Hate it or generally dislike it, it seems like the designated hitter is coming to the National League much sooner than hoped for many. In fact, if and when baseball happens in 2020, the universal DH is all but assuredly coming along for the ride.
In the case of the Dodgers, that’s more than likely a good thing.
Recently on “Live at the Sunset Strip” — Ross Stripling’s weekly Instagram chat show for the Dodgers official account — Strip and guest Justin Turner chatted about the DH for LA.
Moreover, they see all the sluggers on their team that plugin nicely in that role.
“I feel like all that does is just make us so much nastier that we already are,” says Stripling. “I mean think about that, Kiké [Hernandez] way more at-bats. That probably gets Joc [Pederson] some more at-bats … man, giving us an extra person to plug into our lineup just seems incredible.”
Fans that are in-tune with the Dodgers season after season know full well the amount of talent up and down the 40 man roster. Players like Hernandez and Chris Taylor often have to bounce around the field to get into the lineup and pick up at-bats. Last season, the club tried Joc Pederson at first base for way (waaaay) too long in an attempt to get everyone enough playing time.
Moreover, with batters like Matt Beaty and Edwin Rios likely being guaranteed spots on the proposed expanded active rosters, few teams could compete with LA’s starting 9 on any given day.
Expanding on the subject, Turner sees the positives when it comes to actually resting guys.
“I think it’s good for us — especially our guys who get days off. Normally there’s no such thing in the National League… like you get a day off but you’re still pinch-hitting in the eighth or ninth inning and the stress of that leads up to like being in the cage and not knowing if you’re going to hit.”
While baseball purists will understandably scoff at the universal DH in theory, in practice it could make the Dodgers even more of a nightmare for the rest of baseball.