DH honestly. And don’t get me wrong I love hitting, but just because I get to take batting practice at Dodger Stadium. There’s not that much fun in a game, that’s not easy to do. But to be able to hit homeruns, to be able to do that at Dodger Stadium is a ton of fun. Honestly, the way we’re built, the way our team can be put together, I think it would almost benefit us more to be able to have a DH. Hopefully maybe they can figure that out because I think it benefits the game in general, but I kind of have come around I’m used to it by now. 

If Kershaw wants the DH to stick around, it’s safe to say that the rest of the league is in support. Kershaw has historically been a guy that loves to hit, and will take batting practice whenever he can. So if the Dodgers southpaw is ready to have the universal DH around long-term, we probably should look into making it happen. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. Glad Kershaw came around as did I. Pitchers are too valuable to risk getting hit or running the bases.
    Plus it speeds up the game and gives games more offense which it desperately needs.
    I also liked the 3 hitter rule and the man on second in OT as games that go over 10-11 innings are too long.

  2. We saw in 60 games that the world didn’t come to an end without the “strategy” and the double switches. It was a better product without pitchers striking out 70 percent of the time and without them risking injury just to strike out or run to first on a weak ground out. If they do make pitchers hit in 2021, then we need something like they did with intentional walks. Just have the pitcher come to the plate and then the umpire signals an automatic strike out and he goes back to the bench. It would sure save time

    • It’s ridiculous. The owners and players both want the DH, but the owners want something in return from the players. Creating unnecessary dissent.

  3. So why doesn’t CK and the rest of the league get in Manfreds face and DEMAND they keep the DH around for all those reasons Tmaxster and rainbirdmuse point out. IDK but if I were the NL I would file a grievance against MLB if no DH in 2021, especially if the rest of the league made their voices heard about this.

  4. I have no idea why a pitcher would want to face more and better hitters. Does he want to see his ERA blow up? We already have enough offense in this new live ball era. Everybody and their brother is hitting home runs. The Dodgers won it all because a guy named Mookie Betts knows that small ball with strong pitching wins games. Speed games up. Don’t slow them down. Give managers the ability to use bullpen strategy, even though DR is not a shining example of how to do it well. Let pitchers have a break. Have ballplayers that can actually play the game, with a bat and a glove. Betts is the best example of that as well. I respect Kershaw. But I disagree with him completely. So I guess I disagree with the majority of fans. I don’t care. But I do have one question for them. Didn’t you like baseball before 2020? Didn’t you like it before the weasel Manfred started changing everything to bow to the Astros and the players union?

    Sincerely,

    Happy to disagree with everyone

  5. The idea that the DH streamlines the game is a valid one, but I love the pitcher that can hit, bunt, play the hit and run or move a baserunner over. These are the subtle parts of the game and ADD to its enjoyment. Everything doesn’t need to speed up in this world. If we told MLB pitchers that we thought they were too precious and breakable to risk them hitting or running, I’d bet the majority would scowl and raise an appropriate finger.

  6. Michael, the pitcher batting effectively weakens the lineup. Especially the bottom half because the 7th and 8th place hitters won’t see as many pitches to hit with the other team knowing the pitcher batting 9th is due up and more often than not ends the inning with his AB. Take Barnes for example in 2020. He got better pitches to hit because Betts was behind him batting lead off. That had a lot to do with Barnes’ improvement offensively. If no DH, Barnes bats 8th and chances are his offense declines having the pitcher behind him. And if no DH, even if JT re- signs. His bat won’t be available as much as it was this year because he can DH. And when Barnes catches, Will Smith sits if no DH. That’s how IMHO the lineup would not be as strong..

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